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The two things my kids love most in life are pancakes and pajamas. I mean who doesn’t enjoy waking up to the smell of freshly made buttermilk pancakes. Then, padding down the stairs in fleece pajama bottoms to enjoy them drenched in maple syrup with maybe a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Sounds like the perfect life to me.
So to celebrate my little’s second birthday, he chose pancakes and pajamas as the theme. This way he could combine his two favorite things in life – pancakes and pajamas.
For the party, we invited guests to wear their favorite pajamas. We rented a space at our local community center where the kids played in bounce houses, jumped in the ball pit and enjoyed running around the open play space. Once all of their energy was out, we served them favorite breakfast treats. It was so much fun!
Make Classic Brunch Foods Bite Sized
When planning the food this pancakes and pajamas party, the first thing I thought about were breakfast dishes to serve. Cereal, pancakes, donuts and quiche all came to mind.
Since I adore hosting parties featuring mini desserts that don’t require forks, I decided to make the breakfast food bite sized too. I served mini quiche, cereal cups and donut holes. Smaller food was easier for little hands and guests could enjoy a larger variety without getting full.
Donuts versus Cake
Everyone loves cake at a birthday party. At least most people. But since the party theme was pancakes and pajamas, I decided to set up a pancake bar instead.
Serving my little a stack of pancakes with candles on top just didn’t do it for me. It didn’t seem special enough.
So instead of cake, I went with the next best thing – donuts. I presented a selection of frosted donuts from our favorite donut shop on the cake stand for guests to enjoy.
Then, when we sang “Happy Birthday”, my little blew out his candles on top of a frosted mini M&M covered donut. And boy was it good!
Keeping It Healthy
As I’ve said in the past, it’s always a good idea to mix some healthy birthday treats in with the less healthy ones. Parents especially love when they have fruit, vegetables or other heatlhy snacks to choose from.
The healthy snacks at our pancakes and pajamas party were yogurt parfaits, fruit cups and banana chocolate chip muffins. To make the yogurt parfaits, I layered vanilla yogurt and strawberries. Then, I styled them in mason jars for easy serving. If you are celebrating outside on a warmer day, put the yogurt cups in an ice bucket to keep them cold. You can also attach a spoon for easy eating.
I am not a huge fan of the pre-made fruit cups that you can buy at the store. The fruit always seems mushy and I don’t like the sugary syrup it sits in.
So, instead, I made my own toddler friendly fruit cups. I diced up strawberries, grapes and blueberries. Grapes can be a choking hazard for littles, so it’s always a good idea to cut them up before serving at a party. Then, I styled them in these adorable striped paper cups. Oh, and cake stands aren’t just for cakes. They are also a great way to give your food some height when styling a table.
What goes best with pancakes and donuts? That’s right. Milk. Since not every kid loves plain white milk, I served both plain and chocolate milk. You could also use the strawberry syrup and make strawberry milk.
For this milk bar, I served the milk in individual plastic milk bottles (affiliate). Another idea is to have large glass milk bottles to serve the milk in. You can keep them on ice in an ice bucket so they don’t get too warm.
The Pancake Bar
A pancakes and pajamas party wouldn’t be complete with a pancake bar. I set up this pancake bar and my mom helped make the pancakes to order.
Then, guests decorated them with an assortment of toppings, syrups and sprinkles. They were delicious and the hit of the party. Check out more details to set up your own pancake bar here.
It’s no secret. I love using paper mache letters and numbers to decorate an event. Whether kids decorate them at a craft station or you style them as a party decoration, they are easy and fun.
For this pancakes and pajamas party, I decorated the paper mache letters with cereal to stick in the breakfast theme. I used rainbow Fruity Pebbles and honeycomb shaped cereals to decorate the front of the letters. Luckily, guests didn’t nibble to this delicious looking decoration.
Don’t Forget the Coffee
Most of the birthday parties I hosted for my littles before elementary school included the parents. Most aren’t comfortable leaving their kids’ so young and it’s nice to get to know them better.
If you plan to have the parents in attendance, though, be sure to serve food and drinks for them too. At a pancakes and pajamas party, this means having coffee. We set up a coffee station with coffee urns (affiliate). I also made sure there were hot/cold cups (affiliate), milk, sugar and stirrers. This was one of the first places many parents headed when they arrived.
Balloons, when used well, can add height to any dessert table design. But, you need to weight them down in a tasteful way.
Have you ever seen balloon weights at a party store? Some are better than others, but most tend to be shiny, glittery and don’t match your party theme very well.
To conceal the balloon weights, I placed them in mason jars painted in stripes to match the party colors. These were the perfect containers to match the party and make the balloons look seamless – without a lot of shine.
For painting the jars, I used chalk paint to give the jars a more rustic feel. But any basic paint will stick to glass (as seen with these cow print mason jars). To get a more distressed effect, you can use sand paper along the edges.
Every birthday boy or girl needs a special birthday outfit. These adorable pancake pajamas (affiliate) were one of my favorite finds for the celebration. They are from Kugga Kids and feature a “2” candle on top of a stack of pancakes.
The best part is that he didn’t just wear them for his celebration. These pajamas became one of his favorites after party too.
Get Creative with Paper
One of the things I love the most about using printables to celebrate is getting creative with them. Just because a design is called a straw flag doesn’t mean that it has to be attached to straws.
When styling a party, I look for ways to use paper designs in creative ways. For this celebration, I attached straw flags to the tops of 6 inch white lollipop sticks and stuck in the donut holes. This gave them some height on the platter.
The cupcake toppers were placed in the muffins to customize them.
I made a party banner that said “Happy Birthday” and hung it in front of the dessert table. But I still wanted a banner for the pancake bar table. So, I used the graphic pieces only – pancake stacks and utensils – and created a second bunting for this space.
When decorating your party, get creative with the printables you’re using. Decorate with them in unexpected ways and your guests will be amazed.
Set the Table
After all of the bouncing and running around, guests returned to enjoy breakfast. I set the table to keep the littles entertained and make them feel like they were eating pancakes at a classic Jersey diner.
Noise makers are always fun at a party. But the paper ones usually just end up in the trash. Instead, give the kids kazoos. They can make some noise and then take them home to make some more.
The place mats were designed to keep the kids entertained after they ate – just like a real diner. They were customized with the child’s own “House of Pancakes”. I added some classic pen and pencil games for the kids to enjoy. Each child received a little cello bag of crayons to make playing easier. And everyone loves tic tac toe.
For part of the favor, there were delicious pancake cookies (affiliate) They almost look like the real thing with that adorable butter patted melting on top. The cookies were a fun way to send the joys of pancakes home.
I also gave each child the book Curious George Makes Pancakes (affiliate) As a former teacher and advocate against plastic party favors, I love giving books as birthday party favors. It’s something the little guests can enjoy over and over again.
Fruit Cereal Necklaces
One other activity at the table setting was a fruit cereal necklace kit. After eating, guests enjoyed making fruit cereal necklaces to wear home. Although, not many made it that far.
To make a fruit cereal necklace kit, cut a piece of baker’s twine or string about 2 feet long. Then, add a serving of fruit rounds cereal. Place in a snack sized baggie and add our Fruit Cereal Necklace treat bag topper on top. You can even use these fruit cereal necklace kits as party favors.
A pancakes and pajamas party is a fun birthday idea for all age groups. Toddlers and preschoolers love wearing pajamas and enjoying pancakes together.
If you have an older child, you can host a pancakes and pajamas party as a sleepover event. Set up a pancake bar in the morning and welcome guests to enjoy an assortment of breakfast treats.
Need printables for your pancakes and pajamas party? Check out these fun pancakes and pajamas birthday printables in our shop here.