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Super Star Party

Lights! Camera! Action! Give your kid the Hollywood treatment

Does your daughter practice her Oscar acceptance speech in front of the mirror? Does your son mug for the camera? Or do they simply love all things Hollywood? If so, a Superstar Party may be just the theme for their next celebration. Here's our soup-to-nuts guide to giving your birthday boy or girl the star treatment.

Invitations

You know those little cards they open at the Academy Awards to announce the lucky winners? Nice cream stationery, a wax seal and those legendary words, "And the winner is ..." Use those elements in the invite. Perhaps suggest that girls dress up in their frilliest frocks and boys wear dapper duds – or just let 'em come as they are and supply feather boas and tiaras for the gals, and top hats and canes for the guys.

Activities

When the guests arrive, have them walk a red carpet (a simple plastic tablecloth in red). Have a party helper (grandma, dad, an older sibling) snap shots of the pseudo-celebs with a digital camera. You can use these photos as a fun project: Print out color copies of each kid's photo. Then, supply the some inexpensive scrapbooks, scrapping embellishments (stars, trophies, sunglasses), colored pens and decorative scissors to create their own autograph books. They can go around the room and collect autographs.

Other Hollywood gala fun options: For older kids, have partygoers watch the birthday girl or boy's favorite award-winning movie – or act out scenes from well-loved flicks. Kids of all ages can play a movie trivia game. Give small prizes to the winners.

Refreshments

Get inspired by the fabled Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where stars literally leave their mark on the world by pressing their hands in the cement blocks that line the theater's courtyard. Buy a jumbo sheet cake that simply says "Happy Birthday" at the top. Leave most of it blank and have each child take a clean hand and press it into the icing. Take pictures before everyone digs in. Alternately, try batches of cupcakes decorated with simple stars and each child's name. It's like an edible piece of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For more substantive food, whip up some kid canapes. The lavish party treats, basically toasted bread with rich toppings, can be given a kid twist. Try this for a keen pizza canape, a Metro Parent original. Serve them with some kiddy cocktails: fruit juice and ginger ale served in clear plastic cups and topped off with a cherry or two.

Favors

Celebrities who attend awards banquets would be shocked if they went home empty-handed. The aforementioned autograph books are one nifty giveaway, but you also can supplement it with star-themed notepaper and pens and a pair of inexpensive sunglasses from a dollar store.

Consider handing out prizes at the end of the party – like a true Hollywood event. Best dressed. Best actor and actress (if the kids performed scenes). Best behaved. Buy little trophies or other prizes and have the kids come up and say a little speech when they collect them.

Wrap up the celebration with a round of applause and the sweet relief that your little superstar is going to have to come down to earth tomorrow.

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