Elmo Birthday Party Theme

And We Love Elmo!

I mean, let's face it, if you have children, you have no choice but to love Elmo! Having two young daughters myself, Elmo is a regular character in our daily lives. Whether the girls are playing with their Elmo toys, watching an Elmo video, or listening to an Elmo CD, my wife and I cannot escape him!

And to tell you the truth, it's not such a bad thing. He really is just so fun and loving, and the messages of sharing and caring he teaches children are definitely positive lessons. The joy I see on my daughters faces whenever they lay their eyes on Elmo's bright red face brings joy to me, and therefore, you've just gotta love this little guy!

So, when birthdays come around, and your little one wants an Elmo themed party, you can't help but give in! In this Hub, I'll share with you a little bit about how the character of Elmo came to be, and of course, how he managed to win the love and affection of children and adults alike. Then we'll delve into how to decorate for a perfect Elmo themed party, from decorations, to food, to entertainment, and then we'll wrap it all up with some helpful resources to make your party planning a little easier!

How Elmo Came To Be...

Believe it or not, the puppet of Elmo has been around the set of Sesame Street since the early 1970's. For years, however, the puppet just couldn't find its character. Many cast members would pick the puppet up and play around with it, trying out different voices and different personalities, but none of them seemed right, so the puppet continued to just "hang around" the studio.

In the mid 1980's, a puppeteer for Sesame Street named Kevin Clash picked-up the Elmo puppet and breathed life into him. By using a high falsetto voice and having Elmo refer to himself in the 3rd person ("Emlo likes cookies" rather than "I like cookies"), a personality was born. From that point on, the character became a regular on Sesame Street, as the writers developed his personality more and more and he received more and more time in the spotlight.

By the mid 1990's, Elmo was a huge success with children and even teenagers. Everyone loved his bubbly spirit and his childlike manner--after all, he is supposedly just 3 1/2 years old. Elmo became a phenomenon and started touring the talk show circuits, including the Rosie O'Donell Show, Martha Stewart Living, The View, and even the Emmy Awards!

Elmo-mania Begins...

Of course, Sesame Street realized the HUGE opportunity in sales that Elmo was presenting and wasted no time in marketing Elmo in every way possible! All different kinds of toys, videos and DVDs, CDs, books, apparel, lunch boxes, backpacks--anything you can think of to put Elmo's face on--flooded the stores and was snatched-up quicker than the manufacturer's could produce the products!

The Tickle Me Elmo doll, which was introduced in 1996, helped lead to what is now referred to as "Elmo-mania". During the holiday season that year, there were numerous reports of parents getting into altercations with each other over the limited supply of the doll being available. It is reported that one of the dolls, normally priced at right around $30.00, was purchased through an ad placed in a newspaper for over $1,500!!!

Elmo-mania Ends...

Thankfully, the "Elmo-mania" has calmed down since then and no one is getting into brawls anymore over this furry little guy. His popularity has not ceased though, and he has continues to be a favorite among children.

Interestingly enough, a documentary all about Elmo, his creator, and how Elmo came to be titled Being Elmo , premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in late January 2011. For more information on the documentary, click here.

I'm sure many parents felt like this during the "Elmo-mania" craze of 1996!
I'm sure many parents felt like this during the "Elmo-mania" craze of 1996!

Elmo and Kevin Clash: The True Hollywood Story!

So Why Is Elmo Loved So Much?

Why do kids love Elmo so much? It's pretty simple: Bright, primary colors, big eyes, a high voice, and child-like actions that kids can relate to. All of these attributes are appealing to a child. Jim Henson definitely knew how to get a child's attention when it came to visual stimulation. Kevin Clash, the man responsible for the voice of Elmo, knows how to capture a child's audio attention. And the writers for Elmo know how to write a relate-able character that the kids will love. All three combined have led to a puppet that just won't quit!

Now, in addition to the natural attraction small children will have towards a character with these attributes, we need to also keep in mind that children tend to like what they're told to like. If they are exposed to mass media drenched in Elmo, and they are made aware that Elmo is "the" toy to have, their little brains can't help but pine after this puppet. If all their other little friends have Elmo toys, then of course they want Elmo toys too!

So, the reason why Elmo is loved so much has just as much to do with the character himself as it has to do with supply and demand. The fact that the puppet is so lovable, is visually and audibly stimulating, and has such a good personality has definitely helped keep it popular in the market, but you have to wonder if it's the market making Elmo popular or if it's Elmo himself...

Either way, the fact is, kids love him and Elmo has been one of the biggest themes for birthday parties for over 15 years now. Let's delve into how you can throw an amazing Elmo party for your little one!

How To Decorate:

First things first, be sure to send out your invitations at least 3 weeks in advance! Kids are busy these days and need to check their planners to make sure they're free! Chances are very good though, that once they find out there's an Elmo party in the works, they'll make time for it!

Sesame Street (and Elmo in particular) is all about primary colors. These colors are very appealing for little kids and are very easy to find. Any party supply store, or stores such as Walmart, Kmart, or Target, will have plenty of bright, primary color decorations for you to decorate with. Use streamers, balloons, confetti, and table cloths to cover your party area.

In addition, you can purchase Elmo themed party supply kits which will include plates, cups, napkins, Mylar balloons, utensils, party hats, stickers, ribbons, and additional streamers, table cloths, and even invitations. Here is "the mother" of all party supply kits: Elmo Ultimate Box.

If you decide to throw a costume party, it would be so much fun for the kids! They can dress-up as Elmo or as their favorite character from Sesame Street. Check out some cool ideas at Elmocostume.net.

What Activities Might The Kids Like?

  • Kids love to color and show off their "mad skillz", so have a coloring competition! Provide plenty of Sesame Street coloring books for the kids to choose from, along with markers and crayons, and let their imaginations go! Award each child with a prize (most original, neatest, best colors, etc.) so that each child feels important!
  • Pin the Nose on Elmo is a fun adaptation of the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Kids always get a kick out of seeing where the "pinned" item ends up!
  • Classics like Simon Says, Musical Chairs, or Freeze can be easily adapted to an Elmo theme. Be sure to play an Elmo CD in the background (check out some ideas on the right from Amazon.)
  • Have an Elmo Toy Hunt! Chances are very good that you have tons of Elmo toys around the house (if you're home is anything like mine!), so hide those toys and have the children hunt for them! Whoever ends up with the most wins a prize, which can be any new Elmo toy!
  • If you have nice weather, you can have an Elmo Pinata outside. Maybe do this activity last so that all the little ones get tuckered out just in time to go home!

And What To Feed The Littles Ones:

When dealing with small children, I think finger foods are always the best. I also like to keep it at least somewhat healthy! Cut up fruits and vegetables with dipping sauces like caramel for the fruit and ranch dip for the veggies is usually always a hit.

Other snacks like pretzels, crackers, or chips will also fill their tummies. And for the main course, I like to serve little finger sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs, or sometimes chicken nuggets/chicken fingers.

To drink, a nice fruit punch will do the trick. I would also have milk and water available, as some parents prefer their children stay away from sugary punches. My thinking is, it's a party, let loose a bit, but that may just be me!

For desert, you just HAVE to have an Elmo cake! And along with the cake, cupcakes decorated as other Sesame Street characters is a must! Here are a few helpful links:

You Can't Go Wrong...

...With an Elmo themed party!  Have fun and enjoy yourself!

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Leave Us a Comment! 1 comment

Dotty 21 months ago

And I was just woindreng about that too!

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