My little one is turning five in November– FIVE! Can you believe it? It’s wonderful and sad, all at the same time. We are currently moving and in a temporary space now, so I’m going to have to be extra creative in how we celebrate!
I hid a couple of red banners and honeycombs in my luggage to get us started, but I’ve already started planning what else we will need.
My daughter asked for this theme– 100% so she could have cake. I thought it was a great idea! Since I mentioned this idea I’ve heard so many families hosting half and quarter birthdays, which is also awesome.
I decided to revisit the kids’ birthday parties, East’s 5 and Rush’s 3, along with decorating the condo, making and decorating a cake. I went through our party closet and planned the weekend.
We started with Saturday snack, empanadas with dinosaur napkins and party hats from East’s Dinosaurs in the Supermarket party. We chose empanadas because they look like the backs of dinos!
Then it was time to make the cake! I recently stopped eating gluten, so my husband made me a gluten-free yellow cake, chocolate icing, with the help of the kids, of course!
Then I let the kids help me decorate our place. I picked out a few past party decorations, which added to the rainbow balloon structure that was still inflated from East’s party in March (!) and we blew up a few extra balloons for the floor.
We took a little break with a Sesame Street episode on birthdays, had lunch, then made pinatas! We had some really cute ones at East’s Taco ‘Bout It party that my Mother-in-law made, and I happened to have some small pinata frames on hand. The kids decorated them with a mix of paper and markers and had a good time.
After nap we had a snack with kitty sandwiches with kitty napkins, from East’s Black and White Kitty party when she was 2. We thankfully still had the cat shaped cutter!
Then we made the craft from that party, which was a kitty mask. I still had a lot of black cardstock on hand (I assume from this party?!) so we cut out the faces with the silhouette and I free handed the rest. We taped the spoons to the back.
After this they got to decorate the cake! This may have been the best part of the day for them. After icing and sprinkles, I pulled out some candles I had on hand, as well at some decorations I collected in Japan years ago and never used.
Then we moved on to the next craft, which were ribbon wands from East’s most recent party, the Unicorn Rainbow party. I let the kids pick extra ribbon and we tried hot glue to adhere it this time. It worked better– and I have the burned fingers to show for it! The best part of this craft was because it was so recent, all of the supplies were together. It took literally no work to pull it together.
To burn off some of the sugar, we moved on to a dance party! For Rush’s Woodland Animal party we had a dance teacher lead a dance class, but this time we just had youtube. Still, we donned the animal ears and jumped around.
While dinner came together, we read Dragons Love Tacos 1 and 2- relics from the taco party— then had tacos for dinner! They were delicious! Then we lit the candles, sang happy birthday and cut the cake.
The next morning we started early with the fun! We did a couple of hula dances (youtube again!), while wearing our leis, like at East’s Moana party when she was 3.
Afterwards was water play- another highlight of the weekend! At Rush’s first birthday party (Hot Air Balloons) we had a ball pit for the little ones. We re-created it with water balloons in a kids pool on the balcony. We probably could have used more water balloons to complete the effect, but the kids had fun.
After the kids were dried and dressed, we cuddled on the couch to watch another birthday related Sesame Street, ate lunch (with a bit more cake to follow) and took a nap.
When they woke up, the kids got a snack of “safety cones” and “boulders” from Rush’s ‘Can You Dig it Party?’ complete with the plates, napkins and cups.
Once they had their fill, we moved on to two crafts- both from their first birthdays. These turned out to be the biggest hits, as they didn’t really remember them! We started with maracas from East’s Taco ‘Bout It Party – fairly simple with plastic eggs, beans, disposable spoons and duct tape.
And then we did thumbprint art with ink pads and a thin point sharpie, from Rush’s Hot Air Balloon Party. Since then someone gave me a book with a ton of thumbprint doodles so we had fun trying them out.
After all of this we were supposed to have sensory digger play (from the Can You Dig It? Party) but I didn’t have it in me to make a mess. So we pulled out some glow sticks and had another dance party. The kids had never played with glow sticks before (they are supposed to be in bed before it gets dark) so it was a really fun to break them, and dance in a dark room!
Following dancing our hearts out, we watched Alice in Wonderland and ate pizza, our usual movie + dinner Sundays. The weekend was a lot of fun and did get us talking about which parties were our favorites. The kids loved all of them (awwww) but the adults were pretty clear that Moana and the Woodland Animals were a cut above the rest- even if they all had something special and fun. Let’s just hope the kids remember it this way!
Well, planning and inviting people to a birthday party during the height of a huge epidemic has been a new experience, even in super organised Singapore. While we were planning and inviting people the threat level moved to orange locally, and days before the actual party was when the United States went on lock down. But thankfully, nearly everyone who had RSVP’d made it. We did put a bottle of hand sanitiser (we made it ourselves, as it was near impossible to find!) and called them ‘unicorn tears’ and asked people to use it as soon as they entered– but didn’t manage to get a picture of it, sadly! But please know we were doing our best to be responsible as we could be with the information we had at the time.
We researched fun venues around town and finally found one that we liked, with good healthy food and supported sustainability. So we booked it (with a clause that if we went to threat level red we could get out of the contract), and sent out the invites!
Because the room was quite nice, with brick walls and curved windows, we didn’t have to do too much for the decor. Unfortunately, these great windows didn’t make for great photos, but hopefully you can see the overall effect.
We created a video that acted as decor, with unicorn themed songs that looped every 20 minutes. The idea was that it was supposed to be like a backdrop but it still sucked the kids in a bit more than we intended!
Our plan for entertainment was on the 2 tables- one with horns, coloring and tic-tac-toe, and the other with a colorful ribbon wand to make. I covered the tables in fun polka dot fabric that added some color.
We also did a round of pin the horn on the unicorn, but it wasn’t all that popular with the kids. Which was fine, honestly.
Ok, now on to the cake! My husband made it (of course) based on a picture I saw on instagram. It was beautiful and added to the decor!
The venue supplied the food and it went quickly! Chicken fingers, tofu pesto bites, guac and chips, pb and banana toast, chia pudding and yogurt cups. They didn’t have kids cups, so I found really cute rainbow cups for the kids and ended up making the tags.
Because the room had no outdoor space (and we had 20 5 year olds!) we decided we needed some additional entertainment! We found a storyteller who put on a unicorn costume and theatrically read a couple of unicorn books. She was fantastic and engaging and the kids were enthralled.
We followed the storyteller with cutting the cake– which was, of course, had rainbow layers!
The obligatory family photo! (Do you like our rainbow gear?)
Since my daughter’s Moana birthday I’ve wanted to produce a girl’s dinosaur birthday party. So from the day after her 3rd birthday, I put the idea in her head… and it worked! It took me a bit of time to decide how to make it cute… until I remembered one of our favorite books, Dinosaurs in the Supermarket, and thought it would be a fun theme.
We used the illustrations as a starting place for the invitation, and added the red and white awning to make it more supermarket-like.
We found a playroom with a supermarket set up (among other things). So we used it as a starting place for decoration.
The birthday room was brightly colored, so we tried to keep it simple, with some red supermarket banners and gold foil balloons.
One of my favorite things were these adorable mini-carts we decorated the tables with dinosaurs pushing them, of course! The kids took these home, as they were filled with tattoos, a lollipop and dinosaur eggs to grow at home.
Also, the food at this party was pretty amazing. A dinosaur kale pesto, dino watermelon fruit salad, dino hump empanadas, dino cheese, and a supermarket sample tray, just like you’d see at a grocery store!
I added dinosaurs to the cups to help with identification and the red ones were for adults.
And, as usual, my hubby made the cake. My daughter asked for green on the outside and pink on the inside, so he made it happen. It was maybe his tastiest cake yet.
East’s first birthday is nearly upon us, and we are deep in planning mode for her party. For as much as I love paper and would have loved to send out (or deliver!) gorgeous invitations, I communicate almost entirely by Whats App these days. Not only to talk to my family back home, but to schedule play dates, learn about events, or share baby stories with other moms. So when it came time to getting out the word for the party, I wanted the fastest, most effective way to get on people’s busy calendars. So via text it went!
Mamas have to be adaptable, even party planner ones!