I’m no Pinterest party mum but I do try. Weird as it sounds, I actually enjoy the party planning and get excited finding new ideas to make Frog’s birthday parties that bit more special. I know, I should probably get out more.
Last year was the first year that we really embraced the whole birthday party thing. Frog was adamant that she wanted a party in a hall, picking out a rainbow theme and going crazy looking at Pinterest on the iPad. Her enthusiasm was infectious and soon I was getting involved in making a huge rainbow cake, rainbow paper pom-poms and cloud sandwiches.
This year Frog was equally sure of what she wanted: a beach disco party. Sure enough, a quick search on the internet proved that such a party does, indeed, exist. I booked a kids’ disco with DNA Kids and opted for their beach themed party package. The village hall was booked once again (£8 an hour – bargain!) and then I kind of forgot about it until about two weeks before.
Life being busy, I got stuck into work and babies and school commitments and everything else that comes with being a mum in 2015. But then, about two weeks before the event, my party mojo returned and I started to actually think about little ways that we could make the party “beachy”.
I ordered a load of Hawaiian necklaces online (Amazon, I think), which we gave to each child as they arrived. I also found some kids’ sunglasses going cheap on eBay, so we put a pair of brightly coloured sunglasses on each paper plate at the table.
Pinterest led me to go pinwheel crazy, and I bought a variety of different coloured paper pinwheels (which are now on display in a jam jar on my dining room shelf), along with some brightly coloured buckets to use as food tubs for (sea shell) pasta salad and crisps. I also found some chip shop style paper cones on eBay, which we used to hold the mini sausages and scotch eggs.
Cakes-wise, a lovely friend offered to make Frog a Frozen cake which, although not very beachy, was EXACTLY what Frog wanted. It got me off midnight cake duty the night before the party, leaving me with more time to decorate 40 fairy cakes that my mum made. We covered them in butter icing and sprinkled crushed digestives on top, finishing with a mini pinwheel or colourful rosette.
For the decoration, we strung up bunting on the railings outside the hall, and more bunting (from our wedding!) inside. We finished it all off with streamers, big paper rosettes, beach balls and plenty of balloons.
My mum sorted the party bags. She bought a load of bright plastic kids’ buckets and filled them with a make-your-own sun visor kit, waterproof squidgy ball, sweets, bubble-bath and cake. The kids also took home their hula necklaces and sunglasses – there was a colourful procession leaving the hall that day. We wanted them to leave with stuff they might actually use this summer. That was the plan, anyway.
Of course afterwards I ready for a large G&T. Luckily, we did the party from 2pm – 4pm, so bedtime wasn’t far off once we’d finished clearing up. Silver lining of an afternoon party, you know.
I love this photo of Frog with my sister, who travelled over from Southampton for the party. Aunty points right there.
Frog doesn’t actually turn five until Saturday, but we’re planning a family day out and tea at the pub that day. Having her party the week before her birthday meant she wasn’t on a post-party come-down afterwards, which was nice. Of course she was utterly knackered the next day and Sunday wasn’t one to shout about, but I suppose if it’s your birthday you’re allowed to cry if you want to…
It’s kind of weird to think this little one will probably be running around with the older kids at next year’s party. God knows how I’ll cope when I need to do two big parties a year!
Have you organised a kids’ birthday party recently? Am I the only one needing a large G&T afterwards?!