My son's little girlfriend came over for a playdate today, and while they were arguing over dress up clothes, her mom and I were discussing Scooby Do. As in, a 4 year old girl's Scooby Do birthday party.
Now, this mom knows how I throw a birthday party, and was actually feeling guilty about what she is planning for her daughter. All I can say is, "STOP IT!" There is no guilt allowed here. A birthday party is a birthday party, there is no special requirement that it look as though Martha planned it. And even if you want it to look as though Martha planned it, and have committed to a "Scooby" theme, you can!
Here is what I would do, keeping in mind that everything I do is only semi-homemade.
Store bought, prepackaged Scooby invites can be easily customized with a little confetti on the inside, and a Scooby sticker on the front. I would also make the wording of the invite a little silly and "Scooby-like" by writing it the way that Scooby would say it.
From what I know about Scooby and his friends, the main color scheme is orange, purple, lime green and teal blue. Why not incorporate paper streamers and balloons in these colors around the house and backyard. In addition, if you take a look at the Mystery Machine, there are giant orange daisys all over it that can be easily recreated in construction paper and taped to windows and placed on tables.
I don’t usually include a line item for food, but in this case the mom throwing the Scooby party is an EXCELLENT cook. I can picture small kid size/bit size “Scooby Snacks”. You could serve them in plastic ware that is in the same color scheme as the decorations – I’ve seen some cute, and inexpensive dishes at Target or you could poll your friends to borrow some.
There are so many wonderful activities you could plan, none of them having to do specifically with Scooby Doo. The kids are not going to notice that the “bike parade” or the craft project do not include a talking dog.
On the other hand, since Scooby is all about mysteries, how about a “treasure hunt” complete with easy photo clues? Start by giving the children some kind of simple spy kit that could include; magnifying glass, small notepad with pen, sunglasses, binoculars or camera (obviously pretend). Show the first photograph, maybe it is of the birthday girl’s favorite toy? Place the second photograph on the favorite toy, maybe it is a photo of something in the backyard? And so on, the “treasure” at end of the hunt could be the birthday cake/cupcakes so when they show up everyone can sing and the birthday girl will blow out the candles. (the treasure could also be inexpensive bead necklaces or stickers or anything at all)
I recommend cupcakes (store bought or homemade with box of cake mix) for the ease of serving and clean up, and can of frosting tastes just as good to these kids as a fancy buttercream. I have also made a sheet of Scooby and friends images for you to print, cut out and tape/glue to toothpicks and arrange on the cupcakes. Super easy.