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…
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
Long after a party is over at our house, the theme seems to live on for quite some time. It’s the same with every party. I could never justify the expense or effort on things that would never be used again, so maybe that’s the reason that the Japanese influence is still strong at FGB headquarters.
We repeated the blossom tree craft last week at playgroup and each and every birthday card leaving our house in the last month has looked very much like this one….
A ‘how to make a paper crane’ tutorial was the Show & Tell last week along with a paper crane for each child in the class – I did mention she was obsessed didn’t I?! We now have them hanging along the kitchen window also and some gorgeous little origami hearts were made for each of us on Valentine’s Day.
And I can’t forget Japanese Poker. Of course, as mentioned previously, all party decos stay up in the shed until the next party and once a month Mr FGB has a poker night in the shed. So this month the boys enjoyed Japanese rice snacks, Japanese lollies along with some Japanese beer and according to their fortune cookies, not all of them were going home rich men.
Do you find this happens at your house after a party….or is it just me? Maybe after all of the effort it takes, I just can’t let go?
How do you let your creative juices flow? Head over here to see some others.
* We did this another day with beetroot dip and open sandwiches – pink blossoms! A bit of creative fun never goes astray – we must amuse ourselves whenever we can and right now – I really only have room to move in the small things
A friend of mine recently asked me for ideas for a duck themed birthday party for her two year old. I thought it the perfect excuse to do another inspiration board and to do one of my favorite things – search the web for kids party ideas! Obviously if you used all of these ideas it would be far too OTT and ridiculously expensive, but there might be one or two things to spark your imagination.
An absolutely gorgeous “Quacky 2nd Birthday”. More gorgeous ideas and tutorials here.
Little Duck 3rd Birthday party. Lots more photos here.
I like the idea of walking into a party and having something to get involved in right away, so I often have a number of different activities going on and the kids can do the rounds. It does involve having other adults to help you. These are the activities we had at Goose’s Japanese party.
CHERRY BLOSSOM TREE PICTURES
I painted a branch and photocopied it onto pieces of card. We provided some geisha girl stickers, some cherry blossom shaped cutouts (punched out using our origami scraps & some Japanese writing) and some leaf shaped stamps & Japanese symbol stamps (that I already had in my stash) along with some red ink and some pink tissue paper to scrunch up and make their own cherry blossom tree picture. This idea was borrowed from here.
ORIGAMI PAPER FOLDING
We had an origami paper folding table set up with origami paper and printed a few simple origami animal shapes from here and stuck them on the wall with one of each that Goose had already made up. This is the first activity most kids headed for. You can see the table in the background of the photo below.
PAPER FAN DECORATING
I found some blank paper fans at Riot Art and the kids decorated them with textas. Thanks Anna for the idea!
GIANT MIKADO (AKA ‘PICK UP STICKS’)
If you’ve never played this game, see here for more details. This was my Mum’s set that she has had for years, but I have seen them for sale at Australian Geographic.
Translated “Lucky Laugh” in English and traditionally played around New Year in Japan. Just like Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, players are blindfolded & must try to stick the eyes, nose, mouth & cheeks in the correct places on the face. Thanks to my sister Clare for drawing the face!
You can find more information on the game of Fukuwarai here and some free Fukuwarai printables here.
We also did pass the parcel on the birthday girls request, which we played to the music of the 80′s classic ‘Turning Japanese’ by The Vapors and had a Guess How Many Japanese Lollies in the Jar competition.
P.S. Some other activities that I liked, but we didn’t end up doing are :
- writing your name in Japanese. You can type your name into this website and it tells you your name in Japanese.
- Get the kids to race each other using chopsticks to pick up cheerios or lollies and transfer them from one bowl to another.
On Wednesday we celebrated Goose’s 7th birthday in Japanese Style!
Please indulge, once again as I share too many details. I just know that when I am roaming the web for inspiration for my parties, I like as many details as possible. My name is Emma and I am addicted to kids parties.
Once again, I will break it into a few different posts.
Here are some quick snaps of the food. It was fun to branch out from our usual party fare and try some different things. I was a little nervous the kids wouldn’t eat much of it, but most of it disappeared. Thankfully not all of it though as I always like to make a little extra so that we can have leftovers for dinner that night!
Sushi platter – made by Mr FGB
Delicious rice paper rolls – made by Granny
Sushi sandwiches – made by Lou – how to make your own here.
Rice crackers & dip
Mini spring rolls
Mini dim sims
Japanese coconut peanuts
Assorted Japanese rice snacks
Party pies with Australian flags on toothpicks – it was Australia Day after all!
Melon cherry blossoms
- ie.watermelon, honeydew melon & rockmelon cut in flower shapes with cookie cutter.
Birthday Cake – Cupcakes with Paper Cranes - tutorial here.