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Shirley's party advice part 6 - don't be afraid to interrupt us!

(1000 Posts)
Tinkerisdead Sun 09-Jun-13 17:06:22

Okay, this is shirley's party advice part 6. Shirley ducked out a while ago and you'll notice us chatting about all kinds of stuff whilst we wait for party planners to barge in.

So, don't lurk, jump in and chat. We'll give you any advice on parties from costumes to cakes....

groovejet Mon 22-Jul-13 13:38:15

Need some inspiration in planning dd1s party, she will be 9.

Party will be at home and will be 10 children total. She has mentioned a build a bear at home or she is eyeing up a Luau kind of party.

Bear party seems an easier choice, get the kits get them to decorate some t shirts for bears just worried at this age some kids maybe a bit bored with it?

Luau seems more fun but she wants to do something craft related that her friends can take home and am struggling to find something. Have seen on American sites decorating paper parasols but can't seem to find anything like that cheap enough? Also worried that this kind of party is much better outside and relying on weather is a concern.

Please if anyone can give me any ideas or help would be appreciated before I give in and just book somewhere for her.

HannahDancer Tue 23-Jul-13 00:58:52

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Blatherskite Tue 23-Jul-13 09:29:18

I'm sorry Hannah but you have to pay for advertising on MN so I have reported your post.

jetstar Tue 23-Jul-13 11:11:06

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I'm party planning in earnest for DD1's 4th Fairy & Pirate Party at the end of August. Invites are sent out - if everyone comes there could be 20 children to entertain. Age range 0 - 4. Hall booked. 2.30 - 5pm is party time

Ideas so far...
set out toys / activites to get on with when they arrive e.g. sparkly play doh, colouring sheets etc
decorate fairy / pirate biscuits (then eat them!)
Pass the parcel (20 layers sounds a lot, can you do ptp with 2 parcels?)
Pirate song (When I was 1...) & Fairy Dance Song
maybe 1 more game / craft activity...?
Books instead of party bags (age 3-4 appropriate)

Party tea
Fairy bread
Fairy cakes
Pirate cupcakes
fairy jelly in shot glasses?
sausages / crisps / crudites...

Fairy Birthday cake

running out of steam grin any more ideas?

Anyone know a fairy/pirate story I could use?
Alternatives to party bags for toddlers?


stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Jul-13 13:26:19

Jetstar and groovejet (do we have a theme going on there) I am not ignoring you - flat out juggling work and DC and sewing (ok, that bit I brought on myself [smile) - hopefully tonight I will get to sit down and can answer properly (including tips on 2 parcel PtP)

jetstar Tue 23-Jul-13 19:04:28

Hi groovejet

I agree that a Luau party could be quite weather dependent, but an indoor one could be fun too! You could make it a bit beach themed and do a craft with shells maybe?
Dressing up would be fun and trying to dance the hula!! Dancing competition maybe?
themed game ideas here

I did a teddy themed party for DD1 but she was 3, a teddy bears picnic tea is fun on the food front - pombears, teddy shaped sandwiches / biscuits, cake in the shape of a teddy etc

Will keep on thinking smile

GherkinsAreAce Tue 23-Jul-13 22:01:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Jul-13 22:02:48

Glad to hear it, gherkins no idea which party grin

stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Jul-13 22:47:34

Right - luau party - if you type exactly that into pinterest then there are loads of lovely ideas which come up, most of which would work indoors. the thing that would concern me would be that you would have to make the call fairly early, to clear indoor spaces and do the decor. Pink paper lanterns (yes I am obsessed, no I don't have shares) and possible a scene setter would help with the indoor ambience.

Indoors or out, you have to do these grin

stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Jul-13 22:55:51

Jetstar - how many 0-3's and how many 3-4's? Only I was thinking that you need another activity, possibly, maybe decorating pirate hats/wands/tiaras, but that would probably involve stick on jewels and if any significant proportion of the guests are at the putting things in their mouths stage then that wouldn't work.

PtP - 2 parcels - you need lots of sharp eyed adult spotters, and stickers in the layers which you encourage them to wear as they get them so that you can see who has had a turn. At that age you can be pretty unsubtle about fixing it - I generally direct DH (who works the music) until everyone has had a turn, and then let him loose to decide the winners!

jetstar Wed 24-Jul-13 20:59:14

Maximum 19 3-4 year olds, 3 two year olds and 5 baby/toddlers (I will be amazed if they all turn up!)

Will do 2 ptp then - maybe get adults to stick on stickers to those who have had a turn!

Make your own party hat could be an ok activity - choice of crowns / pirate hats / tiaras - I will need adult helpers won't I - or maybe parents will do them with their child - I am expecting parents to stay.

Do I need lanterns? wink

stealthsquiggle Wed 24-Jul-13 22:43:50

I am sure you do need lanterns - I just can't quite work out why wink

stealthsquiggle Wed 24-Jul-13 22:58:42

Bag for teddy bears picnic - finally done

NonsenseTalker Wed 24-Jul-13 22:59:24

Thanks for that link Stealth - I love it already!!
Still catching up on posts so will be back tomorrow

NonsenseTalker Thu 25-Jul-13 09:53:30

Wow - I have missed loads!!

Please please please help me!

I am going to make a 2 tier cake, I would like it quite big so maybe I need 3 layers per cake? Does anyone have an idiot guide with regards to tin sizes and cake recipes?

Games - we are doing an assault course, 'vaporise a villain' (helium filled balloons that get sprayed with silly string/water gun), find the bomb (hide 5 'bombs' around the place to be found, pass the bomb (ptp), and musical superheroes. The assault course is going to be a bit involved so I'm hoping to use musical superheroes bumps as a back-up time filler.
My 'prizes' for these ages are sweet tattreats and I really hate this.
My party favours were going to be capes and masks but dh kindly I want to throttle him pointed out last night that 4 year olds will need party bags. So now I find myself hunting for trashy party bag fillers and I am nt that kind of party thrower!! party snob

The theme is a 'superhero training programme' the invites were awesome (how modest) and they will get a graduating certificate in their party bag.

I feel like I'm missing something a lot ....................

Food s just going to be every day party food with superhero labels.

I have 17 days, 19 children guaranteed, possibly 25, ranging from 1 yr to 5yrs.

Help. Me.

NonsenseTalker Thu 25-Jul-13 09:56:40

Oh. It's also DD's 1st birthday so I need to try to focus on her somehow.
I would like to make a number 1 cake if I can hire the tin but I don't know how to make any of the superhero stuff 1yo girl friendly.

stealthsquiggle Thu 25-Jul-13 10:02:43


Take a deep breath.

Have a cup of tea.

It sounds fantastic. Your DH is wrong, BTW - what 4yos need is something to take home. Not tat. IIWY I would get some white paper carrier bags (small ones) from ebay (like this), put a "pow" or some other artwork from the invititations and the childs name on each, and put in a mini bag of buttons/a mini box of smarties, a piece of cake, and their masks/capes if they abandon them during the party. They will be more than happy.

Cake guide - not to hand, but you could ask on the baking thread. What size tins do you have? A 4 egg sponge comes up nice and deep in 2 just under 8" tins - I have books which will scale recipes up and down, just not to hand - if you let me know what sizes you need and what sort of cake, I can look it up tonight.

NonsenseTalker Thu 25-Jul-13 10:15:35

Thats what I thought! With their game prizes too, they will actually be getting a party bag!!

Cake. I recently made a cake for dh. I have one 24cm tin. It sank. So much that when I cut it in half, the top layer looked like a doughnut because it had such a big hole shock blush

I don't have any tins. I was hoping to find a recipe and then buy the tins to match. I wonder if I should bake in batches, use sandwich tins and make individual layers rather than big cakes that need slicing....?
I am scared by long cooking times for cakes.

stealthsquiggle Thu 25-Jul-13 10:19:58

I seem to have that problem lately. Especially with deep sponge cakes. sad

Sandwich tins are definitely easier (well, deepish straight-sided ones to make one layer at a time - not the very shallow ones). Let me do some sums later tonight and get back to you.

NonsenseTalker Thu 25-Jul-13 11:40:52

And should it be Madeira cake? Or you mentioned a Nigella recipe?
This is going to cost a fortune in practice runs!

stealthsquiggle Thu 25-Jul-13 16:12:08

I use Nigella's buttermilk birthday cake recipe, which I like because it is moist but firm enough to support icing (just about), but it does have quite a dense crust. On the baking threads there are links to some other people's "go to" recipes.

jetstar Fri 26-Jul-13 08:42:01

Are fairy snap cards & pirate snap cards a bit naff for ptp prizes? At first I thought it was a great idea (as I had found something themed) but then I thought maybe the children wouldn't like them...?

stealthsquiggle Fri 26-Jul-13 08:43:40

Jetstar my two both loved snap and would probably still play it - I think it's a great idea.

jetstar Fri 26-Jul-13 09:09:45

Oh great grin I am second guessing myself on EVERYTHING!

stealthsquiggle Fri 26-Jul-13 17:05:21

I am now officially jealous of people with summer party excuses (even given the need for wet weather plans and the like). DD has just been to the teddy bears picnic and they all had a glorious time running around under the trees in the garden of a tea room, playing suitably themed relay race games and then having a picnic with their bears - and she is really chuffed with her bear ears on a headband (clearly made by party host). So much less fraught without the noise of 20+ children and their chattering parents being contained in an echoey hall. envy

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