Creating Memories for Kids of All Ages

Today at Shindigz, we received a very thoughtful letter from Mrs. Lisa Gawthrop, a 3rd grade teacher at S.W.E.

“…What a good time we had on our last day of school… we purchased a classroom banner and items to create memory boxes. The students used monogrammed labels and stickers to decorate their boxes and wrote complement cards for each classmate along with other 3rd grade memories as well as a personalized candy bar for each student.  Our class had a great time putting everything together and making an end of the year memory.”

Along with the letter she included this picture!

South Whitley 3rd Grade Students Create Lasting Memories!

South Whitley 3rd Grade Students Create Lasting Memories!

Thank you Mrs. Gawthorp for writing and sharing.

Do you have pictures and stories to share of parties and events that have included Shindigz?  Send us a note and picture to !

Senior Basketball Night

We just celebrated Senior Night with the Canterbury basketball team this past Tuesday.  My son Chase is only a junior, but time seems to be flying by – next year it will be his big night!  Each year we honor our seniors prior to the start of the last home game.  The players and their families are individually announced and acknowledged as they walk through a giant balloon arch.  This year we had four senior players and one senior manager.  We created personalized standees and banners of each senior.   We ended up winning 58 to 49, not a huge margin, but a win’s a win – on to tournament play next week.  Canterbury teams love it when there is a “Moyle” on the team – more stuff. Good luck, Cavs!

  1. The balloon arch was created with blue and white latex 11” balloons, a roll of white curling ribbon, six balloon weights, a helium tank (provided and stored at the school) and three sets of hands.  The entire arch took about 30 minutes to complete.  Once the assembly line was established, we were flying.  We tied one end of the curling ribbon to the balloon weight and kept the remainder of the ribbon on the roll.  We couldn’t decide how big we wanted the arch.  One parent inflated the balloons, I tied the knot in the balloon (years of practice) and the third parent created an open knot/loop in the curling ribbon.  We pulled the knotted end of the balloon through the loop, pulled it tight and moved on to the next balloon.  We alternated blue and white, but any pattern could easily be established.  Because we were moving so quickly, we made a huge arch and had to add extra weights to each end.
  2. The standees were made by Shindigz with straight on, high resolution photos that we simply uploaded to when ordering.  Fast and easy.
  3. The banners took a bit longer to prepare since we needed to collect a number of images per player to make a collage.  The printing was the fast part by Shindigz.
  4. We also offered “after the game” cookies for players and parents, flowers for the moms, a senior gift and a certificate of accomplishment.

Shindigz can help make your Senior Basketball Night a success, too! Join us on Facebook for a chance to win great party give aways every weekday!

Ideas for Your Awards Night Party Theme

Celebrate with a Red Carpet Party Theme

You’re already planning for your college mixer, school prom, adult cocktail party, corporate event, or kids birthday. We’re here to open the brainstorm with a few themes and supplies to get those creative juices flowing.

Awards Party Themes Take Center Stage

Note these dates on your social calendar and build your next theme party around a Bollywood party or Hollywood theme party.

Movie Theme Parties

Pop popcorn and snuggle in with the fam for movie night or dream big and snuggle up to a Marilyn Monroe party.

Film Festival Theme Party Decorations

Whisk your intellectual crowd into a sophisticated night of wine, International party supplies, and the sultry, Abhi Mujhe Mein Kahin or organize France party supplies throughout the banquet facility of your Cannes Film Festival event.

Country Music Party Theme

Celebrate country music in our cowboy party store. Show them city slickers that your tableware party supplies don’t have to be fancy because a Dirt Road Anthem surrounded by NASCAR party supplies is the party theme to remember. Invite military families to your event and open the welcome home theme party with We Take Care of Our Own.

City Theme Party Decorations

Go downtown and dance away at a sweaty, city theme party. Continuously play music videos and movies on wide screen TVs. Promote fresh, theme party faces like pop’s Asher Monroe,

soul’s Adele,

or Bollywood’s Vidya Balan.

Political Theme Party Supplies

Want to shake it up? Times are changing. Make a statement with your theme party supplies and political rally decorations. Anjulie will turn heads and so will Occupy party supplies or national debt party supplies peppered throughout your theme party decorations.

College Theme Parties

There’s time to coordinate a frat party, toga party, or birthday with the MTV awards night. Just add a few props, cocktail accessories, and rock star party supplies to go.

Corporate Theme Parties

Let music loosen up the execs. Invite Taylor Swift to your private concert or just watch her perform at the Grammys along with Coldplay.

Give guests a few elephant hats and decorate with baby elephant standees, safari decorations, and other mascot costumes to get in the spirit of Coldplay’s Paradise video. Paul McCartney will be honored at this year’s Grammys. Celebrate the successes of yesterday, while your company presses ahead into 2012. These retro theme party supply or Wizard of Oz party stores can help you emphasize both achievements and goals.

Funny Theme Parties

Laugh it up with clips of Billy Crystal going Off the Grid for the Academy.

Dress up as your favorite nominee. Send party invitations and decorate with party favors, party tableware, and party decorations (such as Money Ball baseball party supplies) that revolve around your picks. Give awards night male statuettes or awards night female statuettes to the most creative or funny, theme party costumes.

Awards party themes spice up winter dull drums and celebrate successes. Host your own Academy, Grammy, MTV, Bollywood, or Hollywood theme party!

Host a Kids’ Get-Acquainted Party

For many, the beginning of the school year is a Season of New. Children become new school-agers, change schools, or start after-school activities such as tumbling class or Scouts. Teachers, parent volunteers and other kids’ group leaders are likewise greeted by new faces. Sometimes there’s a little anxiety. Always, you want to start out on the right foot. The Shindigz prescription: a get-acquainted party, naturally!

Choose a Theme with Fins or Four Legs
Chances are you’ll need a theme that appeals to both boys and girls, and there’s one great big intersection of boy and girl interests called Animals. Here are a few animal-based themes we think would work especially well for this purpose:

These animal themes are easy to decorate and accessorize. Create a barnyard with a big red 3D barn, classic red gingham table covers and a herd of inflatable cows; an undersea universe of deep blue seaweed and tropical fish balloons; or a green equatorial paradise with a jungle trees backdrop and wild animal standups.

You will similarly find that it’s easy to match piñatas, crafts, party wearables and other party favors to any of these animal themes.

If possible, try to have at least part of the party outdoors, or in another setting where the children can run around.

Young “Animals” Get Acquainted at Play
Children tend to get excited about being around other children, so the best strategy is to work off excess energy with lots of active play right at the start of the party.

Games can be old or new, theme-related or not, but you will want to choose types where nobody has to wait too long for their turns, and select team games for team-building and getting acquainted. Relays such as egg races, pass-the-orange, balloon sitting, and crab walk races make for classic, dependable fun; just be sure to mix up the teams between each game. Circle games using a play canopy and foam balls or animal beanbag toys engage all the children on the same team at once and encourage coordination and cooperative play.

Food tends not to be a huge focus for younger party guests, and what there is of it can be part of an activity, too. Children can decorate their own cupcakes or whip up small sundaes. Otherwise, a few nibbles are probably sufficient. Provide peanuts in the shell to a band of elephants, oats (granola) for a herd of horses, half bananas to marauding monkeys and so forth.

They will absolutely get mighty thirsty. Create theme-related personalized water bottle labels for “jungle juice” or “sea water” and tint bottle contents accordingly with food coloring.

When the level of activity begins winding down and the end of the get-acquainted party nears, pull out the craft projects and coloring books from Everything Elementary.

Get-Acquainted Fun Continues Afterward
If you do create a herd of inflatable cows or a school of plush fish as part of the party decorations, be sure to have enough on hand for each child to take one home. Party wearables such as animal print safari hats, shark tooth necklaces and farm animal masks are emblems of fun both during and after the party, and photos taken in front of large party decorations and during games can adorn a bulletin board or the beginnings of a group scrapbook.

All School Faculty Christmas Party

I am sure our kids were not thrilled when they heard that we would be hosting the school board and all the faculty from their school. I mean, what student wants their teachers checking out their room and seeing if they are actually studying? Wendy and I, on the other hand, were absolutely thrilled to be asked to host the party and give back a little bit to the teachers who have such a positive influence on our children. It really is an amazing and committed group of educators who care about their students. I know that you must have these talented folks in your school as well and we should all celebrate their amazing dedication and contribution in our educating our children.

We knew we wanted to change the party up a bit this year and add our own unique touches. I am confident this frightened the school administration and the board, but we convinced them to go along with us. It was a primary goal of ours to get as much of the faculty to attend as possible so we wanted to make the event fun and personal.

We started with party invitations. In addition to an email invitation which is simple and easy to do, we also created an inexpensive printed invitation that we sent to the home of the faculty so that we weren’t just making it a “get invited to the work party” kind of event. Next, we asked each board member to call at least five of their favorite teachers and to personally invite them to the party. As you know, the personal ask is always worth more than just the emailed invitation. And, just to make sure, Wendy roamed the hallways for several hours, sticking her head in classrooms and extending yet another personal invitation. There was no escaping this party!

Next, we got down to planning the event itself. Nailing the flow and traffic of a party or an event in your home is critical to make sure that things don’t get too bunched or too spread out. Shockingly, Wendy and I don’t always agree :-), and so we had a running two discussion over the location of the bar. Long story short, she was right and we went with her ideas and it worked splendidly. Just don’t tell her I admitted she was right!

We brainstormed lots of ideas and tossed many as inappropriate or impractical for a group of almost 200. Holiday Bingo—ie find out unique things about faculty members and every partier is given a bingo sheet and has to find the person that “likes Barry Manilow” or “swam the English channel as a teenager.” It’s a great icebreaker and the winner would receive a nice prize of some sort. We finally determined this was too executionally challenging for our limited time. We played with live music, but concluded it was unnecessary. So what did we do?

Gold Glitter Frame

Gold Glitter Frame

First, and most importantly another Wendy idea, we offered holiday stress massages for the neck and shoulder. We hired two massage experts in Santa hats who had people just sit in chairs and then give them a relxing neck and shoulder massage. This was an enormous hit with a constant line! Who doesn’t need some relief from the stress of the holidays?!! Next, we wanted to make sure they had some takeaway from the evening. So, we asked a friend who is a photographer to set up on the landing and take holiday pictures of each couple or set of friends and we then gave them one of our great looking Glitter Frames that we then put their picture in the frame and they were able to take it home as a holiday memento.

We also wanted to show off our great cookie tins so we had two designs of cookie tins produced and we gave everyone a sampling of our Brownstone cookies. We have been getting rave reviews from the faculty as they have been eating these as vacation time approaches. We also gave each partier a chocolate lollipop imprinted with a holiday saying and we did customized holiday napkins just to tie it all together.

We combined this with Wendy’s hit playlist of Xmas music— Xmas music plays in our house nonstop from the day after Thanksgiving to December 26th— and a pair caricaturists in basement doing fun caricatures of the faculty. We wanted the event to be unique, personal and memorable and show the faculty just how appreciated they really are. Based on the comments we received that night and are still receiving, we hit the mark! We used older high school students as our valet parkers and they did pretty well on their tips for the night! Our kids had to stand in and pass appetizers and they all rose to the occasion even though it was unpaid duty. :-)

Paste Your Face Elf

Paste Your Face Elf

As always, it’s about letting your personality shine through in your parties. It’s about providing surprises to the guests, trying the unusual and making it personal. (We won’t even talk about the Paste Your Face Elf the company did of Wendy and I!) It was a great night and we learned a lot about the impact our products have on making a special party even more special. If you need help our ideas for your special event, just let us know. We are ready to help!

Be well and have a great holiday!!!

All the best,


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