An ‘Around the World’ themed birthday party

Last week, at the beginning of Melbourne’s heatwave, I helped a friend organise a fun party for her daughter’s fifth birthday.  As a well travelled little girl with parent’s who travel often and extended family and friends living all over the world she chose the perfect theme!  She also desperately wanted to wear her new traditional South Korean costume that her Mum had brought back from a recent trip overseas.  All the children arrived in costumes from all over the world.  Adorable.


As the day was over forty degrees celcius (that’s over 104 degrees faranheit) and the party was at 10.30 in the morning, the food was simple with nothing that required the oven being turned on! 

Along with some cupcakes with flags of the world toothpicks and aeroplane shaped fairy bread, there was food that represented each continent of the world:
Asia – sushi platter , fruit in ceramic spoons (pictured above)
Europe – cheese platter
North America – Oreo cookies
South America – corn chips and guacamole & popcorn
Australia – vegemite sandwiches
Africa – bread and dips
Antarctica – drinks station with lots and lots of ice!


When the children entered the house they were each given their own passport in which they had to write their own name and draw a picture of themselves.  The birthday girl’s Dad did a superb job of making the passports by photocopying his own passport, blocking out some details and then stapling the pages together.
The party guests were also given their own travel bag to collect all their goodies that they would make and collect throughout the party.
Around the house, there were seven activity stations set up.  Each one representing a different continent.  When the children travelled to each table (aka continent) they could complete the activity and receive a stamp in their passport.

The children decorated paper fans in Asia

Made their own Guatemalan worry dolls in South America
(Big thanks to Steph for this timely idea!)
Made American Indian head dresses in North America

Threaded wooden bead bracelets in Africa
Coloured in Babushka doll pictures in Europe

Had their face or hands dot painted in Aboriginal style in Australia along with an Australian flag tattoo …
And splashed their feet in ice and water in Antarctica!
There were also ice slushies and the drinks station in this area.
As well as these fun activities there was also a giant globe pinata 

 a Japanese game of giant Mikado (aka pick up sticks) as well as a paper plane making station, a dress up station with costumes from all over the world and a book reading corner with a selection of books from all over the world.

My kids had such a great time collecting stamps from each of the continents and doing the activities.  This has now become one of my all time fave party themes!  There is just so much scope to be creative and to change things to suit the weather, your child’s age or interests and whatever props you happen to have on hand.  Such an educational theme as well!
If you’re looking for more party ideas, you might like to check out some

http://froggooseandbear.blogspot.com.au/p/party-ideas.html

Childhood Birthdays {some reminiscing}

Today is my 38th birthday.  I have always loved birthdays.  Although they do seem to get a little more uneventful as the years go by.  I don’t seem to put any where near as much effort into the celebrating of my own birthday as I do for my children’s birthdays.  Kudos goes to my own Mum for coming over yesterday though with a delicious afternoon tea to help me celebrate … and for cleaning up afterwards (which, if truth be told, was just as wonderful as the afternoon tea itself).  Maybe the desire to make birthdays special for our children never disappears.  My Mum has always been a birthday queen.  I inherited my love of going over the top for kids parties from my Mum.  Back in the 70′s & 80′s, long before themed parties were all the rage, she was getting right into it!  
These photos are from my ninth birthday.  Twenty nine years ago in 1984.  The theme was ‘Snugglepot & Cuddlepie’ from the classic May Gibb’s storybooks.  The chalk board that I am holding in the photo above says Beware of the Banksias written in the squiggly writing of the gumnut babies.  The handmade poster behind me says ‘Gum Inn’ – shake the bell (referring to the gumnut covered dangly thing in front of the poster).  That’s my sister Lou standing next to me.
 

Gum branches covered in blossoms were hung all throughout the toy room.  We had the best toy room as kids.  It was originally my Dad’s veterinary surgery and we lived behind, until he moved the surgery down the road and we converted the space into an extra large playroom at the front of the house that opened out into the kitchen.

We had gum blossom party hats made from brown card and crepe paper and it looks like we were allowed to use the fancy glasses and candles too!

My friend, Felicity is holding up a menu with bush type names for all of the food we are eating – written in the squiggly writing of course.  

She even decorated the plates with gum blossoms & wattle sprigs on the plates and piped the names Snugglepot and Cuddlepie onto the cupcakes.  They’re meringues on the plate at the front, in case you were wondering.
 
Every year, Mum made our birthday cakes out of vanilla icecream.  She moulded the icecream into shape, then melted small amounts to colour with food dye and use as paint over the top to decorate.  I’ve never known anyone else to have done that.

That’s me and my Dad in the photo above and my face covered in flour in the picture below after playing the flour game – one of our all time favourite party games!  You can read more about how to play the flour game in this post.  I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane and maybe even some understanding of how I got bitten by the party bug!  
I think I have mentioned before that I have two younger sisters.  My sister’s birthdays are only 5 days apart and mine is a few weeks later.  Mum went all out with a separate party for each of us.  She involved us in all aspects of party prep and I have fond memories of all of us sitting down together making invitations, party hats and party bags.  We even decorated plastic plates with each persons name on them and then cover them in clear contact so they could still be eaten from.  We played the best party games like animal noises, the flour game, treasure hunts, dress up games, I could go on.  We even had lollies and stickers in each layer of pass the parcel long before it became fashionable.  She was way ahead of her time!  As we became teenagers they continued with Dad putting on big ‘It’s a Knock Out’ style games (remember that TV show?) set up in the farm shed which involved lots of mess!
 
This is really a thank you post to my Mum, who is an avid supporter of this blog and also an avid supporter of me.  Thank you for supporting me for the last 38 years and for throwing the best parties ever!  You always knew how to make each of us feel special and I can only hope that I’ll be as wonderful a Mum to my children as you are to us.  xo
more-party-ideas

THE LEGO PARTY part 1

Sorry to keep you all waiting lovely people!  Here are the pics from Saturday’s Lego Party to celebrate Bear’s 6th birthday!  

I made the sign by downloading the free lego font and printing it out, sticking it onto yellow card, cutting it out and then sticking it on to red card.  


 Lego bunting was made from coloured card and the dots were made by using a large circle punch stuck on with padded double sided tape.
The water bottles were decorated using the same method.


FOOD:
Having a party at 2pm means that you don’t need to provide as much food as you would at a party that falls over a meal time – makes things a lot easier!  We had… 

Strawberry cups
Lego sandwiches and Lego cheese biscuits 
(in case you were wondering we used the tip of an icing piper to make the circle shape)

Lego jelly (thanks lou xo)

Marshmallow Lego heads - I died the marshmallows yellow using this method and then drew the faces on with an edible ink pen.  You can vaguely see in the background the chocolate grissini sticks – simple tutorial here.


Lego biscuits.

Of course, as per usual, I started taking photos after everyone had already begun to attack the food … you can see what was popular first – the marshmallow heads, the jellies and the blue, yellow & red biscuits!

We also had a sushi platter (from a local Japanese restaurant), some corn chips, popcorn, jellybeans, kabana, sausage rolls, my favourite mini egg & bacon pies and a fruit platter (red, yellow and blue fruit of course!)


Lego Brick Birthday Cake – totally thought that I was taking the easy way out here by making lego bricks, but those oreo cookies were quite painful to ice with butter icing!  Don’t even ask how much red food dye (I even used the gel stuff) was in the red lego brick!  Did not cut that one up at the party!  Note to self: avoid party themes that require a red cake!

Stay tuned for all of the games and activities in the next post…


Click on the cake for more Frog, Goose & Bear parties!

* No, that sharp knife is not pointed at my four month old niece!

TILLY’S HORSE RACING PARTY

As this seems to have become a month of birthday party posts here on Frog, Goose and Bear, I thought I’d share with you some pics from my niece’s first birthday party that I’ve been meaning to share since last October!  The perfect theme for a one year old in the middle of Spring Racing Carnival here in Melbourne for a little girl who was off and racing long before she turned one!  My sister-in-law did an amazing job!  Love that cake!

You might recognise a couple of props from a certain farm party and pirate party.

Do you have a party coming up?  How are you celebrating?

For more kids party ideas head on over here…

THAT RAINBOW PARTY!

Finally I can share with you some photos of the wonderfully impressive rainbow party that I mentioned we went to a couple of weeks ago!

The cake was fantastic and was made up of many different cupcakes underneath a slab of icing. M&M’s were used to create the rainbow, marshmallows for the clouds and some chocolate money at the end of the rainbow. The best thing about the cake was that each individual cupcake had rainbow layers!* So clever!

The free, yes free, kawaii style rainbow party’ printables that she used to make the invitations, hats, drink bottles, party favor tags & thank you letters are all available here.

Some of the many simple & effective things that I liked at the party were:
- the fruit sticks in rainbow order - cut into flower strawberries/watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple, kiwi fruit, purple grapes.
- pass the parcel with each layer wrapped in a different colour of the rainbow. The children had to do an age appropriate activity (eg. sing a song, clap your hands above your head) in order to receive a packet of smarties.

Perfect for a 2 year old birthday party, the backyard was filled with colorful toys from the ‘party pack’ at the local toy library, which even included a rainbow coloured parachute that was used to cover the hills hoist.

The rainbow playdough was a party activity and then put into ziplock bags as a simple & inexpensive take home party favour.

Stay tuned later this week for another fantastic party that we went to the following day – pirate themed!

Don’t forget to link up your own parties or get inspired over here at our ever expanding DIY Party Linky!
(There are two other rainbow parties there already)
Or you can grab my new button over there on the side bar & tell everyone about it ——>

* If you are interested in a simple tutorial on how to make the cake, let me know as she took photos throughout the whole process!

A DIY DRESS-UP PARTY – {setting the scene}

Finally getting around to sharing some more photos of last week’s dress-up party for Frog’s 2nd birthday!

I pooled my Mum’s, my sister’s and our own dress-up collection and set it up to look like we were in a dressing room backstage at the theatre, complete with a little dressing room behind a few sheets pegged to the rafters as well as a large mirror surrounded by fairy lights.

I covered a couple of old wardrobe doors that were lying around in the shed with some cheap red fabric and added some glittery stars and we had our own photo booth to showcase our creative outfits.

We have a rather large shed in our backyard and we generally have our parties in there. A major benefit of this party location is that at the end of the day I literally slide closed the doors and leave it for another day to pack up! A week later the dress-ups and decorations are all still there, mostly shrewn across the floor.

My husband hosts a poker night once a month in our shed. As it often takes me weeks….ok months… to finally pull everything down, they’ve had underwater poker, princess poker, farm poker on haybales and we did actually set up the shed like a 1930′s poker den for my husband’s birthday last year. I can only imagine what I might find next poker night if I dare to venture into the shed … with all of those dress-ups still lying around… and after a beer or two…


A DIY DRESS-UP PARTY – {the food}

We had lots of fun yesterday at Frog’s Dress-Up Party.
I thought I’d share this one by breaking it up into a few posts along with some Iinks if you are interested in having your own dress-up or movie/theatre party. The whole thing was very inexpensive and lots of fun. This post is all about the food.

With lots of dress-ups hanging everywhere it looked like a dressing room backstage at the theatre, so the food was along that theme also.

You can buy some of these gorgeous vintage popcorn bags here.

The glitter star wands were made using this shortbread recipe, some bamboo skewers, cachous, edible glitter and creative children.

You can find out how to make these fun popcorn cupcakes here.

For these perfectly themed movie party printables
(water bottles and much more) head over here.

A cheat’s cake using one Barbie, a 4 litre bucket of icecream, some maltesers and some sparkling, glittery fabric and ribbon. Served with mini icecream cones. The icecream cake meant I did not make choc-tops which would have been perfect Aussie movie/theatre food!

Take home malteser bags.
This idea and other great movie party ideas (along with free printables) here.
Jaffas would have been perfect here also.

Star sandwiches and star cheeses.

Stay tuned for some very funny dress-up photos of the stars of the show,
adults and children alike…

MY CREATIVE SPACE…

I love it when kids are involved in the build-up and excitement of getting ready for a party and you know how I love a good mess….

We have been making birthday invitations for a little dress-up party we are having in a few weeks time…

A birthday party for a little frog who is turning 2 and likes nothing more than to carry handbags around all day and rummage through her Mum’s shoe cupboard.
Her first word was ‘shoe’ and I think that says it all!

We also discovered that rolling our hands, and the glittery table, with some playdough worked an absolute treat for cleaning up! Although there will be glitter all over the house in some form or another for quite some time to come….*

More party inspiration in the weeks to come and
if you are interested in checking out my very first giveaway check out yesterday’s post.

Head over to Kootoyoo for hundreds of other creative spaces.


* While we are speaking of party inspiration, sparkly play dough works really well as party favors for an underwater or mermaid themed party.
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