Below are my Elmo birthday party ideas, with lots of creative tips and advice for an Elmo birthday party theme—such as Elmo party invitations, food and drink and Elmo party decorations.
If you want to incorporate other Sesame Street characters into your Elmo birthday party theme, such as Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie and The Count, read my separate Sesame Street birthday party theme ideas.
Elmo party invitations
Below are some suggestions for invitations to kick off the Elmo birthday party ideas:
Elmo Pom Pom Invitations
I came across this Sesame Street pom-pom tutorial (below, from Craft Passion) and I thought they'd make cute 3D Elmo party invitations. I really like the way she has incorporated a key chain holder too.
If you're not into crafts, you could easily make something similar for your Elmo birthday party ideas by purchasing pom-poms and following the tutorial to add the eyes and mouth.
To turn these pom poms into invitations, write your party details onto a small tag (See examples in Using Tags on the Create Invitations page) and attach to the pom-pom keyring to finish your 3D Elmo party invitations. You can hand write the party details onto a decorative shipping tag, or alternatively you can have these printed quite cheaply incorporating your own photograph - see printed mini cards in the Photo Invitations section below.
These printed mini cards (below) are a really cheap way of making your own personalized photo invitations (just $19.95 / £12 for 100 cards).
You just upload your own image to print on one side (for example, the birthday boy / girl dressed as Elmo) then print your choice of text on the back. You can then mount these printed cards onto a larger piece of red cardstock which you can print the party details on using your home printer (see example above right). Given the cards are quite small, you could attach two or three images per invitation showing your child in different Elmo poses.
See the Costumes section of these Elmo birthday party ideas for more costume like the ones below.
Edible Elmo Invitations
Another unusual 3D invitation you could use with these Elmo birthday party ideas is to send one of these Elmo krispie treats (below left), Elmo chocolate lollipops (below center), or Elmo cookies (below right).All three are available here (USA only).
These come individually wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with ribbon, either on a stick or without. All you need to do is attach a printed or handwritten tag (as mentioned above) with all the party details on and send them out as your invitations.
For more simple Elmo birthday party ideas you could easily make your own invitations, as Elmo's face is fairly easy to cut out of cardstock. You can always embellish it a bit with some googly eyes or a pom-pom nose like the one below left (by Jennifer Stonebarger) or by making them out of felt to add some texture (below right by Mama King at 4 Crazy Kings).
Whichever invitation you choose for your Elmo birthday party ideas, here are some tips for the wording:
Use the heading 'La la la la la la la la...Elmo's World'
Write all the text in the third person, just as Elmo speaks (ex, 'Elmo wants you to reply to...')
Write the invitation from Elmo and Dorothy (his pet goldfish)
Mention that there will be lots of pizza, bananas and crayons (all Elmo's favorites)
To give an extra element to your party theme, tell your guests: 'the party will be brought to you by the letter (insert first letter of child's name) and the number (insert child's age)'. You can then follow through with this in some of the party theme ideas below.
Below are some themed drinks in keeping with the Elmo birthday party ideas:
Then pick up a mold to make goldfish ice cube's (below center and right - USA only) to represent Dorothy (you could add a couple of drops of coloring or orange juice to the ice cubes but test them first to see how much they change the color of the drink as they melt).
Any red juice drink is perfect for your Elmo birthday party ideas because you can call it Elmo Punch.
Then add smaller googly eyes, a nose and mouth cut from cardstock (or drawn on with a Sharpie) to mini plastic bowls so that when they are topped up the red juice it completes Elmo's face.
Elmo loves his bananas, so make up a batch of these Banana-Nutmeg Smoothies (right, from Martha Stewart) to go with these Elmo birthday party ideas.
Here are some of my favourite recipes to give you inspiration for your Elmo birthday party ideas:
Everyone knows Elmo's favourite food is pizza, so check out this recipe from Sprout for how to make Elmo's Funny Face Pizza Pies. This recipes uses a sliced bagel as the pizza base, but you could also swap for a traditional thin pizza dough if you prefer, like these ones (below left, by Renee Waters Photography on Flickr).
Alternatively, for a sweet take on pizza try this kooky Pizza Cake Recipe (below left from Taste of Home), or this Fruit Pizza (below right, by Betty Crocker). I'm sure you could make a fruit pizza of Elmo's face by using strawberries, red grapes, or raspberries for the face, blueberries for the mouth, and half an apricot for the nose. Leaving two circles of the cream cheese frosting uncovered for the eyes with a blueberry or black grape for the pupils to complete his face.
Here's a great recipe that's perfect for Elmo birthday party ideas: Elmo's Red Veggie Alphabet Soup (below left, from the Dr Oz Show). Soup might not sound like an obvious party food but it just comes down to how you present it. I often serve soup in small shot glasses as canapés at my professional events. Try serving it in mini plastic fish bowls with googly eyes and a cardstock nose and mouth so that the red soup makes up Elmo's face when poured into the bowls. To make it more attractive to the kids you can always add a small triangle of grilled cheese sandwich balanced on top (as demonstrated below right by Mandy Heaston for Pillsbury).
Here's a couple of cute Elmo bentos for inspiration. Below left (by Sarah at Bentoroffic) uses raspberry Jell-O powder over a sandwich for the face, small mozzarella balls and olives for the eyes, a dried apricot as the nose and a mouth cut from berry fruit leather. The other (below right by Lovebones on Flickr) is made of a hamburger bun with cream cheese and shredded carrot, egg and olive eyes and mouth and a kumquat nose.
Other snacks based on Elmo's face that you could make are these PB&J Sandwiches (below left by Jill at Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons) which used peanut butter and jelly, half a clementine for the nose and marshmallows and grapes for the eyes and mouth. You can use the Elmo cookie cutter mentioned above to make the shape more defined. Or these cute Babybell cheese Elmos (also by Lovebones on Flickr).
Serve Goldfish Crackers out of fish bowls to resemble Dorothy.
If you're incorporating a specific letter and number into your Elmo birthday party ideas (as per each episode of Sesame Street) you can also use alphabet cookie cutters (right) to shape sandwiches, pizza, cheese slices, fruit slices and jello. Or buy Alphabet Chicken Nuggets.
For other sweet treats decorate cupcakes to look like Elmo's face by either piping the frosting with a star tip and using fondant for the features (like these below left, by Charmaine at Charmaine's Pastry Blog), or use sprinkles for the fur (like these below right from Cutest Food)
Here's a great video tutorial (below by yoyomax12 on YouTube) for how to make simple Elmo cupcakes by dipping them into shredded coconut tinted with some red food coloring. The video also shows you how to decorate Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Oscar cupcakes.
If you prefer to simply decorate some cupcakes you can use these Elmo cupcake picks (below left), cupcake rings (below center), or edible icing decorations (below right) to enhance these Elmo birthday party ideas - all of which you can get here.
Alternatively try making these Elmo Cake Pops (below left from Bakerella)
Cake pops can be a bit of a hassle to make. You have to bake the cake, crumble it, then mix frosting into the crumbs, roll into balls, then freeze a little to harden...and all thats before you start to decorate them. For a quicker option, use one of these Cake Pop Makers (below left) to make simple cake balls in approx 5 mins, then just cover in frosting. It's great value at around $18 / £20. Alternatively, pick up one of these Cake Pop Baking Pans (below right).
Or try these super cute Elmo Macaroons (below right by Highlander and Islander at Hi Cookery).
If you're not one for baking, you can also buy these Elmo krispie treats (below left), Elmo chocolate lollipops (below center), or Elmo cookies (below right). See the Edible Elmo Invitations above for where to buy (USA only).
Elmo also love his crayons, so include these in your Elmo birthday party ideas by making these Edible Crayons (below left, by Jenn at Parties by Hardie). She even provides a free download for the crayon labels. Or for something more healthy you could make Elmo Fruit Faces like these (below right, by Smita at Little Food Junction). Although to make them entirely out of fruit (rather than with vegetables) I'd suggest using some apricot for the nose, apple or pear for the eyes, and black grapes for the mouth and pupils.
This Elmo cake pan (below) is a really easy way to turn out an impressive looking birthday cake. For extra presentation, serve it on a tray with lots of crayons scattered around it.
Below are some styling and decoration tips to go with these Elmo birthday party ideas.
Buffet / Dessert Table
I love this picture (below from the Sesame Street website). There's just something about the green grass and daisies against a sunny sky background with clouds, butterflies and a rainbow that just sums up the innocence of Elmo.
So if budget permits take this as inspiration for your buffet / dessert table display and create something similar to this one below.
Pick up a sky scene setter (below left) with cloud sticker add-ons (below center) to act as a backdrop and spell out Elmo's name in cotton wool as in the picture (or cut out of polystyrene and melt the edges with a lighter for a softer finish if you're more handy at crafts). Then add a a few 3D butterfly stickers (below right) to the sky backdrop.
Finish the scene with an Elmo plush toy (below left) raised up on a box / cake stand, an Elmo pinata (which you can use after they've eaten) or an Airwalker balloon (below right) as a centerpiece, along with a toy goldfish in a bowl.
Then use a mixture of square and rectangular clear plates and bowls to present food on (clear plates will allow the 'grass' to show through). I recommend these disposable Premium Plastic Plates (below), they're great value and look so much nicer than regular paper party plates.
If the budget for your Elmo birthday party ideas doesn't allow for this much dressing you can create a cheaper dessert / buffet table display similar to this one below:
Another alternative that works with these Elmo birthday party ideas is to dress the food table with brightly colored objects and toysbeginning with your chosen letter (ex, if your child's name begins with D use rubber ducks, daisies, dolphins, etc). You could also group things according to your chosen number (ex, if your child is turning 3, have 3 rubber ducks, 3 daisies, 3 dolphins).
To make the connection, hang a banner above the table that says 'Brought to you by the letter R and the number 3'. You could make this yourself or buy one of these personalized Elmo birthday banners (below).
Similarly you could use cut-outs of letters and numbers on the wall as a backdrop (make or cover each one using a different texture ex, grass, foam, balloons, etc). Or for 3D effect you can buy some of these cheap 8" paper mache letters (below -USA only) and cover them in things like glitter, feathers, sequins, polka dot stickers etc. Then arrange them over a wall or create a curtain by suspending them on vertical strips of string / ribbon from floor to ceiling.
If you're not including the 'Brought to you by the letter...' theme above in your Elmo birthday party ideas, you can still include some Sesame Street style letters by making labels for each dish that reads 'C is for Cookie', 'P is for Pizza' etc. Just don't use labels like this if you're dressing the table with objects that all start with a particular letter otherwise you'll just confuse things.
If you prefer to pick and choose some branded items to mix with some solid colors, I'd recomend you stick to a palate of red and white with a few touches of a third color as an accent. An all-red table is just too heavy. So perhaps use a red tablecover with a white runner down the center to break it up, or a wider red runner with a white undercloth. Then use one of these Elmo paper plates to add a touch of blue (below left) or green (below right) as your accent color.
If budget permits, use some long pile red faux fur as the tablecloth to give a soft Elmo-like feel. If your budget won't stretch to covering the whole table, just use a red tablecover then create a runner down the center out of fur.
Red Gerberas (right) are the perfect flowers to use for kid's Elmo party as they have a simple daisy-like appearance. So pick up a couple to arrange in small Mason jars on the table. You could also surround the Mason jars with crayons standing upright and tied in place with ribbon.
For a centerpiece, use this Elmo foil balloon (below left) along with a toy goldish in a bowl (or see the food ideas section above for how to make a Jello goldfish bowl). Alternatively you can pick up this 9" x 9" ready made Elmo centerpiece (below right, USA only).
Make these Elmo toilet roll crafts using this free download (below left, by DLTK Kids) and put one at each place setting.
I always like to have some decorations overhead too, to fill the empty space above the table, so use a cluster of red paper lanterns (below left, from Martha Strewart) and add Elmo's eyes and face using cardstock. (You can also pick up cheap battery LED bulbs to make the lanterns glow without having to worry about power cords). Alternatively, for a more feminine look use tissue pom-poms (below right, Martha Stewart) .
If you're incorporating the 'Brought to you by the letter...' idea into your party theme, scatter some foam letters and numbers (below, USA only) around the table. Alternatively use this Sesame Street confetti, which features Elmo.
I always think it's a good idea to start your decorations outside, so that the guests will start to get excited as they arrive. This could just be simple things like chalking the pavement with Elmo faces, bunches of red balloons along the driveway, a personalized yard sign (below left, USA only), or a banner over the door.
This Elmo banner (below) can be personalized with a photo and your own message.
Alternatively, you could print a life-size cut out (below left) of your child dressed in an Elmo costume to put at the end of your drive or outside the front door. These can be combined with a motion-activated voice recorder (below right, USA only) for less than $10, on which you can record a 10 second welcome message which plays as your guests walk past.
This cute balloon wreath (by How Does She?) would look perfect on the door to greet people. You could make it using just red balloons to tie in with the Elmo party decorations, and then position an Elmo face balloon (see two bullet points below) in the center.
Alternatively, pick up an Elmo Airwalker balloon (below) and tie this to the front door to greet people as they arrive.
There are also these cute Sesame Street paper lantern garlands (below left, USA only) which feature Elmo, or if its a 1st Birthday party you can use these swirl decorations (below right, USA only).
A great way to decorate for an Elmo party theme is to re-create the scribbly crayon drawn room interior from Elmo's World (photo below by Scott Hanson on Muppet Wikia). (I've created a similar hand-drawn interior for one of my professional parties, The D&AD "Yellow Pencil" Awards. Check out the photos to see how effective this can look).
To make the crayon room, first cover your walls with plain paper (you could look for clearance rolls of wallpaper and use the reverse side to give a plain finish, or use rolls of butcher's paper). Fix the paper in place using a removable adhesive tape (a good trick is to apply strips of masking tape to your walls (this is a low-adhesive tape that you can peel back up without leaving a mark) then apply double-sided tape on top of the masking tape, and stick your paper to the double-sided tape. This way, the double-sided never actually touches your walls, only the low-tack masking tape does.
Once you've create a blank canvas with plain paper, draw all the features of the room on with crayons, such as doors, pictures, windows, decorative boarders.
Scatter some inflatable crayons (below, USA only) around to complete the look, or hang them down from the ceiling.
As the style of Elmo's room is just crayon scribbles, you could also make a simple home-made banner like this one (below).
Finally, add some atmosphere to the party by playing the Sesame Street CD (below, USA only). It includes all the well known songs such as the main theme, C is for Cookie, Elmo's Song, and Rubber Ducky.
If you want to let the guest of honor dress up as part of these Elmo birthday party ideas there are plenty of costumes available to suit all ages. If a parent or relative is feeling brave maybe they could dress up in an adult Elmo costume and act as an entertainer.
Elmo Party Favors
For party favors to compliment these Elmo birthday party ideas, you can buy pre-filled Elmo themed favor boxes such as these (below left, USA only) or if you prefer to fill your own use these Elmo Treat Bags
(below right, USA only).
Elmo Party Games
Below are some Elmo theme party games and activities to go with the Elmo birthday party ideas:
There are lots of Elmo coloring-in pictures on the Sesame Street website that you can print off and hand out with some crayons to keep the kids busy while everyone arrives.
Guess How Many
Fill a fish bowl with Goldfish Crackers and see who can guess how many there are.
This draw-string pinata (below, USA only) is ideal if you're looking for Elmo birthday party ideas for younger kids as they can take turns pulling on a string.
As Elmo's favorite food is pizza, have them decorate their own pizzas. Pre-make the bases so the kid's can just have fun with the toppings.
Split the kids into two teams and have them play a relay race to carry cups of water from point A to point B in order to fill up Dorothy's fish bowl. Make them run each stage of the relay race with some sort of handicap (ex, a leaking cup, wearing clown shoes, hands tied behind their backs carrying the plastic cup with their teeth, a three legged race, etc). The winning team is whoever managed to fill up Dorothy's bowl first.
Dorothy's Lucky Dip
Fill a paddling pool with water and scatter little piles of toys and treats in the bottom. Then scatter plastic goldfish (below, USA only) on top of all the goodies. Give the kids fishing nets have them take turns to see if they can fish out some goodies without catching Dorothy in their nets. Give each child 20 seconds to see what they can catch, but if they scoop up Dorothy they have to forfeit their goodies.
Another variation of this is to fill a paddling pool with plastic goldfish and write a number on the bottom on each one. The kids fish one out, like a traditional lucky dip, and the number on the bottom of their goldfish corresponds to either a prize or a forfeit.
Hunt for Dorothy
This is just a simple treasure hunt adapted to fit in with the Elmo birthday party ideas. Use the same plastic goldfish from the game above (they come in a pack of 144) and hide them around the party and see who can find the most.
Assemble a tray of items each beginning with the same letter (ex, if your child's name starts with a D then choose objects that also start with D). Show them the tray of objects before taking it away and removing one item. See if they can spot which one is missing.
Pick a letter and see how many things they can see in the room that begins with that letter. Give prizes to whoever can list the most.
Pin elmo's nose On
This is a really cute variation of Pin the Tail On (below, USA only) , but you have to place Elmo's nose on.
Pick up an Elmo puppet (or make a simple sock puppet) and have an adult voice Elmo hidden behind a table. Then play Simon Says, but of course make it Elmo Says to fit in with these Elmo birthday party ideas.
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Matt James is a professional party planner and owner of event agency DNA Productions, which has produced events for Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Spacey, Stella McCartney, David LaChapelle, John Waters, and Elvis Costello & Diana Krall. Since 2004, DNA has won 24 industry awards for excellence including Production Company of the Year.