So Mia’s 4th birthday party has come and gone and I can share a few photos with you.
If I look back on it now, I realise that kids in the ages of 2 years to maybe 5 years, don’t really have to have a theme party. I tried to put a lot of colour into the party decorations and even the food. One thing I noticed was that they could have cared less about all the hard work and preparations. They played, they ate and drank and most important of all, they enjoyed it all.
So it is ok if you can’t come up with a theme for your child’s birthday party or don’t have the finances to do it. Although kids love theme parties, as long as they enjoy the party, then it was successful, no matter if there was a theme or not.
Ok, let’s look at some of the party photos…
My son came up with the idea to tie the balloons to the willow tree’s branches and it immediately added a festive touch to the party settings. It was a lovely summer’s day here in South Africa and even though the inflatable swimming pool was a bit small for all the party guests, it was the main attraction of the day.
Adri (Mia’s mother) used different coloured frosting for the cupcakes to further give a colourful look to the party. The 4 pink ones was for Mia although she did not even eat one of them. One of the younger boys actually ate it after she blew out the candles (with a lot of help from the party guests…).
Here’s the recipe I used for the cupcakes
Funnily enough the crisps in the foreground was not really a big hit at this party, the children actually ate a lot of the home-made pizzas, cocktail sausage rolls and the fried Vienna sausages.
It just goes to show that children will eat if there are food available, especially at a party. I really feel it is important to provide “real” food when you host a birthday party for your kid. It may be a little more work than to just put out crisps and candies, but so much healthier.
The only other food I made was Marie Biscuits with a Marshmallow Filling.
This is one easy party snack that can be done in no time at all. My mother used to make this for my kids when they were small and in later years for all her other grandchildren as well.
You just need a packet or two of Marie Biscuits, marshmallows and a microwave oven. Place a marshmallow on a biscuit, pop into the microwave for about 5 – 15 seconds on high and watch how the marshmallow swells to double it’s size.
Take it out of the microwave and just place another biscuit on top, press down lightly and leave to set. I rolled the sides in 100’s and 1000’s while the marshmallow was still warm.
I printed these cute butterflies to decorate the straws, but to tell the truth, it was not a big hit with the kids although they did take the straws home afterward. They did not use the straws at all, maybe all the swimming made them so thirsty that they did not have time to use straws to drink their juice.
When I saw these lovely coloured paper in a shop a few days ago, I knew it would be perfect to make favour bags from and it practically cost next to nothing. Although I bought four rolls of paper, I could easily have made four bags from one roll of paper. The party favours consisted of a pencil and a cute animal eraser, two small bars of chocolates, a candy bracelet, a lollipop with a whistle handle and a noisemaker.
Of course there has to be bubbles at every kid’s birthday party and as always, it was a big hit with the party guests. Adri bought a pack of 24 bottles at a discount from a wholesaler that specializes in children’s party supplies, so the party guests were also able to take a bottle of bubbles home with them.
The face painting session went really well. In an earlier post on face painting I mentioned that you need a lot of patience when you paint kid’s faces but it is mostly to curb their excitement and getting them to wait their turn. Even though Adri and I are no experts and we only did a few basic lines and dots, the kids really enjoyed this activity.
I also made some play dough as a party favour. A few of the kids wanted to stay on after the party was officially over, so they kept themselves busy for quite some time with the play dough and all my cookie cutters that Mia “claimed” for herself when I made her her first batch of play dough when she was 2 years old.
My conclusion about this party without a theme? It had all the elements for a great party… balloons, food, games and activites and above all, fun! It was also done on a low budget. So next time don’t break your head coming up with a theme if you have no idea about one, just follow your head and plan the party with what you have and can afford to buy. It does not have to be perfect, it just have to be fun for your kid and the party guests.
Maybe you have noticed that I did not say anything about party hats? There were NO party hats; I wanted to make “crowns” from the willow branches but the kids were so busy enjoying themselves that it totally slipped my mind.
Oh well, this was certainly not the last party I will plan for Mia and since I have this easy party hat template on my computer, I will be able to make the party hats in no time at all.
Don’t forget to have fun when you plan your kid’s next birthday party!