Of course the first thing I did was grab my laptop and start searching the internet for Irish dance birthday party ideas. And guess what... it turns out that Irish dancing parties aren't actually that common of a birthday theme and there really wasn't much for me to find. I did find this blog and got some inspiration from it, but my Little Miss is more into the the dancing and pink than green and leprechauns.
I wanted to come up with an activity to start the party off with - something that the kids could do in their own time as they arrived, that would allow my daughter to be able to meet & greet each guest, and that wouldn't be too overwhelming for any children that didn't know anyone other than the birthday girl and the Little Guy. So I bought some extra wide ribbons and cut them into sash lengths and had the kids decorate their own prizewinner party sash. The girls spent quite a while decorating and it was a nice mellow way to start the afternoon. As each finished, I pinned their sash on and they made their way into the lounge to do a little dancing. (I really wish I had taken a photo of all the girls lined up with their beautifully decorated sashes on before they took them off.)
this blog. They're meant to fit over the heavy dancing shoes, but the girls just put them over whatever shoes they were wearing (the girls that actually do dancing will be able to wear these over their dancing shoes later on if they like).
A lot of dancing and some dancing games came next while I swapped the ribbons & markers for party snacks. There was snacking and then a few more games while I set out the table for cookie decorating. I made some sugar cookies the night before in the shapes of Irish dancing dresses, four leaf clovers, hearts, and a few gingerbread men shapes (for the two boys) to decorate. The kids LOVED doing this! It was interesting how differently the kids approached this activity - some spent a lot of time decorating a few cookies very elaborately and then packed them away to take home with them, some decorated quickly and ate each cookie as they went, and some did a combination of the two.
Then it was time for presents, cake, a little more dancing, and home time. I actually had another activity (spinning paper fairies) printed off just in case, but it turns out it wasn't needed. Oh, and to make the cake I used this technique for the icing. Sadly I placed it off centre, but unsurprisingly not a single party guest noticed.
The Little Miss had a fantastic day and it looked like all her friends had a lot of fun too. Both my husband and I noted that it was the calmest & quietest birthday party we had ever seen - apart from the last 15 minutes which was filled with screaming and running off their sugar highs!