Mya loves all living things… including bugs. I don’t know how it happened with me as her mother, but she has no fear of any insect or arachnid. A couple months ago we were at a nature presentation at Fat Brain Toys and Mya was front and center the whole time. She jumped with excitement to hold the tarantula and grinned from ear to ear while the snake slithered up her arm. At the end of the class, Scott the naturist mentioned that the Leawood Nature Center at Ironwoods Park offered birthday packages and the thought of not having her party at our house seemed pretty magical. I got Mya’s overeager approval and called to book a date. Best. Decision. Ever. Also to make it easier, we just sent the invites via email. The “nature” theme gave me a good reason to incorporate one of my favorite illustrators– Charley Harper.


Having never been to the Leawood Nature Center before the party, I didn’t really know what to expect. When we drove up to Ironwoods Park, I was instantly put at ease. It helped that the weather was b-e-a-utiful that day– the sun was out and it was perfectly still. It calmed my scatterbrained party mom mind and set the tone for a more relaxed and fun few hours.

The nature gals (Amanda and Granny) facilitating the activities were so nice. Mya’s cousins and friends had story time, pet a hedgehog, painted little wooden snakes, had an outdoor scavenger hunt, snarfed down some sweet treats, and pet a snake. My Dad acted as party photographer and I am so grateful. I will let some of my favorite pics tell the story…



For the food, I hit up Pinterest for some nature inspired snacks and treats. Mya’s only food request was for a “bunny cake.” The ears are black pipe cleaners, but I think a cute edible option would’ve been some graham crackers cut out like ears. I liked the s’more pops: marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate with graham cracker dust… all on the end of a pretzel stick. My Mom generously made the cutest veggie owl tray. It was a big hoot. Get it?! Hoot?… #icouldnothelpmyself

Yet, everyone’s food favorite seemed to be the ladybug babybell cheeses with black olives for heads, tooth picks for antennae, and black frosting for dots. So easy and would be so cute in a kid school lunch.


Earlier in the week, Mya and I made a table runner using this paper roll from Ikea. I drew some animals and insects from Charley Harper’s “tree of life” puzzle; and Mya colored them in. Fun tip: sometimes I tape a blank paper table runner by the edge of our kitchen table and Mya colors/ decorates it the entire week. It’s fun to see what she adds to it each day and it’s a super inexpensive huge blank surface.

Welp, that pretty much sums up Mya’s special day. I hope it gives you some ideas for your next picnic or just made you smile. Have a great weekend, friends!




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  • Reply
    Lacy Carpenter
    November 19, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    So much cuteness!!! I love everything you did for her party. If she ever has a Wednesday off at preschool and you have not done it yet, I think she would love story time at Ernie Miller. They usually have some sort of bug, reptile, or little animal that they bring out during it.

    • Reply
      December 3, 2016 at 8:10 AM

      Thanks, Lacy! She would definitely love that… especially if Bodhi was there! 😉

  • Reply
    Great nana
    November 21, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Was the perfect birthday party for Mya. And such creative treats. Nature center was a wonderful place for the children. Looked like they all had a good time. 🐢🐞🐍

  • Reply
    Abby Ceja
    February 9, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Hi, I am having a Charley Harper Baby Shower! Having a hard time finding invites, where did you find the template for yours? Thanks:)

    • Reply
      February 9, 2017 at 7:44 PM

      Hi, Abby! I sent you an email with some ideas. Congrats on your baby!

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