Our younger daughter wanted a Mary Poppins theme for her 3rd birthday. This was a huge load of fun! I saved a free Mary Poppins photo image to my computer to use for postcard invitations and added a text box to it to include the details. Very easy to design and print. Other ideas we had for invitations included carousel horse clip art cutouts stuffed into envelopes and umbrella clip art cutouts. Since her birthday is in the springtime, we decided a photo image of Mary and Bert in one of the garden scenes would work best.
Our two girls both dressed up in character for the party. The birthday girl (being younger) was little Jane Banks.
Our older daughter (4 years old) was Mary Poppins. We ordered a yellow satin ribbon, a white lace bolero jacket, and a used red/white tank style tulle dress from Ebay. Then we purchased light colored spring straw hats from the local dollar store. “Jane” wore a simple white cotton dress that we tied at the waist with the yellow satin ribbon and finished off the look with a hat. “Mary” wore the red/white tulle dress with the lacy bolero jacket layered underneath as sleeves and a hat tied with a sheer white scarf under the neck. The results were very cute!
We ordered inexpensive carousel horses from Ebay and hot glued magnets on the backside of them to use as both a party favor activity, and keepsake magnets for our guests. We also glued the bases of the horses to toy car chasses (removing the tops of each toy car from its chassis), which could be removed later to use the carousel horses as magnets. At the party, the horses on their chasses were used for horse races on a wooden track we borrowed from a friend (could also be rented from a carnival supply service). The kids had so much fun racing their horses over and over again.
We ordered plain white umbrellas & fabric paints from Oriental Trading Post, and purchased 2 yards of lace from a fabric supply store. We let our children help us hot glue the lace to the edges of the umbrellas to create parasols for the girl guests invited to the party. We left the umbrellas lace free for the boy guests. An advantage of decorating these umbrellas instead of buying actual parasols gave the umbrellas a purpose. The kids could actually use their umbrellas throughout the year in either sun or wet weather. A parasol can’t be used like a typical umbrella and they cost a lot more. At the party, all of the children were given time to decorate their parasol/umbrellas with fabric paints that would not come off on rainy days. The parents and kids loved this activity.
My husband ordered parts to a zip line and a child’s disc swing from Ebay to craft a sturdy zip line as another party activity. He used the disc swing as a seat hung by its rope from the zip line handle so young children could easily hang on for the ride. He fitted a rope cable between two trees at an angle and the zip line was complete. The kids laughed and giggled as they made one zip line ride after another holding onto their Mary Poppins umbrellas.
For food we used our patio table to serve a buffet of finger foods and drinks. There were pitchers of iced sun tea and raspberry lemonade, both kept cold with raspberry juice ice cubes (Mary Poppins choice of drink in the movie was raspberry ice). There were finger sandwiches , fruits, veggies, and “tea” cookies (to go along with the tea and cakes referred to in the movie).
Instead of buying a cake, we made a layered round cake, frosted it, and decorated it with a carousel frame made up of colored craft sticks attached to stenciled horses. The kids got their choice of cake since we made it and we saved a lot of money. Two great advantages. We posted the pictures on Facebook after the party and received a lot of enthusiastic comments about it. We are happy knowing our kids and guests had a fabulous time!