It really bugged me that I was unable to have a birthday party when our son Adam turned 8 because I was not feeling well. So I decided that we'd have a gathering for him in the summertime…and I let my feelings inspire the theme.

Inviting his friends, I wrote, "It really BUGGED me that we were unable to celebrate Adam's birthday in March, so instead of letting disappointment CREEP in, I have chosen to HOP to it. We hope you can creep, crawl, slither, hop or fly over to our house on August 5 for an evening of fun."


Appetizing "Insects"

I served a supper of "way cool bugs", including Butterfly Cheese Sandwiches, Fly Burgers, and Cheese Worms with Grasshopper Dip. There were also potato chips and veggies for dipping…plus "swamp" punch with gummy worms hanging off each glass.

I used a cookie cutter to shape the Butterfly Cheese Sandwiches, then decorated them using olives and piped cream cheese.

I made "wings" for the Fly Burgers by cutting a narrow V shape in the tops of the buns. Green onion "eyes" peered out from the patties.

Turning string cheese snacks into wiggly worms was simply a matter of poking in whole cloves for the eyes. (We reminded the kids to be sure to remove these before eating the worms.)

For serving the dip, I halved and seeded a green pepper, then added olives for eyes and green onion "legs."

A bright Ladybug Cake for dessert stole the show. It was really easy to make. I baked the batter in a bowl, colored the frosting a vivid red with paste food coloring and used licorice and gumdrop trims.


Ants at the Picnic

The buffet table was swarming with flies, ants and other plastic bugs I found at a novelty shop. I also cut out a few large bugs from construction paper and laminated them…and used them as decorative accents around the house.

After we ate, we went outdoors to play the games "bugscotch," "bugster" (like Twister) and pin the bee on the hive. Then the kids swam in our pool.

Each guest took home a favor bag filled with a butterfly pencil topper, bug bookmark, hopping and clacking frog toy and bug fruit snacks.

The amusing invasion of insects—both edible and otherwise—made the party very special. Since it turned out so well, I wanted to share the idea with other Taste of Home readers. Some of you might be game for this infestation of fun, too!