Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Throw a Hamster Birthday Party (Yes. Really.)


I never thought I'd say this, ever, but...
Internet? You failed me.

When E came home and announced she wanted a birthday party inspired by her favorite literary character, I Googled "how to throw a hamster birthday party" and came up with nothing.

Really, nothing. Nada.
Not one single post.

How can that be? Do I have the only kid on the planet who's obsessed with all things hamster? (OK, I probably do...)

Ninety billion hours on Pinterest, Etsy, Amazon and various and assorted craft websites later, I'm pleased to present the Internet's very first hamster birthday party how-to post. So if anyone else's kid falls in love with Humphrey the hamster and wants to party like a rodent? You'll be all set.

Hamster Party Craft



This was by far the most important part of our hamster party (and also the one I'm most proud of.) A craft table activity that doubled as a favor, these DIY hamster balls were the hit of the party and an absolute blast to make. Using real hamster bedding (available at pet stores or on Amazon) and an assortment of hamster accessories, we created individual hamster balls that each child took home as a "pet." Since the party, we've gotten a ton of texts, emails and pictures of the hamsters in all sorts of cool places. I guess they were a hit!

What you will need:

140mm clear acrylic fillable ball ornaments (available at Factory Direct Craft)
Small stuffed hamsters (we used this one from Amazon)
Hamster accessories: mini wooden blocks, miniature carrots, baby bottleshamster snacks, miniature teddy bears
Baker's twine (we used purple)
Kraft paper hamster-shaped tags (check out these from Etsy)
Sharpie marker (for labeling)




We put everything into bowls on the craft table and let the kids create their own perfect hamster habitat. (Note: adult supervision is really helpful here, since the ornament balls can be a little tricky to close. Huge thank you to my rock star cousin Natalie, who was the best Hamster Station manner ever.) When the kids were finished creating their hamster balls, we wrote their names in Sharpie on hamster tags and used baker's twine to attach the tags and keep the ornament balls closed.




Hamster Party Entertainment



Hamster-themed birthday party entertainment was a tough one. I found these giant inflatable hamster balls on Amazon, but that seemed sort of not safe and maybe a personal injury lawsuit waiting to happen. So I begged our local puppet show guy to perform (he's amazing) and incorporate a hamster into his script. I provided the hamster puppet. The puppet show was a BIG hit with the kids, and E got to keep the hamster puppet at the end of the show. Double awesome.


Hamster Party Snacks

For snacks, we went with stuff E thought hamsters might like, based on her knowledge of hamster from obsessively reading Humphrey the Hamster books. Knowledge which may or may not be accurate...but whatever, we went with it and it looked super cute! Pretzel sticks, popcorn, carrot and celery sticks...all easy stuff to arrange in mason jars so the kids could grab what they wanted. For both the craft and snack tables, I hand-lettered signs using purple paint and cardboard. We also did an "adult food" table and switched out the carrots, etc for a tower of mini purple and brown cupcakes (red velvet and chocolate-chocolate, E's specific request) when it was time for cake.


Hamster Party Candy Station



The final touch to our hamster birthday party was a candy station customized with all of E's favorites (and some of mine!) We wrapped wide mouth mason jars and some glass vases we had around the house with baker's twine and filled them with an assortment of small candies. E and N had a blast stamping kraft paper bags with a hamster rubber stamp and the words "Happy Birthday." As each guest left the party, they got to fill a bag with some sweet treats.



Hamster Birthday Gift

Confession: I may or may not be the worst mom ever for refusing to get E an ACTUAL real live hamster for her birthday. Which she really, really wanted. But with two jobs and two kids, not to mention a husband, a dog, and a whole lot of other things on my plate, adding a rodent was Just. Not. Happening.

So I did the second best thing I could: I made her the coolest faux hamster set up, ever. It's got a water bottle, a feeding station, a hamster wheel, plus all the cute wooden chew toys a (stuffed) hamster could want. Check it out!


E was really happy and excited about her "real" Humphrey and his hamster habitat...so much so that she's been "feeding" him, giving him water, reading to him, and sleeping with the whole thing right next to her pillow every night since her birthday. Which, if you think about it, is even BETTER than an alive hamster...because no way would she be sleeping with a rodent next to her pillow.

(Just saying.)

11 comments:

  1. Sounds like an awesome party!! Thanks for sharing!
    - Sensei Nikhil Joshi @ KarateOC.com

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  2. this is actually the first time i read something about a hamster themed party!, sounds fun!. haha
    I think this would work for children who wants pets but are allergic to hairy animals.

    -janice @garagesalecow.com

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  3. What a great looking party! So glad E enjoyed herself :)

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  4. Thanks for this post--now there IS something on the internet about a throwing a hamster birthday party! My son thinks he has a second identity as Hammy the hamster, and he too wants a "hamster party." Thanks for the ideas.

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  5. thanks for this post. My soon-to-be 6-year old just requested a hamster party! I was looking into these acrylic balls when is saw this post. this is awesome. And I know her agenda is to get an actual hamster! oh boy!

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  6. Thank you for sharing. love these ideas

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  7. Thanks for sharing! My daughter is also obsessed with Humphrey and wants that to be the theme for her party 😀

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  8. Thank you so much for these wonderful ideas! My daughter is hamster obsessed. She did get a real one for Christmas and has now requested a hamster themed birthday party!

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  9. Im having a hard time finding the mini hamsters on amazon- could you provide the specifics? Thank you! and GREAT PARTY IDEAS!!!

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  10. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need!! lol Appreciate the great ideas!

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