Sunday, 7 July 2013

Party time

In a little over 2 months my daughter turns 2. Two. 24 months. 104 weeks. While I can't remember my life without her I slightly struggle with the idea that I'm going to have a 2 year old.

Other than getting older birthdays mean 2 things: parties and presents. I'm still trying to work out what we are going to buy M for her birthday, but we got some great party ideas recently when we went to a very special birthday party: the Cabbage Patch Kids 30th. Yes they are still going and I have made a lot of people feel old by mentioning how long they have been around.

Theme
While not essential, themes can really set the scene for a party. It can also help plan everything else. As the Cabbage Patch Kids are 30 this year the theme was the 80s. This was particularly fun for many of us adults as it brought back memories of when we went to our first parties as children.  I wonder how many of us gave friends a Cabbage Patch doll as a present?
Small Child looking a cabbage patch kids sign
Great location
The party location helps build the atmosphere and set the party spirit. As a child I dreamed about being locked in a toy store over night so getting to go to the UKs best toy store while it was closed to the public is a dream come true. My daughter got to run around Hamleys without worrying about crowds, and I didn't have to worry about losing her. It's amazing we managed to leave without buying half the store.
Toddler running around in Hamleys toy shop
Party games
M is a little young yet for structured games, but she joined in pass the parcel and had great fun at the craft table. At most kids parties there are a range of ages so having games that older children can enjoy and burn off energy (like "duck, duck, goose" and "beans") is a great plan. Another way of using party games is to calm over excited kids down. My Dad recently revealed that at our parties he would often play "sleeping lions" when the adults needed a break: encouraging children to lie down very quietly and still for as long as possible. Genius!
Toddler carefully applying sequins to a craft project
Food
Party food is the best. Lots and lots of nibbly bits. In line with the 80s theme food included vol au vents, prawn cocktails, mini eclairs, and pineapple and cheese on cocktail sticks. Yummy.
Sitting next to a bunch of toddlers I was reminded just how messy food can be and the very high risk paper cups have of falling over. Definitely a good reason to not have the party in your own home.
Toddler drinking from a Cabbage Patch Kids paper cup
Birthday cake
I love all types of cake, unless it is fruitcake. The Cabbage Patch Kids cake looked amazing, even after one of the smaller guests had done some redecorating (notice the missing body on the top). Everyone got to stand round the cake, sing "Happy Birthday" and then we all blew the candles out. We all got a slice to take home and it was very tasty (I thought I should eat it for M just in case).
3 tier cake with colourful icing
Party bags
On the way out we were given a brilliant party bag filled with yummy sweets (think popping candy, black jacks, fried eggs etc), bubble mixture, charm bracelets, stickers and mini Cabbage Patch Kids toys including a little mini baby that M loves. The other night she woke up in the middle of the night calling for her "baby". Baby Melly also gets hugs, food and sits on the edge of the bath at bath time. I'm going to have to find out where to buy them as we need a few spares before ours goes missing.
Toddler being given a party bag
Friendly hosts
Even if the location, games and food aren't great (which at this party they were) the hosts can transform a party. The human size Cabbage Patch Dolls were a little scary for my daughter, but the Hamleys staff were brilliant. A huge thank you to Corinna and Norton and Co for inviting us.
Small Print
I was invited to the party, but under no obligation to blog about it.

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