Saturday, November 12, 2011

Party time

I'm trying to minimise the stress of kid's parties.  When the Poppet turned one I was so horribly sick with asthma and had barely slept in days.  It was horrid, and I barely remember the party.  I had great plans to make everything - I do enjoy a good excuse for party baking but in the end made a few token efforts and the rest turned up courtesy of online grocery shopping!  This time round I'm after as much impact for as little effort.  I keep reminding myself that children are easily charmed at birthday parties, they don't need a lot of fuss.  For me, I enjoy all the food prep but often feel worn out by the time the party starts.  I've focused on stuff that can be made ahead of time, or comes premade.

I've done a fair amount of brainstorming for this party as there are a number of food allergies/ requirements amongst the guests.  I hate the idea of kids missing out due to food allergies.  I went to a party a few months back where the most amazing birthday cake was brought out - and then a tiny undecorated allergy -friendly one.  It felt ungracious, and I felt sorry for the girl.  However, I find myself in a similar position - the Sweetheart picked her birthday cake a long time ago - an ice cream cake and one of her friends is allergic to dairy.  I discussed with the mum pulling a swifty with rice milk ice cream (I hadn't known such a product existed) but her daughter isn't so keen on the stuff so I've got a lovely raspberry sorbet instead.  It matches the colour of the ice cream cake and the children can choose to have the cake ice-cream or the sorbet.

Recycling bins make for handy storage!  My daughter was inspired by watching the Disney channel and wanted a pinata for her birthday.  I consider myself lucky I found one in the local dollar store.  It is filled with mainly plastic crap I'm afraid.  I thought that I did well on the party bags avoiding plastic junk but a pinata lends itself so well to junk!  There are little rings, 'gold doubloons,' some little plastic magnifying glasses and we will throw all the leftover lollipops in there.

A Kete (Maori word for bag for my handful of overseas readers) of party Kete!  I saw these cheerful paper bags months ago in Daiso, Auckland.  For some reason I thought that they might be cheerful vomit bags (I vividly remember my stash of aeroplane sick bags carted around during pregnancy) but they are just paper lunch bags.  I got some to stash away as gift bags.  At Moore Wilsons I found the usual party bag items, and incredibly competitively priced.  Mini play dough, a large stick of chalk, a windmill, noisemaker, mini notebook and a few stickers should keep most children happy.

Food boxes are waiting to go.  I saw this idea at a friend's party not so long ago and I think it is just perfect.  The children have their own food in their own box.  It allows for portion control (I seem to remember my daughter only eating potato chips at one party because they were yummy and she didn't see the point of eating anything else) and can be useful if you have guests of different ages (we have a bunch of one year olds at this party so their parents are unlikely to want them eating say lollipops) or who have food allergies and need slightly different food.  At the end of the party the child can take the box home with any uneaten food - so a lot less waste.  I got these food boxes from Moore Wilsons.  They came in bags of fifty.  I'll use around 20 for food boxes and various party things.  The rest I will use for presents and for keeping the Sweethearts glue/painted craft projects safely enclosed!

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1 comment:

  1. Loved the boxes so much! Don't think we'll do party bags etc for Sweet's party, but will consider the lunch boxes...