Saturday, 17 May 2014

Rock and Gem Party

He is 7! It has happened already! Now I need to figure out how to parent a 7 year old! I haven't done that before.

Every 2nd year we support our children to organise themselves a birthday party. Orlando has done a few now and he loves the process.

This year he had a dilemma as to which 'theme' to choose (he is passionate about many things) so we planned them all! Through this process there was a clear winner. A theme that he has been passionate about for a long time and was going to make for a really cool party.

Rocks and Gems!

Here is what he planned...


Each guest was provided a bucket with a magnifying glass, paint brush, pair of tweezers and a tool for excavation. These were used in all the activities and then taken home at the end. 


Excavation - Sandpit was buried with bones, real fossils, polished gems, shells and an assortment of other 'treasure'

 Fossicking - Big tubs full of sand, water, chip gems, shells and large gems. Scoops, real fossicking sieves and gold pans made it feel even more authentic.

Rock Dig - We had a lot of fun creating a plaster and sand rock dig. We followed the tutorial over at 'longlivelearning'. We had great fun making them before hand and 3 of them lasted the whole party, and now, 3 weeks after the party, they are getting close to being finished. They were very popular and the party and the kids got a real sense of achievement when they finally got out a treasure.

Gold and Gem Mine - I forgot to take a photo of this! We got a kids tunnel and a small tent and covered the whole thing in MANY black plastic bags. This made it completely dark inside. We then spray painted a bucket full of normal rocks gold. These rocks we hidden all through the tunnel and tent. So when the kids went in with a head torch it lit up the gold for them to collect. We hid some large rough cut gems in there also.

I am not a big fan of competition at birthday parties. So near each experience was a bucket for you to place the treasures you had excavated or found. This served two-fold, if an activity was wiped clean, we could re-hide treasures, but also made the morning feel like a communal effort. We were all working together to excavate as much as we could. At the end of the party we collected all the buckets and put it into 2 really big trays. One of the kids said "WOW look at all the work we have put in! We have all collected so much!" (my non-competitive heart sang)

Then everyone collected 20 of their favourites to take home from the party, along with their tools.

This is always the first thing Orlando plans. Pinterest is a wonderful tool when it comes to ideas for cakes. There are some very talented cake decorators out there... I am not one of them. I can usually make a cake look pretty good but when thinking of rocks... A friend had her sons birthday party a few weeks earlier and she had made EDIBLE GEODES. They were IMPRESSIVE! So we got to thinking and thought that we might use this idea to make a geode cake topper.

Not all went to plan, I learnt a lot. But we had some crystal caves to use and found some chocolate rocks to add to the 'rock-i-ness'.

Inside was chocolate mud with jube lollies baked though it (like gems in the dirt). I DON'T recommend doing this... and wont be doing it again :) They made the cake really hard to cut and all sank to the bottom. They were hard to eat also.

Well the food all needed to be rock - related so we had...

Chocolate Chia Seed Balls
Caramel Macadamias
Chocolate Rocks
Caramel Pop Corn Balls
Rock Cakes
Pretzels (with Salt Crystals) 

We also added -
Homemade Sausage Rolls and Spinach Rolls
Prawn Cutlets
Fruit Platter
Cheese Platter

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