Not Purrfect, but a whole lot of feline fun…. By Sarah Wilson

not-purrfect A FY

Not Purrfect

So I was quite looking forward to blogging about our little feline themed party that we had for our four year old over the weekend. And then I came across this in my facebook feed. http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/paulhenry/have-childrens-birthday-parties-have-become-too-extravagant-2016061712#axzz4CAW2RpSN

Yep, I really like the author and blogger who was featured on the news, and yes…she really does have a point. Perhaps parties have gotten out of control. I would agree that no one needs to spend loads of hard earned cash on their child’s birthday party. After all, kids really do like simple things. But this was a bit of a downer. It seems like it’s in vogue to criticize anyone who wants to put their heart and soul into a kid’s celebration. But my take on it is simply this: if people want to spend time on creating a celebration then let them go for it. And if they don’t want to…

View original post 471 more words

Advertisements

Crazy Crafternoons for Kids: Hosting an Arty Party, by Sarah Wilson

Some simple ideas for hosting a ‘Crazy Crafternoon for Kids’ or ‘Arty Party’, either for a birthday, a school holiday activity, or just because 🙂

artypartyforblog

Recently I was intrigued to come across the term ‘Crafternoon’. A ‘crafternoon‘ is a lazy, lovely way to spend an afternoon crafting with adults or with the kids. I’ve always believed that everyone has a creative bent in them. Wasn’t it Picasso who famously stated that every child is an artist?

For my daughter’s birthday this year, we decided to opt for an ‘Arty Party’ theme. Even if you consider yourself to be creatively challenged, an ‘Arty Party’ can be pulled off relatively easily. All you need is 2-4 semi-structured crafty activities and if you lack inspiration, look to none other than Pinterest for some crafting inspiration. While we usually have parties at home, this year we had my daughter’s party at ‘Gone Potty’, a ceramic paining franchise. This turned out to be a smart idea, as I think I might have ‘gone potty’ if I had hosted…

View original post 420 more words

A Minecraft Birthday, by Kirsteen McLay-Knopp

Minecraft FYAnother post with birthday party ideas… I know some people aren’t big on birthday parties for kids.  I think it’s “each to their own” in this area, although I do believe every child’s birthday should be acknowledged somehow, as each one is special.  We haven’t had any posts on boys’ birthdays here on “The Forever Years” yet either, so I thought it good to do one!

Anyway, our eldest son turned 10 recently.  We do “themed” parties and he said he wanted a “Minecraft Party”.  At first I thought, “Uh-oh, he just wants to game for the whole time his mates are here.”  I wasn’t super keen, because there wouldn’t be enough tablets or computers for 6 boys and also, we often have “Minecraft arguments” at home among our own children (like when someone goes into someone else’s world and kills them or builds stuff without their permission or pulls down or blows up stuff without their permission… it gets complicated).

My son got a Minecraft Magazine from his school library, which had some ideas in it and we also got onto Google and made up some ideas of our own.  I found it a not too expensive and, in the end, quite fun party, so will share some of what we did here, for anyone else whose kid likes Minecraft and wants this kind of birthday party.

1.Creeper… theme  (black and green)

I always find it helpful to have a colour theme for kids’ parties, it gives them a kind of uniformity and cohesiveness.  Minecraft’s Creeper’s green colour, plus black (which is in Creeper’s face and on most of the other Minecraft characters) became our theme: green drink, green and black balloons and green and black streamers.  For the drinks, my son and I drew “creeper faces” on green cups and had lime fizz in bottles with creeper faces too, which we re-named “Creeper Juice”.  We also drew creeper faces on the green balloons.  The good thing about Minecraft is that everything is in squares, so I found it fairly easy to copy characters and faces, block by block.

Creeper Collage FY

2.  A Creeper Pinata

Creeper FYWe created a “creeper pinata” out of old boxes from the supermarket.  It was VERY easy.  The main challenge, I found, was putting paper over holes in the box so that there were enough “weak spots” that the pinata could actually be broken.  Rather than put loads of lollies inside, I put bags with each child’s name on them, so that there were no fights, and in the bag, as well as a couple of lollies, there were notebooks and Minecraft stickers… I didn’t want to send those kids back to their Mums and Dads buzzed up on sugar.  (In this photo we were still in the process of painting Creeper: we put light green small squares on his body like the Minecraft one).

3. TNT

We made “party poppers” and red jelly into “TNT”, to further fit in with the minecraft theme.  I used stickers over the poppers and on the cups for the jelly.

TNT Collage

4. Wall decorations: Minecraft Characters

My son loves drawing Minecraft characters, so we let him go for it.  I find decorating the walls for a birthday is great, because it really helps set the scene/ theme and it’s an activity for the kids to do… I think it’s great to get them to help wherever possible, it’s their birthday, after all.  My other children also enjoyed doing this and it became a family activity.

Drawing Collage

5. The Cake

Fortunately for our family, my husband has a natural flair for decorating kids’ cakes.  For this party, he created a very cool Creeper.  He said that this was one of the easier cakes he’d decorated, however, again because of the “square” factor that comes when doing anything with a Minecraft theme.  (Doing “natural” looking curves on cakes to make them look like animals or other “real” things can be tricky).  The thing which took the longest, in decorating the Creeper cake, was attaching the hundreds of tiny square icing “tiles” in different shades of green.  For those who don’t feel up to doing that, giving Creeper a pale green body, then painting it with food colouring in different shades of green would also look effective.

Cake FY

Overall, this party went well.  I was a little nervous about the pinata, as we’d never done on before.  The prizes were in the Creeper’s body, not in the head, so I had to tell the kids to wack the body.  I think the reason I haven’t done a pinata before is that belting them until they split open always seemed quite aggressive and violent to me.  But kids love them and we tried to keep it orderly so everyone got a turn.

The party was for two hours, 2pm-4pm on a Saturday afternoon.  I think one reason things went smoothly was that the kids were older (I’ve had some parties for younger kids where their over enthusiasm has caused chaos… including one party at which a wee girl projectile vomited, as she was so excited when she saw our daughter’s 3rd birthday “pony cake”…).  After doing parties for four children for a decade, I’ve also discovered that having a list helps.  For this party, my list was:  guests arrive, Joe opens presents and thanks guests, eating, birthday cake, pinata, watch some Minecraft on Youtube if time at the end, guests parents collect them.  Very simple, but something to go back to when noise levels were high and my brain was addled and also plenty of things to chug through in two hours.

I hope this article and the pictures of what we did will inspire and help those of you who want to do parties for kids who love Minecraft.  We held this party at home and the most expensive thing was probably the cake.  The overall party was fairly cheaply done.  Please comment if you have any other great ideas for parties with this theme and I’ll put some links below that I found helpful when organising our son’s one.

http://www.thekitchenmagpie.com/how-to-throw-a-simple-minecraft-birthday-party/

http://minemum.com/party-ideas

http://coolmompicks.com/blog/2014/03/25/minecraft-birthday-party-ideas/

The High Tea Party……For Kids!

By Sarah Wilson

hightea13

With two of my children being girls, I’ve had the pleasure of organizing little girly tea parties for the last few years. And tea parties are just so much fun! For my daughter’s third birthday this month, I had so much fun hosting a ‘High Tea’ for children at home. Typically, high tea is of British origin, and is a meal eaten in the late afternoon or early evening, consisting of a cooked dish, bread and butter, and tea. Often sandwiches, cakes and scones are served. A high tea is usually for adults but this little party was given a kiddie twist. A high tea @ home turned out to be an inexpensive party that wasn’t too difficult to organize. To host a vintage children’s high tea at home, you’ll need:

A lace tablecloth

1-3 high tea platters. I borrowed two, and bought one from a local second hand shop.

I…

View original post 259 more words

Each to Their Own – My Response to the ‘Birthday Party Guidelines’ Blog Post that Went Viral.

What is your take on children’s birthday parties?  By Sarah Wilson.

Each To Their Own

Anyone who knows me well is aware that I am party mad. I enjoy throwing kids birthday parties. For me party planning is a passion that I enjoy cultivating. Why? Simply because it’s so much fun. Celebrations are big in our family. I look forward to those dates of celebration each year and in our family we use any excuse for a celebration. I’ve been changing nappies for eight long years now, and when my delightful yet slightly obstinate daughter finally nails toilet training, we are going to have a ‘No More Nappies’ Party.

flower

But I’m also aware that mothers who throw themselves head first into birthday party planning, receive a fair amount of flak from other parents, both spoken and unspoken. I’ve been told that my parties are ‘over the top’. I’ve never spent lots of money on my kids birthdays, preferring to opt for ‘retro’ styled parties at…

View original post 778 more words