My boys birthdays are three weeks apart and this year, after his brother’s large 1st Birthday Party, Bebito was very keen to have a party. I think he imagined another huge gathering but instead I wanted to focus it around him and his friends. Five seems like a milestone year to me and I’ve certainly seen him grow up in the last little while.
It’s the first time I really saw Bebito as my “Client” when it came to planning. I’ve talked about his in my previous party planning post. Essentially, my party philosophy is home made, hand made, thoughtful and organised and don’t spend a fortune so I was guided by this. It was the first time he got involved in the planning and worked out who to invite and I wanted it to be first and foremost, a kids birthday party. As Little Lion was 2 several weeks later I just combined their party together.
My boys are loud. Yep, I know all kids are loud but my two are particularly loud when they play together and one thing they like to do is out roar each other and pretend they’re dinosaurs. So months ago I decided on a, “Things that ROAR!” theme. This encompassed dinosaurs and other animals, rockets, planes, trains and pretty much anything. As I like to reuse decorations I stick to safe colour palettes that I know we can incorporate into our house…blue, red and green essentially.
I wanted to get Bebito involved in making things so bought some cheap white fabric and some fabric paint and had him potato paint to make a tablecloth. He also helped me glue some dinosaurs on some jars and spray paint them for party favours.
The jars had some jelly play dough in them, which again, he helped me make – see the recipe here for this play dough which is the most awesome play dough ever.
I did invest in some cookie cutters which I used in various projects for the party – biscuits topped with natural food colouring sprinkles….
and to trace some figures on card (which my bigger niece and nephew helped us do as a school holiday activity) and we then strung them together as garlands. This was a great activity to do with both the boys as we talked about colours and patters and it cost less than $5 to make a whole lot of garlands. We strung these up around the yard and they’re still hanging up under our verandah. The kids love them!
I found some blank bunting on special for $3 so had my niece, nephew and Bebito decorate two flags each with fabric crayons. SUPER cute yes?
Activity wise, the party was a smash hit. Given the age of the children attending was so varied I wanted to make sure there was a lot of different stuff to do. I took the train set outside, had a table set up with play dough and the cookie cutters, left our swing set very accessible, had a face painter (our largest expense), had a table set up with fabric crayons and blank aprons that the children got to decorate and take home as gifts also. The feedback from Mama’s who came along was that their smalls loved the aprons most of all.
We had a few party games too – including pin-the-tail on the dinosaur drawn by me and looking a whole lot like George’s Din-e-saw – I think I’ve watched too much Peppa Pig!
Food wise I did a light lunch and had a table set up outside with menu cards written by me on card and using various stickers around the theme – Bebito helped with this too. We served up home made mini pizzas and garlic bread, home made sausage rolls, healthy chocolate crackles using this recipe, mini frittatas, pinwheel fairy bread using the natural sprinkles again, fruit skewers, spinach and ricotta puff pastry rolls and some puffed corn in a mini cup. The only things I made on the day were the fruit skewers and frittatas as they don’t freeze well. The rest I cooked up in a huge batch the weekend before and froze, reheating the morning of the party. By far the most popular food was the fruit skewers. I decorated the table with some of the boys toys that met the, “roar” theme.
We also made some strawberry milk using smashed up real strawberries and chocolate milk with cacao and honey, as well as some iced coffee for the grown ups. Mr also spent a fair chunk of the party ensuring everyone who wanted to had a chance to sample his barista skills.
The cake was one Bebito chose from a Donna Hay kids magazine and in spite of the sponge having completely split and falling apart when we baked it and inverted it, turned out really well I think!
Overall, the party was really good fun and very relaxed. The 15 or so children who attended all had a great time and there was no fighting, screaming or ickiness at all which I think marvellous!
Most of all though, my client gave me the following feedback, “Mama, today was the best day of my whole life! I think we should call the news people to tell them what a wonderful party it was.” High praise indeed!