Madeline Birthday Party
How to throw a party in primary colors and with Parisian flair!

In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, partied twelve little girls in two straight
lines. The birthday girl wore a coat of blue, everyone had cake and toured a candy shop too!

If she's mad for Madeline, then "Madeline" is a marvelous theme idea for your party!
You can transport guests to the yellow storybook pages with a few clever ideas for
food, favors and fun. Here's how to host a Madeline party just as well as Ms. Clavelle:

  • Pack your bags for Paris! The red stackable suitcases, pictured above, will set the
    tone for a sweet departure. Add the Eiffel Tower place cards to welcome each of
    Madeline's friends to the table. Lower right, you'll find mini French flags, and top
    left, mini French flag food picks.

  • Speak French to guests: You won't need much in the way of vocabulary to help
    your theme, you already know many words, but here is a little lesson in French:
  • Greet guests as they arrive to the party the French way: Say "Bon Jour!"
    ("Good Day").
  • When given presents say "Merci." ("Thank you").
  • Instead of saying "yes,' say "Oui" (pronounced "we").
  • As guests depart, say "Au revoir" ("goodbye") or with them well with "Bon
    Voyage" ("Have a good trip").

  • What to do about Madeline's Straw hat? Finding a yellow straw hat, the kind
    Madeline wears, is a challenge to find. If you want your twelve little girls in two
    straight lines to wear a straw hat just like Madeline's you'll have to make one
    yourself. Buy an ordinary straw hat and spray paint it bright yellow!
    Alternatively, Family Fun has an idea for a sweet hat, below.

Activities for a Madeline Party
Wondering about activities for the party? While you can play "Pin the hat" on  
Madeline, or you can pass the Madeline doll like a hot potato, wouldn't you have more
fun if you turned your entire birthday party into a real Madeline adventure, just like the
book? Here's how to do just that:

  • Create a Makeshift Tiger in the Zoo: "To the Tiger in the Zoo, Madeline just said
    "pooh, pooh!" And so it should be that the girls get the chance to repeat the
    famous line.  It's easy enough to do: create a tiger plush encased in cardboard
    for your makeshift zoo. As guests arrive, have them tour the zoo, then color a
    tiger coloring page or other Madeline Coloring page found on Google.

  • Send the girls to a Madeline Dress Shop: Imagine dressing party goers in
    storybook fashion with perfect Madeline coat dresses! Thanks to the amazing
    deal on Amazon your Madeline party will set a new standard in kids parties.
    Included for $7.63 in the Madeline costume deal pictured lower left is the hat,
    blue coat dress with ribbon pictured. It comes with free super saving shipping!
    It's not a deluxe costume, mind you, but it will give you such wonderful pictures
    and memories.  Buy a Madeline costume for each guest as a party favor, then
    line up the girls at the party as in the beloved story. The birthday girl can wear
    the deluxe costume, pictured right. Even if you decide not to dress all the kids,
    your party should include the elements of Madeline's famous look: a yellow
    straw hat, a red ribbon bow and a blue coat dress.

  • Set up an old fashioned Parisian candy shop! The Parisian merriment starts with
    primary colors and the display of candy for the party is a great way to
    accomplish that. Let the kids feast their eyes on a variety of glass candy jars
    filled with primary colors for your party:

  • Lemon yellow candies as yellow as Madeline's Straw hat: Fill apothecary jars
    with sliced candy lemons (sugar coated gummies), lemon rock candy on
    swizzle sticks and handfuls of lemon colored mint chocolate lentils,
    pictured left.

  • Candies as red as Madeline's ribbon: Display a selection of cherry red
    candies, such as Jelly Bellies, pictured left. Red Vines licorice twists are
    suitable for any old house and especially a Madeline party and look
    wonderful in mason jars. Ribbon candy in peppermint or cherry is another
    timeless treasure, but buy extra as it does tend to break in shipment or
    find a specialty candy shop.

  • Vibrant candies as blue as Madeline's coat: Look for hard candies in blue
    raspberry or blueberry. Columbina jumbo candy balls, pictured left are
    swirled blue confections that are individually wrapped and reminiscent of
    carnival candy. They'd look better in a glass candy jar unwrapped. Allow
    kids to use tongs to make their selection.

  • Send the girls off to the gypsies! Madeline and the Gypsies is a classic story from
    the collection, so send the kids to the Gypsy Mama for a fortune. Mom can dress
    in a gypsy costume and hand out fortune cookies or fortune telling fish. See our
    Gypsy party ideas.

  • Have a tea party with a lesson in manners: Have the girls lift their little pinkies for
    tea and get a lesson on etiquette. Madeline is so well behaved, for the most
    part, that a tea party is idea. See our tea party ideas to enhance your theme.

Food for a Madeline party
Madeline cookies come to mind for party snacks, but there is so much more you can do
to bring a little Paris to your party:

  • Croissants: Kids love Croissants and you can have two selections (one sweet
    and one savory): chocolate croissants and sandwich croissants. Check your
    supermarket grocery deli to see if they will make a tray of croissant sandwiches
    for the party. Or buy mini croissants in bulk and make your own.

  • Chocolate Eclaires: Head to the local French bakery and get a selection of these
    delictable cream puffs covered in chocolate.

  • French Toast! Even though in French Toast this is not an authentic French food,
    Americans give the French credit! Cut toast into sticks and sprinkle with
    cinnamon as a snack or host a complete breakfast for your little Madeline
    complete with "cocoa au lait" (hot chocolate) and croissants.

  • Host a candy buffet: Make your old house in Paris covered in vines: Red Vines
    licorice that is! Above, we've given you a host of candy buffet ideas in primary
    colors here are more resources:

  • More French theme appropriate food ideas for kids:
  • Baked Brie (a select few kids will appreciate, let the adults savor this treat)
  • Crepes
  • Merengues
  • Petit fours
  • French Burnt peanuts (provided there are no allergies)
  • French Macaroon
  • French bread with fondue
  • French Fries
  • Mini quiches. Certainly parents will appreciate the nibbles, even if it's not a
    top choice with the kids.
  • French onion soup would be a bit messy for kids, but they'd certainly
    appreciate French Onion soup dip with chips or veggies!

How to Decorate your Madeline party

  • Sing along with Madeline merriment: Listen to the music sampler of Madeline
    Favorite Songs, an audio CD from the cartoon movies, including "I'm Madeline,"
    "Bad, Bad Hat," "Gypsy Caravan" and "Something is Not Right Miss Clavell's
    song" among many others. The CD is highly rated.

  • Madeline in Paris Game: Looking for a party game? Set out the Madeline in Paris
    Game for one to four players. There's no reading required to play. This game
    develops simple decision making skills as it promotes memory and matching
    ability, visual interpretation. The girls will gain social skills of sharing, taking
    turns, winning and losing.

Some kids party planners go to extremes. If you're one of them, you can hire someone
to  dress as Ms. Clavelle in a Catholic Nun costume.

Gifts for the Birthday Girl
Madeline enthusiasts will appreciate these thoughtful gifts:

  • Madeline Alarm Clock: It's "half past nine" you say? This classic style alarm clock,
    left, features a twin bell alarm and numbers with a French translation.

  • Madeline music box: Your little Madeline will enjoy his sweet jewelry box. Priced
    right, think of this jewelry box as a lesson in keeping tiny treasures tidy. She'll
    have fun admiring trinkets and dreaming of the adventuresome Madeline. This
    keepsake box is an officially licensed product of the Madeline books by Ludwig
    Bemelmans. Madeline twirls to music.

Real Madeline parties

  • Vintage Madeline Party: Madeline's Fifth Birthday featured stylized drink bottle
    labels and chocolate bars wrapped in Madeline drawings (beloved pages from
    the books by Ludwig Bemelman). Bursting with Parisian flair and primary colors,
    you'll want to make Madeline hat cookies with fruit rollups for the ribbons, and
    set out a treat table with little hat table cards identifying the menu selections
    (these are sweet doll hats easily converted for the party).  

  • Madeline Shopping Spree Party: Everyone got to dress the part of Madeline in blue
    capes adorned with white trim and ribbon in this sweet Madeline party for one
    lucky four year old. Kids went on a shopping spree, headed to the flower shop
    and the sweet shop in style. Photographs by Holly Anderson Photography.

  • Steal this idea: The creative yellow overhang made for Noelle's Madeline Party,
    right, sets the tone for a Parisian bakery. Create your own amazing backdrop by
    alternating yellow and white poster paper over PVC pipe for the candy buffet or
    sweet table.

More Resources for a Madeline Party
Check with Family Fun as they have a few choice party ideas for a Madeline Party:

We hope you've enjoyed our ideas for a Madeline birthday party. Now it's your turn! Tell us
about your real Madeline party and
share party ideas with us on Twitter.  
Madeline Jewelry Box Birthday Gift Idea
Madeline Birthday Activity Book
Madeline Cookies
Madeline costume
Kids Party Ideas
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All about a Madeline party...
End mermaid party ideas
Red Jelly Beans for candy buffet
Eiffel Tower place card holders
Madeline's Hat Birthday cake
idea from Family Fun.
Madeline Birthday Cake idea from Family Fun
Madeline Party Sweet Shop Idea
Madeline Doll
Search more Cute Party Ideas
Madeline cupcake box
French Flag favor
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