We have an agreement in our household that we give the kids a 'BIG' birthday bash every second year. On the alternate years we have a more laid back, casual, family and best friend occasion. I put a lot of myself into these parties and so doing it bi-annually keeps it sustainable :)
So it works out that the kids have parties for their 1st (gotta celebrate the first), 3rd (first time they have a say in how things go), and 5th (preschool/school friends become all important) birthdays.
The kids have a big say in their parties. They decide what 'theme' they would like and then in consultation with me, design activities that they think their friends will enjoy while at the party. They also design great party bags to give their friends as a gift.
I have found this a brilliant learning process. The kids not only have a great sense of ownership over their big day, but they also have practise in thinking about others, increasing their sense of empathy. This year we heard the benefits of this as Orlando was planning his 5th birthday bash. He was heard say, "I think my friends are really going to enjoy..." and, "How excited will they be when I give them this special gift" and "My heart feels good making these presents"... My heart likes hearing this :)
My philosophy, when it comes to designing children's birthday parties, is to develop a range of engaging experiences for the children to immerse them selves in through out the party. We don't have competitive party games or games where you receive a prize, as I think they are a whole lot of unneeded effort. Kids are competitive enough, I don't want to support and encourage that mindset.
So Orlando is turning 5! This has brought up a whole lot of reflection on my part but I will save that for another post...
So what party did Orlando choose?
A ROCKET PARTY!!!
So we made a Rocket Cake - My first attempt using fondant icing.... I love it, no returning now!)
2 cup white flour
1/2 cup of salt
4 tbls cream of tartar
2 cup water
2 tbsp oil
Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium pot. Add water, oil and food colouring. Cook and stir over medium heat. When mixture forms a ball in the pot, turn out and knead on a lightly floured surface. Knead through stars. Store in airtight container or plastic bag.
Mix together with a fork, add more flour if too wet or more water if too stiff. You are aiming for the consistency of thick PVA glue. Makes a big mess but washes easily off in water J
4 cups sand
2 cups cornflour
1 cup of water
Selection of Star Stickers
Various Art materials
Cardboard cut outs in Space shapes
Hope on the trampoline, put your arms about your head and blast off!! How high can you get??
We are lucky enough to have a beautiful cubby that happens to be easily 'rocket-ish'. It is next to a sandpit which we turned into the moon!
We collected a variety of rockets. Pop rockets, very popular balloon rockets, air rockets all sorts!
Bi-Carb Mini Rockets
Steps to Launch:
- Fill film canister ½ full of vinegar
- Lay toilet paper over opening
- Place ½ teaspoon of bi-carb on top of toilet paper
- Replace film canister lid firmly
- Invert, place on ground and RUN!!
We had a blast and Orlando felt very special, couldn't of asked for more!
Matilda has already started planning hers. Apparently were having a Fairy Ballerina Tea Party.... My brain is already ticking....