OCTONAUTS, TO THE LAUNCH BAY - WE'VE GOT A BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE

Sunday, May 5, 2013

With bambino number two due a mere three days after Will's official birthday, we decided not to tempt fate and celebrated the chunky monkey's big day a few weeks in advance.

For the past two years we've kept these occasions to small affairs, celebrated with family. This year, faced with a drought in the family department, we threw caution to the wind and invited a few nursery/family friends to join us for 1 1/2 hours of 3 year old party mayhem.

I'm a big fan of kids parties (I get a little weak at the knees at the mere promise of buttercream frosting) and Master nearly 3 was explicit in his birthday request. Octonauts. Please. Mummy. A quick internet search confirmed my suspicions. Gone are the days of fairy-bread and traffic light jelly folks. Armed with a plethora of inspired ideas (Pinterest...bye-bye social life) I set about creating a simple, yet effective party for my little Octonaut. 

Because I know most of you are interested in the pictures, I've included a summary of the day and the links to what I used at the bottom.

Sorry there's not more pics of the day - once things got underway it was all hands on deck so for the most part I've just put up the "decorations" - I'll whack up a more 'intimate' post soon.

Love
Jacq

PS - The only thing not in theme is Will...he's wearing a Robin Hood outfit from my wonderful friends Gab & Zoe...coincidentally it looks just like Tree Foo Tom. Outfit-win!


Here's the spread - set out in the awesome decor of Scott's office:


Unfortunately I think this is the best shot I have of the cake - nothing like icing a cake in 20 minutes at 11:00pm the night before...


While highly unnecessary, these ice-fish were a particular favourite of mine...


A few of our tasty treats - the Octo-fruit pods were a hit with young & old and a great "healthy" party option

I loved the Peso Medi-Bag party kit idea - we included crayons, a pirate patch & some stickers which left plenty of room for take home food



If nothing else the Chunky-Monkey loved his cake - which (for the record) is half eaten in the bottom three pictures after I realised I had no pictures of Will with it




Despite a small hiccup with the weather (of course Saturday would be the ONLY day it rained this week) -there was only one reported case of party tears. By all accounts it was a raving success.

For those of you reading this in search of suggestions here's my top three party wins:
  1. Keep things short and sweet - The party ran for 1 1/2 hours total. We started at 10:30am to avoid any morning naps/feeding times for small ones and finished by midday - by which time everyone (including the parents) was ready to head home for a nap.
  2. Few & Simple - Knowing how excitable my 3 year old can get I planned one hour of "party-time" with the extra 1/2 hour for wind down and eating before people headed off. In this time I thought we could probably fit in two games comfortably so planned a small Treasure Hunt and Pass the Parcel and had a few craft activities set out for the time in between. We had four 3 year olds at the party and this approach worked brilliantly, particularly as it rained and everything was relocated indoors.
    * For the treasure hunt I made "octoscopes" out of paper towel rolls for each of the kids (painted in their favourite colour) and created six octo-clues which we hid around the house. The kids simply had to find all six of the octo-clues (great for the 3 year old age group I found), once they had done this they got the treasure.
    * I didn't manage to get a good picture of the craft station but this was a surprise hit. I bought some paper plates, coloured paper & glue sticks from Tescoes for a few pounds, then cut out the face shapes for Captain Barnacles, Peso and Kwazi so the kids could put together images of their favourite characters. This was a bit of work upfront but looked effective and was a nice take home afterwards (I'll try and get a photo up so you can see what it looked like)
  3. Limit the sugar - Okay...so this one is personal preference but for me the thought of my toddler fueled solely by sugar is enough to send me to the bottle. I tried to use/find recipes that limited the sugar for the kids and had a separate table for adults with some more "decadent" treats located in the kitchen. As it was the Octo-fruit Pods went down a treat with the wee ones as did the smaller Capt. Barnacles cake pops. If anyone is interested in the recipes I used let me know.
Like what you see? Here's what I used for the above:
Decorations
- Octonatus Party Kit - Party Pieces
- Peso Medi-kit Party Bags - I purchased the containers from Hobbycraft & printed the logo designs from here
- Food labels - Logo design from here

Food
- Captain Barnacles Cake-Pops - I got the idea from here & purchased the lolli-pop sticks from Hobbycraft
Ice-Fish cubes (used in juice) - IKEA
- Cake - Will wanted the Gup-X which was perfect, particularly because I iced it at about 11:00pm the night before in around 30 minutes using fondant from Hobbycraft
- Octo-fruit Pods - Half oranges, scoop out insides, place in a dish and cover with boiling water for 1 minute (it gets the rest of the flesh out), run under cold water, dry and then fill with fruit salad
- Shark Biscuits - I used my trusty Vanilla Beings recipe here with a cutter from Hobbycraft

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Just stunning....looking forward to next years treats

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this may have been an "exceptional" party for this family. Next year we'll have the two and I'm likely to be working, which leaves much less time for fantasy party creations ;)

      Delete

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