Give your child’s birthday party a secret garden theme using these ideas for garden themed party invitations, decorations, food, games, costumes and prizes.

Children love the idea of having something secret, and a secret garden with all the magic it entails is perfect for little girls.

Secret Garden Invitation Ideas

  • Cut out a giant flower from coloured card and write all the invitation details on the back.
  • Make an old fashioned looking scroll by ageing paper with watered down coffee, and burning around the edges for extra effect. Use lemon juice to write invisible invitations, which your guests will be able to read by holding the paper over a hot toaster. (The lemon juice turns brown). Make sure you include instructions, (so that your guest doesn’t think they have received a blank piece of paper), then roll everything up into a postal tube and hand deliver if necessary.
  • Make a seed packet with a title on the front like ‘Seeds for growing GREAT FUN’. On the back write the instructions for planting which will obviously include where (the party address), when (the party time), and any other details that might be necessary. Fill the seed packet with glitter for extra magic.

Secret Garden Decorations

You could really go crazy with decorations for your secret garden, and you really are only limited by your imagination. Bring in as many different pot plants as you can find, add coloured flowers (real, plastic and paper), ivy, newspaper palm trees, and garden trellis. Scatter painted rocks, giant mushrooms, and butterflies hanging from the ceiling. Soft toys could be hiding in every corner, and place cheap fairy ornaments peeping out from behind leaves and branches. You can purchase all sorts of magical ornaments for a just a few dollars from emporium type stores.

Make sure you create an entrance to your secret garden, so children know when they are going from reality into a magical world. You could simply decorate up your garden gate, make an archway that the children need to walk through, or line your pathway with coloured pinwheels.

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Secret Garden Games and Activities

  • Help every child create their own secret garden in a jar. You will need a selection of hot house type plants, large wide neck preserving jars, potting mix, coloured stones, and miniature garden ornaments like mushrooms or fairies. Have each child plant and decorate their garden, then screw on the lid and they have their very own garden in the palm of their hand.
  • Give each guest a river rock to paint and decorate for their garden. You will need acrylic paints, brushes, and lots of imagination. Your guest can simply paint the rocks with patterns, or turn the rock into a garden creature.
  • Put all sorts of garden related items onto a tray, and ask all the kids to remember what is there. Cover the tray, and then while the children have their eyes closed, remove an item. Ask the guests to open their eyes, remove the cover, and see who can work out what’s missing. You could include things on your tray like a packet of seeds, a garden fork, a plant stake, a flower, a piece of bark, some garden twine and, of course, a fairy.
  • Have a garden scavenger hunt where each guest has to hunt out and collect a list of things from within your garden. Younger guests could be asked to hunt for simple things like ‘a flower’, where as you might be more specific with older guests and get them to find a particular type. Add a few hidden treasures to your list.
  • For a new twist on an old favourite, play pin the spot on the ladybird, or pin the sting on the bee. You could also play pin the bug on the flower, where there is no ‘right’ place to pin it and everybody wins.

Secret Garden Party Food

  • Scatter flower petals and glitter all over the food table to show that the fairies have been, and serve your drink from a clean (preferably brand new!) plastic watering can. Serve your drinks in red plastic cups decorated with black spots (for ladybirds), or yellow cups with black stripes (for bees).
  • Make magic fairy wands by threading marshmallows, fruit, and brightly coloured lollies onto a kebab stick. Other good garden lollies are candy mushrooms, mint leaves, and jelly worms.
  • Turn giant cupcakes into baskets of flowers. Use kitchen scissors to cut marshmallows into slices, then stick them in a flower formation on the top of your cupcake. Put pebbles or M&Ms in the centre of each flower and add mint leaves around the edges. Finish by making a basket handle with a liquorice rope.
  • Make cute ladybirds by sticking red pebbles onto mallowpuffs using melted chocolate, and defining the wings and head using thin strips of black liquorice.
  • Make fairy bread by sprinkling hundreds and thousands onto white bread, and turn them into butterflies by using a basic butterfly cookie cutter.

Secret Garden Costumes

  • Fairies and elves are obvious costumes for a Secret Garden party, and they can be made relatively simply. Little fairies can wear their best party dress, coupled with some fairy wings, a wand, and some glitter on their face. An elf costume can be made by cutting an old pair of track pants (green preferably) across the knee in a triangle pattern, and teaming it with a matching top with bells stitched around the bottom. Add a floppy hat, red rosy cheeks, and you’re done.
  • There are heaps of easy ways to dress as a garden creature. For a ladybird, simply dress in a red tracksuit and use fabric paint to make black dots. Make wings out of old net curtaining, by cutting a long strip then stitching the centre of it to the back of the tracksuit top. Stitch each end of the strip to the underside of the arms. Buy some cheap antennae from an emporium type store, or make your own by attaching wire and pom-poms to an old headband.
  • Dress all in black to be a scary spider, and make your 8 legs by stuffing black stockings with paper or fabric scraps. Stitch 4 legs down each side of your body, then run a string of nylon through the end of each one, and attach it to the wristband of your black top. This way the legs will stand out rather than fall flat.

Secret Garden Prizes and Loot Bags

Instead of traditional loot bags, use a terracotta pot or a plastic watering can and fill it with lots of garden related treats. You could include a packet of seeds, a child’s sized garden fork, some gardening gloves, a flower brooch, some plastic bugs, and a blank notebook to write in all their gardening notes. You could also follow the magical garden theme and add glitter, fairies and “magic” mushrooms.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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You might want to consider changing “pot plants” to “potted plants.”

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