This weekend past marked a couple of very important anniversaries for me and farmer Bren as parents. Together we threw our third and final five year old's farm party which happened to also be the 25th party we have celebrated with our girls and their friends.
Twenty five!! Crazy huh.
And as I've been sitting here downloading the photos and enjoying the calm before the next storm in two weeks, I've also been thinking about what I've learnt over time, about my top ten ingredients for a successful and FUN kid's birthday party.
I like a theme. I like that it sets the mood before the party even starts and often gives a bit of an exciting clue as to what the party will be and what to wear. Over the years we've had spotty parties, cupcake parties, rock star parties, Jazzy once begged for a poo party but I said no, make-over parties, slumber parties and so many more.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of Miss Pepper's sheep invitation (I did post one to instagram tho if you want to check it out), but we always make our own invitations. Mostly we draw a picture and colour them in and write the details on the back. My kidlets get so excited for their parties and making the invites feels like we are actually doing something rather than just sitting back waiting for them to arrive.
3. Craft activity.
Let's face it, I like a good crafty activity and so most of our parties start with something to make while we wait for everyone to arrive. On the weekend we painted flower pots and in the past we've done nail polish, decorated treasure boxes, tote bags and iced cupcakes. Mostly the item they decorate ends up being their take home gift too.
4. Tractor ride.
Well to be honest this was the first tractor ride we have ever done at one of our parties, but my goodness those kiddies loved it. They sat back in a pile of hay, got a tour of our farm and sang farm songs the whole way.
I guess number four is really about doing something that celebrates the party's theme.
5. Free time.
We always have a long list of activities planned but love it most when the party goes off script. When the kids just go off and do their own thing and enjoy being together.
6. Big kids.
My big girls have finally gotten to the stage where they can happily run a party. I can't tell you how awesome it was to watch Indi and Jazzy take turns explaining the games and making it all happen. It also reminded me of when I used to run my sisters' parties growing up and how much fun that was.
7. Their faves.
Miss Pepper wanted a pinata. When we sat down and wrote the games list she couldn't stop talking about how much fun the pinata at Mimi's party had been and how much she wanted one for her own.
We made the woolly sheep pinata by covering a balloon with strips of newspaper soaked in watered down glue. Once it was dry we popped the balloon, filled the paper ball with treasure, made little legs from toilet rolls and then covered the entire thing with cotton wool balls.
8. Our faves.
I like that we do old fashioned parties at home. I like that they are pretty low key but loads of fun. And I like that they are an opportunity to play some of the games of our childhoods. Three legged races, sack races, follow the leader, statues and egg and spoon races all made an appearance. Pass the parcel did not (thank goodness).
Chosen and planned by the birthday girl. In this case it was banana cake covered in chocolate ganache (mud) with plastic animals. And it all went which is always an added bonus.
We like to have a friend or two stay behind after the party has finished to help open the prezzies, to play with the prezzies to finish off the cake and to continue the fun. Otherwise everyone goes home and its all over just like that.
So how about you?
Do you have special ingredients that you always add to make a great party?
What was the best themed party you ever threw/went to?
What's your fave party game?
Do you have a party season at your place or are they spread out over the year?
Party on dudes.