The girls often talk about their birthday parties as “unit studies.” I can’t help it. I’m a teacher. I’ve been teaching children something for the last 25 years. Why should birthday parties be any different? It’s a great opportunity to teach children--they’re a captive audience! For Abigail’s tenth birthday, God gave me the idea to have a Proverbs 31 Birthday Party. The party took about three hours for eleven girls who were ages 9-11. Cutting out the sewing project will shorten the time by about 45 mins. to 1 hour. Invitations: You can use any lovely note card with a lovely cover design and a blank inside. Buy twice as many and use them for thank you notes. If you have some computer skills, you can import a photo or design your own invitations. Invitation-sized envelopes fit a half sheet of paper folded in half. On the inside, include the title “Proverbs 31 Birthday” as well as who it’s for, date, time, location, address and RSVP.
Preparations: Preparations for each activity are listed below. I set up “stations” in the locations listed, including all the supplies and instructions I needed. I also set the table in the dining room where we’d be eating. Careful, advanced preparations will make for smooth transitions during the party.
Decorations: I chose hot pink paper plates and napkins that coordinated with the invitation. The activities for the party kept us in different rooms, but we decorated the dining room with pink and white streamers and pink balloons. Some fresh flowers would be a nice touch.
Activities: I wanted to teach the girls what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 woman. We began by reading Proverbs 31: 10-31. (You can read it to them, or have everyone read together. You can print out a copy of the scripture from www.biblegateway.com.) Then, we went back to the beginning and read through it again, stopping after we read the verses that applied to our activity.
Cooking (in the kitchen): v.14-15 Recipe for apple crisp here. Before the party: You may want to cut the apples and store them in some lemon water in the fridge. I let the girls use an apple peeler with a handle and an apple slicer so we needed no knives. During the party: Of course you’ll want the girls to start by washing their hands. I had the girls take turns measuring, preparing and adding ingredients as well as assembling the apple crisp. We baked it while we did the next activity.
Gardening (outside): v. 16 Small pots, plastic or clay a cell-pack of plants or seeds small bag of potting soil Before the party: I set up the table in the back yard so the dirt would stay out there. I labeled the bottom of the pots before the girls planted their plants so each one got the right container. During the party: Then, each girl put a little potting soil in the bottom of the pot, put the flower in, and finished with a little potting soil around the sides of the plant. NOTE: If you choose not to do the sewing activity, you could use the time to decorate clay pots with paint or permanent markers. Permanent markets can still rub off some plastics. Old T-shirts can be worn to protect the girls’ clothing.
Sewing (at the kitchen table): v. 21 red felt red thread satin ribbon Before the party: To save time, I set up the sewing machine with the red thread. I used a lightweight red felt so there were no raw edges to fray and cut a rectangular piece (4 inches x 9 inches) for each girl. During the party: There are many patterns out there, but this is the simplest pattern I could find. I recommend labeling the pouches somehow so they don’t get mixed up.
Wise Speech (in the family room): v. 25-26 Before the party: Write down a few phrases or Bible verses to use in the game. During the party: Here we played the telephone game. (Whisper a message down a line of people and of course it gets changed.) I divided the girls into two groups and gave each group the same message. We talked about gossip and how it can hurt those around us and how life and death is in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
A Treasure (at the kitchen table): v. 10 Assorted red glass beads (I found mine at a discount superstore) Elastic (also from the discount superstore) Before the party: I first knotted the end of the elastic string. (You can’t use a regular knot, but the instructions are on the packaging of the string are simple.) I divided the beads and put the beads and the elastic into small baggies. During the party: I gave each girl a baggie and let her bead her own pattern. When they were finished, we had to tie the ends together with the same instructions as the original knot. I had each girl put on her bracelet so we wouldn’t get confused. We talked about how valuable a real ruby is and how much more valuable a godly woman is.
Snack Time (at the dining room table):Apple Crisp (made during the party)
Cake Ice Cream Carrots, cut apples, or whatever your family prefers Pink lemonade, juice boxes, or whatever your family prefers
Party Favors: Of course each girl takes the potted flower, the pouch they sewed, and the bracelet they made. We included an apple crisp recipe card in the “thank you” notes.
Best of all: It was a great party and the girls seemed to really enjoy themselves. Most importantly, the girls heard God’s Word and what the Bible says about a virtuous woman. I believe that the party planted seeds in the hearts of the girls that will reap a great harvest in the years ahead.