Rainbow Theme Birthday Party {Joint Boy-Girl Party}

By Lauren Barth |

Preschool girl and toddler boy have birthdays that are only two weeks apart. It is a no-brainer that we are going to have joint birthday parties for as long as they will let us. Choosing this year’s theme was easy; I’ve had rainbows on the brain since spring, so that was the easy part. Here’s how I made the rainbow theme come to life.

A Rainbow Cake

Following inspiration for an ombre cake from Glorious Treats and a rainbow cake from Bakingdom, I combined the two ideas and made a very colorful cake. As each child arrived, they stopped in their tracks to admire the huge, colorful centerpiece and started asking, “When can we have cake?” right away.

Because many moms and kids are sensitive to highly colored food products, I also made plain vanilla cupcakes topped with rainbow sprinkles and colorful toys.

Rainbow Decorations

We hosted our party at a local outdoor park popular for the birthday crowd. I knew we would be under a pavilion and decorating would be a challenge, but wanted to make sure guests could find the right location. Solution? I made huge paper flowers to adorn the four posts of the pavilion and a rainbow wall of ribbons to hang on either side. I must apologize, but I forgot to take a picture of the rainbow wall during the party and only have a picture of the first half during construction.

Our party did have a sad note. We are a military family and just days after this celebration, movers came to pack us for a relocation. Because I want my children to remember all the people from various places that are special to us, I made their “Happy Birthday” garland out of photos of local friends holding the individual letters for the sign. For example, our librarians who have been conducting story time with my children for four years are holding the letters “H” and “Y.” The kids’ swim coach is holding the letter “T”, etc. For instructions to make your own rainbow garland, please view a post I created earlier.

Goodie Bags

Goodie bags were easy… give each child the ability to make their own rainbow and so much more! Each goodie bag contained a box of crayons, a box of colored pencils and a small bag of Skittles. Because our party was held during back-to-school time, I was able to get the school supplies at a bargain price.

The Challenges?

How do you make a rainbow theme masculine enough for a boy?

To make the rainbow theme relevant for toddler boy, I purchased race cars in a rainbow of colors to top white cupcakes, found a rainbow “transportation” tie on Etsy for him to sport at the party, and gave him the book “Freight Train” by Donald Crews to support the theme and his new-found interest in trains. Needless to say, my boy knows his colors now!

How to incorporate preschool girl’s love of fairies and toddler boy’s love of cars into the theme?

I knew that I wanted to include the things my children love in their party, not just go full steam ahead with a theme of my choosing. So, to include fairies and cars, I found small figurines and toys in a rainbow of colors and placed them atop white cupcakes. Voila’. My children and all the guests were thrilled with the cupcakes!

How to include healthy food at a birthday party?

This one was so very easy for a rainbow theme. There is a tremendous emphasis on “eating the rainbow” every day, and I was already well familiar with Ellie Krieger’s rainbow fruit skewers with chocolate-dipped strawberries, so including them in the birthday buffet was easy.

  1. 1.

    What an awesome party, Shannon! I love everything you did. The cake is amazing and the decorations are perfect. The Happy Birthday sign using friends to hold the letters is so, so sweet. Your kids will treasure that forever.

  2. 2.

    What a fun party! That cake is amazing!

  3. 3.

    Such great ideas!

  4. 4.

    WOW! What an amazing birthday party. You are really talented and came up with some really creative ideas!

  5. 5.

    What creative ideas and beautiful photos! We always celebrate my daughter and son’s birthday with one party as well since they are so close together. They’d love some of these ideas!

  6. 6.

    Color me super impressed!!!! I love everything you did-so creative! (And that cake is amazing!)

  7. 7.

    Thanks, everyone!

  8. 8.
    Aubre Rice

    I would love to know what tip you used to decorate the rainbow cake? I’m going to use yours as a model for the one I’m doing. I want to get that big “chunky” look with my frosting too.


    Aubre Rice

    • .

      Aubre, I apologize for the delay in responding. Since the move, my baking drawer is a mess and I was putting off going through it. To the best of my knowledge, I used a #96. Essentially, I grabbed the largest “toothed” tip I had and went to work. Hope this helps?

  9. 9.

    Do you still have the name of the Etsy seller for that tie? I am SO in love, and my little boy is having a transportation-themed 2nd birthday. Alternatively, would you sell it??

  10. 10.

    Love it! What is written on the goodie bag tags? It is difficult to read in the pic.

    • .

      Danie, It says “Remember to: eat the rainbow every day, use color and be creative every day, and notice beautiful colors all around you every day.”

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