It’s an American Girl Birthday!

I can’t believe my little girl is 7! I’m sure all moms have this same thought when birthdays roll around.

Every year I let my kids choose a theme for their parties. This year my daughter wanted an American Girl birthday. Last year, Olivia had a mermaid party and Jacob wanted a sports theme. Now, it’s all about the American Girl.

The first time we took Olivia to an American Girl store, she was hooked. How couldn’t you be? It was overwhelming and impressive to me, too. Everywhere you looked, you saw pink and red, dolls stacked on every shelf, clothes and tons of accessories. There’s even a salon where you get the doll’s hair styled. And I’m told that a few stores like in Chicago and New York have a café where you can lunch with your doll.

Here’s a bit of history about these award-winning dolls. Released in 1986, the dolls portray girls of a variety of ethnicities. They are sold with accompanying books told from the viewpoint of the girls. Originally, the dolls and stories focused on periods of American history. But since 1995, the stories and characters have included contemporary life.

You can get a doll that looks just like you! Simply go online and match the skin tone, eye color and hair type. Olivia’s doll is blond with curly hair, freckles and blue eyes…just like her!

Her little friends all arrived bringing a favorite doll, whether it was an American Girl or another favorite like a mermaid, or Bitty Twin American Doll. The two boys in attendance had their footballs and basketballs.

I took pictures of each girl with their doll and uploaded the images to Walgreen’s. Meanwhile the girls decorated wooden picture frames. We picked up the printed images and inserted them in the frames. This was the party favor.

For a game, the kids played musical chairs…with a twist! Each child had to hold their dolls (or footballs) as they passed the chairs in a circle. This made it a bit more difficult to grab a chair and sit down.

The colors for our American Girl party were red, pink and lime. I hung tissue puffs or pom poms from the ceiling, the loft and along the window. And star-covered balloons were tossed around the room.

After eating an All-American meal of chicken strips, potato salad and beans, Olivia made her wish and blew out her candles. We actually had to do it one more time, because three-year-old cousin Maya was a little sad. She wanted to help with the blowing, too.

Here’s wishing you beautiful birthdays with your kids! The years go by so quickly. These birthday parties are one way to remember the moment.

Happy Parenting!

P.S. Click on the photos to see extra pictures from the party.

About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.

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Taryn Vanderford loves being a mom to her two elementary-aged kids, Jacob and Olivia.  Activities with the kids and a full-time job keep Taryn pretty busy, but in her free time she enjoys taking pictures, reading, Jazzercising, gardening, traveling and playing the piano for church.