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.
quick links: elmo Party Supplies
Elmo party invitations
Below are some suggestions for invitations to kick off the Elmo birthday party ideas:
Edible Elmo Invitations
A cute 3D invitation you could use with these Elmo birthday party ideas is to send an Elmo cookie. These come individually wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with ribbon, either on a stick or without. Get them here (supplier 4).
All you need to do is attach a printed or handwritten tag with all the party details on and send them out as your invitations. See here (supplier 4, search Elmo VIP) for the printed tag style invitation shown below right which can be personalized with your party details.
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.
You can pick up the pom pom maker, eyes and yarn here. 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.
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.
Then pick up a mold to make goldfish ice cube's (supplier 3) to represent Dorothy (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).
Elmo's Face Punch
Any red juice drink is perfect for your Elmo birthday party ideas because you can call it Elmo Punch.
Fill these mini plastic goldfish bowls (supplier 2) with red juice, then add small googly eyes, a nose, and a mouth cut from cardstock (or drawn on with a Sharpie) so that each goldfish bowl looks like Elmo's face.
Banana smoothie / Milkshake
Elmo loves his bananas, so make up a batch of these Banana-Nutmeg Smoothies (right, from Martha Stewart) or just buy some banana milkshakes and pour them into these Elmo party cups (supplier 4).
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).
You can also get these organic crackers shaped like Elmo and Big Bird (below left) which you could serve with cubes of cheese, or these 'Letter of the Day' vanilla cookies (below right). Both available here.
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 (supplier 3) 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.
Alternatively, for a quick fix you can just buy these fondant Elmo cupcake toppers (below left). You can even get these cute fondant goldfish ones to represent Dorothy. Both available from supplier 4 here.
If you prefer to simply decorate some cupcakes you can use these Elmo cupcake rings or these personaized cupcake toppers both of which you can get here (supplier 4).
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 (supplier 3) 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 (supplier 3).
Or try these super cute Elmo Macaroons (below right by Highlander and Islander at Hi Cookery).
Use an Elmo cake pan to make this Jigglin' Elmo Jell-O (below left from Wiltons), or make this Fish Bowl Gelatin recipe (below right, from Martha Strewart) but serve in individual goldfish bowls (supplier 2) with just a single gummy fish to represent Dorothy. Tip: Add a layer of chopped fruit salad at the bottom of the Jell-O to look like gravel.
If you're not one for baking, you can also buy these Elmo cookies or Elmo chocolate lollipops from supplier 4 here.
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. Alternatively, you can buy something similar (below right) from supplier 4 here.
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 (supplier 1 or 3) 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.
Alteratively, use this personalized Elmo cake topper with the birthday boy or girl's name.
Food and Drink Styling
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 with cloud sticker add-ons 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 few 3D butterfly stickers to the sky backdrop. All materials mentioned available from supplier 1 and 2 here.
Then cover a green tablecloth with tissue grass mats and sprinkle a few plastic daisies around to break up all the green. You could also use some of these ladybug food picks to add a splash of color to the grass if you want. All materials available from suppliers 1 and 2 here.
Alternatively, you could use this 'summer horizon' backdrop paper (supplier 2). It comes as a 50ft long roll, the printed scene is 4ft high, and it's only $20.
Finish the scene with this giant Airwalker balloon (supplier 1 or 3) as a centerpiece, along with a toy goldfish in a bowl.
Alternatively, you could have a personalized Sesame Street sign made and hang this over the dessert table, or use this freestanding Sesame Street personalized lamp post. Both from supplier 4 here.
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 (supplier 1), 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:
Create a 'wall' of red balloons to act as a backdrop by fixing them to vertical strips of this adhesive balloon decorating tape (below left). Then hang a big Elmo face balloon in the center. Use a white tablecover with a red tablerunner (you can just buy a disposable red paper tablecloth and cut this down to size to act as a runner). All materials available from supplier 2 here.
If your budget allows, you can get a more professional finishing by investing in one of these freestanding backdrop boards for $49 and attaching the balloons to it. The great thing about these backdrop boards is that you can use them every year to create a different dessert table or photo booth backdrop.
Another way to use the backdrop board would be to add red tissue pom poms (supplier 2) to it. This would be particularly good for an Elmo birthday party because it would give a fuzzy texture just like Elmo. You could even makes some eyes, a nose, and a mouth using cardstock to create a giant Elmo face in the center of the backdrop.
Another way to create a cheap display is to use streamers as the backdrop, like in this example:
Twist and hang a mixture of red, white, and orange crepe paper streamers in tight vertical lines from floor to ceiling (below left from aestheticoutburst. blogspot.com) or use a mixture of red, white, and orange tissue paper garlands hung vertically (see below right from Martha Stewart Weddings for inspiration) to create a backdrop. Use an orange tablecloth with a red runner (or some red faux-fur if budget permits) and premium plastic white or clear serving trays. Tissue Garlands and Streamers available here (supplier 2).
Alternatively, you could hang these paper circle garlands (supplier 3). Although I would suggest hanging them vertically, rather than arranging them in horizontal swags as shown in the picture below.
Brought to you by the letter...
Another alternative that works with these Elmo birthday party ideas is to dress the food table with brightly colored objects and toys (see suppliers 5 & 6 for cheap novelties) beginning 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).
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 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, such as orange or yellow, 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. You can see how red, white, and yellow works well together with these Elmo party cutlery sets (supplier 4).
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 or white 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 a cheap Elmo plush toy (which can double as a birthday gift) or this Elmo foil balloon along with a toy goldish in a bowl (or see the food ideas section above for how to make a Jello goldfish bowl). Both available from supplier 3).
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 (supplier 2) 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 (supplier 2) .
Alternatively, just buy the faces as printables (supplier 4) and apply them to tissue pom poms or lanterns yourself.
Tie an Elmo face balloon to the back of each chair. Alternatively, hang one of these plastic Elmo hats (both supplier 3) on each chair.
If you're incorporating the 'Brought to you by the letter...' idea into your party theme, scatter some foam letters and numbers (supplier 3) around the table. Alternatively use this Sesame Street confetti, (supplier 1) which features Elmo.
elmo Party Decorations
To see a full range of Elmo party decorations and supplies use the quick links below. These suppliers have the best range and between them they have something for all budgets.
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 or bunches of red balloons along the driveway. You can turn red balloons into Elmo faces with this printable (supplier 4).
Alternatively, use a personalized yard sign (supplier 4) or one of the Elmo banners mentioned previously over the door.
Alternatively, you could print a life-size cut out (supplier 2) of your child dressed in an Elmo costume (supplier 1) to put at the end of your drive or outside the front door. These can be combined with a motion-activated voice recorder (supplier 2) for less than $10, on which you can record a 10 second welcome message that plays as your guests walk past. You can actually record Elmo saying 'Hi, Happy to See You' by playing this free soundboard clip into the voice recorder.
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 in the center.
Alternatively, pick up an Elmo Airwalker balloon (supplier 1 or 3) and tie this to the front door to greet people as they arrive.
Inside, you can use these Elmo banners to decorate the walls or have one personalized with the birthday boy or girl's name. Both Supplier 4).
There are also these cute Sesame Street paper lantern garlands which feature Elmo, or if its a 1st Birthday party you can use these swirl decorations (both supplier 1).
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 (supplier 3) 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 (supplier 3). It includes all the well known songs such as the main theme, C is for Cookie, Elmo's Song, and Rubber Ducky.
Finsih off your decorations with a personalized photo booth frame (below left) and these Sesame Street photo booth props (below right). Both supplier 4.
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 (supplier 1). If a parent or relative is feeling brave maybe they could dress up in an adult Elmo costume and act as an entertainer.
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 (supplier 5 or 3) 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 (supplier 1 or 3) , 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.
Put me in the Story creates personalized children's books that makes your child the star of the story alongside their favorite Sesame Street characters. These make a great gift for the birthday boy or girl but can also be used to wind down the party with a group story time session at the end.
Thank You Notes
Follow up after the party with Elmo thank you notes. It's always nicer when these are hand-written so just use inexpensive printable ones (below left, supplier 4) or regular fill-in style ones (below right, supplier 1 or 3).
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Matt James is a professional event planner and owner of event agency Left Field 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, Left Field Productions has won 30 industry awards for excellence including Production Company of the Year.