Monday, July 25, 2011

The birthday party

Abby turned six last week!  She decided to celebrate with a little party with some of her friends.

Six?! How did that happen!
She is a winter baby so our only choice was to have the party at home or outsource to McDonald's, the bowling alley, fairy land, gymnastics etc as most parents seem to do these days.  Outsourcing makes sense because it's so easy.  No planning, no preparation and no cleaning up!  But I refuse to do it.  Partly because of the cost.  But also because I think the focus of the party should be on the birthday person and they often get forgotten in the mayhem of outsourced birthday parties.   Most parties don't even allow time to open the presents!  That's the best bit!

So we had a simple party at home.  Because although I'm against outsourced parties I'm also against too much planning, preparation and cleaning up!

Abby chose the cake first and that made it easy to choose the theme -  Teddy Bear's Picnic.  She made the invitations, wrote the guest list (only 10 - phew!), and decided on the food and the games.

The invitations!
For the game prizes we visited some of the cutesy Japanese shops at the markets and stocked up on teddy bear paraphernalia (nothing over the top just pens, post-its, key rings, coin purses etc).  And yes, there was only one prize in pass parcel.  And yes, some of the kids were outraged!

The party bags were tricky because I didn't want them to be full of useless plastic crap but I also didn't want to spend lots of money.  I sewed the party bags (fabric from Spotlight), we made some teddy bear shaped chocolates and put a few lollies in but I was completely stuck for what else to put in.  Fortuitously, I stumbled upon a set of 12 silicone teddy bear cup cake pans one day.  We put them together with the recipe for chocolate crackles.  Party bags done.

The party bags
We knew we had to do something at the beginning of the party to keep everyone entertained while we were waiting for all the guests to arrive so they didn't go too crazy.  At the last minute we had a great idea to read them some teddy bear themed books.  Chris donned the teddy bear ears Abby had made for him and read We're going on a bear hunt, Goldilocks, Bears in the Night etc etc.  The kids loved this!

The kids are captivated by Chris' story-telling!
We made a teddy bear shaped pinata (bugger no photos), played musical pass the bears, pin the bow-tie on the teddy, dancing statues and pass the parcel.  Six year olds love games!  They had fun.

Because we were trying to limit the amount of pre-party parental stress, we didn't serve hot food.  Or anything that couldn't be made the day before.  Just the usual party favourites - fairy bread (in a teddy bear shape of course!), chocolate crackles, honey joys and a fruit platter.  I got out all my little op shop plates and tea cups which the kids loved and the table looked great (bugger no photos).

The cake was the Teddy Bear from this kid's party cake bible.  He was very cute.

The best photo we have of the cake

Some of the mums stayed and chatted so I made them a coffee and we ducked over to the bakery and bought a carrot cake so they didn't have to eat the party food!

At the end of the party we took a group photo of all the guests and their teddy bears and sent it to them as a thankyou card.

We kept the party short.  Only an hour and a half.  Perfect.  And apart from when Abby forgot her birthday party etiquette and blew the candles out before we'd finished singing happy birthday, it really was stress free.   And since I had to ferry Abby to another kid's party straight after hers, I didn't even have to do the cleaning up!


  1. Great job Gilly, looks like a fun party. Cute invitations.

  2. I love reading blog posts about parties as it's always fun to see kids having fun and it also gives me inspiration for ours (my boy's coming up in two weeks!), so thank you!

    And I totally agree with you about party bag crap (though have been guilty of it myself). Your bags looked lovely, well done!


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