Thursday, June 13, 2013

The fake birthday party

The twins' birthday isn't till the end of the month. They've been bugging us to throw them a party. Packrat and I are of the opinion that parties should be simple. The problem is that they get invited to parties which have magicians, bouncy castles and goodie bags and they want the same.

We've told them in no uncertain terms that
a. We don't print money.
b. We are already doing a class thing where we bring cake into school (But we have told them that this is their last year and we aren't going to be doing that when they hit primary school)
c. We will have a small and (emphasise) simple party at home with their playmates
d. And since we are doing a class thing, we are not going to invite all 60 (2 classes of 30 children) to a party at home.

They agreed, thank goodness. And since we are away on their birthday itself, we thought to do something earlier on and something to occupy them and their playmates from the neighbourhood. The twins called it their Fake Birthday and went about singing "Happy Fake Birthday to me!".

It was the first party that I had planned with games. Prior to this, I had felt that they were too young and were just as happy to run around. But this time, we had games and we had activities.

For the 3rd term in school, the twins will be involved in a project with their class. It is a big deal. Jordan's class is doing books. She's selected Charlotte's Web as one of the books she wants to bring into class. So, we had decided that the party should be run on the Charlotte's Web theme.

The party ran in 3 phases. So for a home-made party, it was extremely elaborate.

Phase 1.

There was spider web painting which involved masking tape on canvases, smearing paint all over the canvas and then stripping it after when dry to form very pretty spider web designs. Of course, with any activity which involves paint, it inevitably gets onto every part of their clothes and body. We used everything we could get our hands on, brushes, sponge rollers, big painter and foam brushes (all thanks to CraftPlay) as well as eventually body parts, But they really got into it and it kept them occupied for a full hour before all mess broke loose!

Spider Web canvas painting in the open
Pretty spider webs. Evan decided that his worked great as a car track too.

And while we got things organised, there were the perennial favourites like bubble blowing (which I tried to make from scratch with glycerin and dish washing detergent) and the change to graffiti with giant chalk.

The good thing about inviting neighbour's children was that when everyone got too dirty and soapy from the painting, chalk and bubbles we could send them home with instructions to reappear at our house for more games and cake. 
Packrat outdid himself by building a huge spider web out of masking tape in our living room. The initial plan was to see how many insects (insect counters to be exact) they could feed Charlotte. Unfortunately, the masking tape was too weak (perhaps packing tape next time?) and the insects too heavy. So they flung rolled up tissue balls at it and every time one stuck, they got an insect. Jordan fell so in love with the spider web that she was in tears when we needed to tear it down and only allowed us to do so with the promise that we would build her another one. 

Little does she know that we are planning to build a web outside her bedroom door, therefore trapping JED in, early in the morning! 

All sorts of fun. Chalk, Bubbles and Sparklers.

Feeding Charlotte

There had to be cake. The twins (more secretly for Evan) have a thing about My Little Pony at this point. We toyed with getting a 3D My Little Pony cake but that would have cost more than all the art, bubble and bug supplies. The whole family really loves these muffins from Shunfu market and so instead of cake, we opted for muffins, dressed with My Little Pony and Transformers toppers. Each kid got a muffin and brought home the topper of choice.

Muffins make a great alternative to cake.

Evan and Jordan were so chuffed from the whole day that they couldn't stop hugging me and thanking me. The thanking me was a nice surprise because they weren't told by some other adult to do it.

Even though the candles had been blown and the children had gone home, the children themselves had organized the THIRD phase of their party.

Phase 3.

They arranged to meet at 7 pm, after dinner back downstairs to play with sparklers. Even though it had been a long day and it would be way past bed time by the time they were done, we thought to indulge them. Muffin didn't because he was worn out with the rest of the day's activities and was fast asleep by then.

So, we were happy that our no frills party was a great hit and I was very happy that no kid, including my increasingly calculative twins, asked for a goodie bag. They did get to go home with stuff, but they 'earned' the stuff. Insects from the games, toppers from the muffins and a canvas of their very own art.

It's the morning after the party and while we do have time today to do something with them (i.e. the Children's Season at the Museum)  both Packrat and I are too exhausted by yesterday to embark on something like that today. So we are going on a bus ride where the scenery will entertain them.

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  1. I love this! Sort of bookworm nerdy and so simple. We are of the same belief that parties should be simple, fun affairs without all that crazy magicians/bouncy castle nonsense.

  2. Great party! Love the spider's web! Amazing that it was strong enough for the plastic insects to stick!

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