Emoji Birthday Party

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The Emoji Birthday Party was so much fun to throw for my daughter when she turned 10. I mean, emoji’s are all the rage! How did we ever live our lives without them?

Emoji Birthday Party with Happy Face EmoticonsAn Emoji Birthday Party is a whole lotta yellow and happy, and just perusing Amazon, I was able to throw this party together pretty quickly. Since her birthday is right after the end of school mayhem, I’m just worn out, so I’m grateful for fun themes that are easy to work around. {This was originally posted June 2015, updated June 2017}

With emoticons, we had all sorts of yellow goodness for her 10th birthday. {We also took her 10 year pictures here.} She loves emoticons, and thought it would be fun to have that as her theme. Her birthday was just a few days before our Pioneer Trek, and a few weeks before our family travel to Ghana, so it was a fairly easy going affair (for me) squeezed in on a weekday afternoon. I know some people might think it’s still over the top, but I really just ordered a few things online, and it was QUITE simple! It was fun, she felt special, and that’s all I ever want for my kids on their birthdays.

I believe my daughter is a very mature thinker for her age. Sometimes, I feel she’s too “adult” with friends, and not getting enough “silly” out, but then I often just feel grateful that she is sensitive and mellow, especially in her concern for others.

Throughout the past year, we’ve had some great conversations on what makes a good friend, and though I feel she is quite inclusive of others, and mindful of those left out at school, she wanted to have a very small intimate birthday party celebration. {Side note, I’ve written and never published at least a post or two about parties and invites and the stress of it all in my brain, but let me just say here and now that party invites STRESS. ME.TO.THE.CORE. Maybe I’ll publish more of my thoughts on that some day.}


I always encouraged my children to invite as many people as they want, extend that friendship circle, to think of inviting some that might not otherwise be invited to their parties. If you look at our past parties, you will see BIG GROUPS, and because we generally have them at home, it’s quite an inexpensive option. The more the merrier. Feeling left out hurts. But as a planner of any event, the line needs to be drawn somewhere, right?

yellow glasses

Though I still prefer to be inclusive, and worry about excluding, overall, I’ve started to prefer the smaller, intimate settings myself in the past year or so. I don’t care for the big group as much, and often feel I become a bit more of an introvert in a crowd.  So when my daughter told me that she just wanted to invite 4 friends–1 that I KNOW she hadn’t even talked to in over a year, it really surprised me. I had not vocalized to her my recent switch over, and I wanted to understand her heart. She couldn’t explain to me very well, but I think she just wanted simple, no drama.  Though I wanted her to be able to make her own “list” I was worried about my role in all of this. I’d have to face a few friends whose daughters wouldn’t be a part of it, and I was nervous about it. I wanted to honor her wishes, and I knew her heart was in the right place, she worried about people feeling bad, but I encouraged her to do what she felt at peace with. There was no malice about it, she just wanted what she wanted with pure intentions, and who was I to try to convince her to do something different on her birthday?

So we moved forward with simplicity.

{Simple for me–which I recognize is different than simple for others. Humor me.}

Yellow Emoticon birthday party ideas

Her actual birthday was a few days before her party, and 2 friends that she chose not to invite, kindly dropped off a gift. They knew it was her birthday, didn’t hear about a gathering, but wanted to gift her something. I thought that was very thoughtful, and though we had spoken about each of these girls, and her hesitations, I worried on the inside. I had mixed emotions when she asked if we could add them to the invite, but ultimately happy that her heart recognized that to be the kind thing to do.

It was still quite a small affair, but it was great. Perfect for her, nice and easy for me. Here was the basic outline of the party, which was 4 hours–2 at the pool:

  • Gathering activity: don’t let balloons hit the ground (we do this often at parties)
  • Easy dinner at the table (chicken nuggets)
  • Simple craft–paint nails, draw emoji’s
  • Second craft–paint faces on yellow painted rocks (gathered from our yard, painted ahead of time by my birthday girl)
  • Activity–open presents (though I’d prefer not to in front of guests, I know all kids LOVE to see their gift opened)
  • Activity–night swimming at our neighborhood pool. My daughter REALLY wanted an evening party to swim.
  • Back home, cake and singing

Smiley Balloons at emoji party

As for party decorations, I found them on Amazon and Oriental Trading.

I love Amazon. I just went and typed in emoji, emoticon, yellow smiley face, and found all sorts of fun stuff.

I got some:

The balloons I THOUGHT about making with my silhouette machine, but then I just ordered them on etsy to make it easy for myself. Smiley face balloons that they hit around, were also on Amazon. White cardstock paper for placemats (that they decorated) and simple yellow plates.

Emoji or Happy Face Party

She was excited to make “10” out of ding dongs and twinkies, and I got a store bought yellow-ish cake kinda last minute as our center piece. I had to include those images of my boys pegging each other with those yellow balls. Boys will be boys…gotta love it!

Here is proof that I was there. I usually take a shot with my kids at parties!  Pool is just a few blocks away, I drove SLOW in our neighborhood with my precious cargo.

crammed in the mini van at pool

swim party

night swimming party

Blowing out birthday candles

birthday party wishes

Then I ordered a dozen emoji cake pops from my local cake pop girl. What? You don’t have a cake pop girl? You need one! They make me happy every time!

make emoji or emoticon cake pops

Happy Birthday Girl

Emoji Birthday Party with yellow

I had my fabulous designer at Hip and Simple create some printables, and in the hustle and bustle of it all, TOTALLY forgot to print them out and use them! Agh! Hopefully someone out there can enjoy them, SO fun!!

Emoji Birthday Party FREE PRINTABLES

Emoji Party free Printables and banner

I sure love this sweet girl of mine. Grateful for her heart, and her sweetness to me, our family, and her friends.

Emoji Birthday Party ideas

If you’d like to see a few other fun parties, here are a few favorites:

Easy access to Emoji party items:

Join The Discussion



  1. Hey girl that is just so cool!! I’m glad y’all had a lot of fun at the party!

  2. Joanna S. says:

    So fun! And yes, party invitations can be stressful!!!

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Oh, those birthday parties! As a teacher, I sometimes think birthday parties should be outlawed! 🙂 The worst is when parents let their own insecurities determine who gets invited. The best is when parents make sure at least one child is included who doesn’t often get invited. Those less-invited kids can be the ones with behavior issues, so double kudos to parents who go out of their way to include such a child.
    There’s always a numbers limit somewhere, though. You can’t include everyone, and might not even want a gathering of that size, as you said. I know of one parent whose rule is 4 friends plus 1 left out child. It makes for a good mix, especially if the birthday child and friends make the “extra” child feel included. It is so important what parents model for their children!
    Cute theme, BTW!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I totally agree the passing out invitations at school rule–everyone or no one! Luckily, her birthday is in the summer, so there is less of the classroom drama!

  4. Looks like a fun party, and when you add 3 siblings you get a boost in the amount of kids, lol.

    I’ve said this before, but every time I see pics of her I think: this girl is sooooo pretty! And there’s a light that shines in her eyes and her smile that just makes her even prettier!

  5. Nicole P. says:

    This looks so fun! I have had my kids’ parties at home (or a nearby park) and they are stressful but it’s a good kind of stress because the outcome is (hopefully) happy kids. I haven’t gotten to the point where there’s invitation “drama” but it sounds like your sweet girl handled herself well.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      YEs, there definitely is something to say for the party spots that you pay, and just watch it happen. We did that once.

  6. That is such a fun theme! I love it. And yes, a few friends at home is a great way to celebrate a birthday 🙂

  7. Brilliant party idea! Great photos and beautiful family! Night swimming sounds like fun.

  8. Super cute!!!! My son loves emoji’s. Looks like a fun party!!! Hope all her friends (and yours) understand.

  9. This is the cutest party! So many fun ideas. I love yellow!

  10. I love this party idea Kristen! (I’m going to show it to my my almost 9-year-old (who sounds a lot like your daughter) for her birthday coming up in a few months!) And I’m with you about party invitations…so stressful to decide who to invite, etc.

  11. So cute!! I love that you did it at home and I so could have used your emoji pillows…we were the opposite for our own emoji party but I love home parties… http://dawnypoo.blogspot.com/2015/07/emoji-graduation-party.html

  12. Wow! 1 month is left for her birthday, so what are the celebration plans for this year. She looks so cute with her friends.

  13. This is so CUTE! Brilliant birthday party ideas. Emoji’s are all the rage!!!

  14. I think that Emoji Birthday Party is great idea for children. I will try it soon.

  15. nice emojis…

  16. very nicely decoreted.nice emonjis

  17. Wow…you just wrote a post of my flavor so i want to thanx for it a lot. It’s been pleasure reading it.

  18. Nice post with precious Content and I am really start reading your recent post because of its creativity

  19. That emoji Birthday party looking so interesting and so joyful to kids. These pictures are so beautiful. Thanks for share.

  20. Amazing post! it is really so beautiful decoration. yellow color looking so pretty.

  21. emojies are so awesome & the decoration too!
    Keep sharing

  22. wow birthday party with emoji amazing nice post keep sharing…

  23. I like parties really much thanks for sharing with us!

  24. amazing post keep sharing with us!