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A Space Exploration Birthday Party; Handmade from the Word Go!

 

Friends, before you dive into this post, I forewarn you that it's an EPIC post! And, am sorry for making it so long….

As you may have seen from the title, this post is all about that Birthday Party, that had us all gloriously consumed in the last few weeks! Hence, goes without saying that I have lots and lots to share. And yet, I will try my best to talk less and share more. Share dozens of pictures that will do the talking on their own.

So, tighten your seat belt and enjoy the ride! ;)

Along came November…

…and with it the onset of Delhi's legendary winter. But, the nip in the air only charged-up the environment at our home as my darling daughter was all set to celebrate her 5th birthday on November 30. The party turned out exhilarating fun for Pari and her friends.

It was the run-up to the D-day that was electrifyingly exciting

About 3 weeks prior to her birthday, Pari brainstormed the theme for the party and decided that it's going to be an 'other-worldly' event.

The theme she chose was – "space exploration"!

Thanks to the many illustrated space books and interactive websites we explored recently, including a visit to the planetarium, she is perpetually fascinated with everything about space – from how Astronauts live in space ship to how they "fly" (in her words) in the space; to the motion of the planets and their fascinating colours. And, to tell you honestly, I am equally fascinated with space and the outer-world! Hence, good for me that she chose this theme. *winks*

Friends list was drawn up. The guest count went up to 10 in a matter of seconds and it kept going higher, until I politely asked her to pause and review at 14. Finally, a party of 15 (space) kids is what we were going to have. "Space kids"? Well, Pari thought it would be nice to have guests look like coming from the space itself. They could be anything from the space – Astronauts, Planets, Stars. Even Aliens! 

Pari and I had taken a DIY pledge long time back…

That definitely applied to her birthday party as well. When it came to making the invitation cards, she was more than excited to begin creating them all – one by one.

The copy remained the same. But the illustrations varied from card to card. She happily wrote the lines for not one or two but 6 cards! The remaining, I finished. The drawings on all 14 cards are done by her – one card a day! Isn't that a feat for a little girl I am proud of you, Pari darling!

To create the ambience…

I involved her in making two Solar System wall displays.

This Solar System 3D mixed media art piece… 

…was made by her with help from her Papa. I sent her hunting every nook and cranny of the house to find used things in circular shape and in any colour, that could be upcycled. The idea was to use them as planets and moons for the 3D solar system display. She came back with bag full of coins, bottle caps, velvets, left over pieces from her old games and what have you. All this was put together to make this Solar System. Each planet was represented in its scientifically established colour. (Mercury is Grey, Venus is Yellow, Earth is blue, Mars is red and so on).

 

This giant Solar System chart with painted Orbits… .

..adorned one of the walls of the living room. The planet sheets were coloured and cut by Pari, while I put the whole thing together.

And some more paintings by Pari for other walls

 

And the costume for the birthday girl?

Well, that had to be hand-designed of-course. I got a plain white winter suit from the local market and designed it with pop-up glittery fabric colours-in the Solar System theme, complete with the logos of NASA and Indian Space Research Organization. Talk about being a 'Global Citizen'! ;) 

  

And, the white Astronaut boots were purchased from a local shop. The fabric colours become permanent once you iron them on the reverse side after 72 hours. I did not fuss about the head gear as I thought she should not feel all caged-in inside a heavy and complicated costume. I got a white head band as a substitute for an Astronaut's helmet.

Most of the kids turned up dressed in the space theme upon special request.

But, I had mentioned that it's not mandatory at all and the mommies may dress their kids so, only if they had time and convenience. And, I am so very thankful and appreciative of them for their spirit.

The games too had to be in sync with the theme.

We planned 2 main games and one mini game.

The Musical Solar System' was one of the games that became an instant fav with the kids. We cut out big round shapes – representing each planet in its colour – from colourful chart papers. So, 15 circles for 15 heavenly bodies, including planets, sun, stars, asteroids, meteors.

 

One circle/planet for each kid. The kids take position on these heavenly bodies. The music begins and they go round and round – until the music stops and they have to find a circle each. One of the game coordinators calls out a planet's name and the kid standing on that planet is eliminated. This goes on until one kid remains. We gave away prizes to the three finalists. 

Another game called "Earth and moon" was equally enticing. All they had to do was run for the sofas when "M-o-o-n" was called out and take position on the circles on the floor when "E-a-r-t-h" was called out. This was interspersed with utter chaos, teasing and tricks! And a faux snow shower out of no where!

A birthday party without the quintessential banner…

…is like a kids drawing without the finishing black outlines. So, from the chart papers that were left over after making the floor solar system game, we made couple of banners.

Colourful and Nutritious Party Menu

We stuck to our "no-junk-food" pledge. So, colas and burgers and chips etc were out of question. There were fruits in all shapes, sizes and colours. I tried coordinating the colour of the food with that of planets. There was Kiwi to represent the green rings of Uranus. There were Oranges representing Jupiter; Apples for Mercury and so on.

Another interesting dish on the menu was – "Cucumber and Cheese Stacks". I adapted this recipe from one of Tarla Dalal's recipe book for Kids food. As you can see from the picture, it's easy to make; attractive to look at and healthy and delicious for kids. Other dishes included cheese, corn macaroni and Moong Dal (dhuli) Vada. (dumplings made from split green gram or yellow lentils).

To make sure kids would finish up their meals…

…hubby and I devised some contests around it, like – "cleanest plate", and "best pasta eater" and "best fruit eater" and gave away prizes. This actually worked wonders! The kids got into a healthy competitive spirit to win the title and I was assured they would not go back with half-filled tummies!

It was indeed a wonderful party for the little ones

But, we adults had as much fun – first working with Pari on making this happen and then seeing the unbridled fun they all had.
Not just fun, it was educational too – for Pari, as she went about the whole process for weeks together. And, for her friends too as they repeated the names of the Planets during play and tried reading the names on the floor game and came dressed up as astronauts and aliens. It couldn't have been more satisfying….

And, I can't wait for another year to host such a party! 

 

What are the favourite party themes with YOUR kid? I would like to hear some unique ideas for games/food/decor from you all. So, over to you!

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Manish December 9, 2010, 8:04 pm

    WOW! What an "out-of-the-world" birthday party this must have been! A great theme to pick for the kids, and more than that wonderfully executed by the three of you! No wonder it was an outright "hit" with the kidoos :) Let's repeat this 5 years from now for the new kid on the block ;-)

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 14, 2010, 11:46 am

      Mannu dear, thanks for your encouraging words for all three of us. Since, the “new kid on the block” is such a dicey idea in my scheme of things (yes, I am dilly dallying yet again!), let’s repeat this theme for our lil Sarah, when she is 4 or 5! YAY!

  • Sahiba December 10, 2010, 7:24 am

    Amazing, superb, wow, great!!!!!!!! Hugs to pari, she is looking like a doll:)  Loved every bit of the effort that you all as a family have taken to make pari's b'day so special..god bless.

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 14, 2010, 11:48 am

      Sahiba, thanks dear, for your lovely comment, as always! Receiving these lovely comments from friends and readers like you totally make my day!

  • Marilla Fernandes December 10, 2010, 9:54 am

    Congrats, three cheers and Hat off to you Rashmie and Pari's contribution too.. Lovely theme.. most of all i liked the idea of the T-shirt and the game organised..

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 14, 2010, 12:14 pm

      Dear Marilla,
      Thanks for your encouraging words. Yes, designing the costume was an interesting activity for me. Pari wanted to pitch in here too but I finished it when she was not around as the 3D colours are tricky to work with – especially on fabric. The game was a fun riot – for the layers as well as the organizers!

  • Shenu December 10, 2010, 12:39 pm

    HEARTY CONGRATS TO the FAMILY !! WOW .. Amazing  and wonderfull !!! Appreciate for all the efforts taken !! kudos !! Exciting !! …………… gr8 …..
    Lov to kids ,they are looking awesome !!
    Well wisher !!
    Shenu .

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 14, 2010, 12:16 pm

      Thanks Shenu for this lovely comment! Yeah, the fact that most of the little kids came dressed up in the theme was so encouraging. And, good for me – they provided plenty of photo opportunity for the click-happy mommy that I am. :))

  • Ashu December 10, 2010, 1:41 pm

    Rashmie..great party dear.I am so impressed with theme party where u have blend knowledge aspect with enjoyment plus idea of such a healthy food for kids.Pari is looking so sweet in astronut attire…May god bless her and fulfil her dream.

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 14, 2010, 12:18 pm

      Thanks dear Ashu, for your sweet comment. Pari’s dream, then, was to become an astonaut – for obvious reasons! Now, she wants to be a dancer…. :))
      Thanks for sending your blessings for fulfillment of her dream…. :)

  • Kiran December 11, 2010, 9:02 am

    My Dear Rashmie , Superb …Wonderful …..Hats off to the wonderful  theme and the gr8 effort put by all of you . Amazing work put up by Pari …  Liked every bit of it….right from making the invitation cards, the backdrop , menu , costume and the games . Kudos to your patience, planning and making it work !! 
    Lots of luv n hugs to Pari.

    Rasagna loves animals , mythological characters  and epics like Ramayana .
    May be for  her next b'day, I can plan for a forest or Ramayana theme .
    Aapney  toh mujhe fully inspire kar diya dear…
    Lot of luv…

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 14, 2010, 12:20 pm

      Thanks so much Kiran for your lovely, warm words! :) Yes, you could weave Rasgna’s next birthday around the Ramayana theme or a forest theme.
      Do click lots of pics and come back and share with us all here! :)
      Hugs…

  • Kiran December 11, 2010, 9:04 am

    My Dear Rashmie , Superb …Wonderful …..Hats off to the wonderful  theme and the gr8 effort put by all of you . Amazing work put up by Pari …  Liked every bit of it….right from making the invitation cards, the backdrop , menu , costume and the games . Kudos to your patience, planning and making it work !! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Lots of luv n hugs to Pari.
    Rasagna loves animals , mythological characters  and epics like Ramayana .
    May be for  her next b'day, I can plan for a forest or Ramayana theme .
    Aapney  toh mujhe fully inspire kar diya dear…

    Lots of luv…

  • hema December 15, 2010, 5:16 am

    wow really superb rashmie… i liked the nutrition way also…. fabulas job by pari.. congrats to her…will show this to my son.. hw will love this…

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 17, 2010, 12:26 pm

      Thanks Hema for your comment. I am glad you liked the idea of healthy snacks… :)

  • Caroline December 17, 2010, 11:52 am

    Oh *Rashmie, ~*Pari*~ looks *SO *HAPPY*…like she had the most awesome out of this world birthday party….What  a wonderful idea to have such a great theme! Just love all the costumes and great art work and the special *LOVE that has gone into all that work! *Rashmie *YOU* are an AWESOME *Special *MOM*!!! And *YOU* create the most wonderful enviroments for everybody!!! Biggest Loveing Hugs to *YOU* and *Pari!!!   :O))           XXXXXXX

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 17, 2010, 12:25 pm

      O my dearest Caroline – your words are so full of overwhelming joy – always! Thank you dear for the tremendous motivation and support.
      And yes – the theme, Caz – it was really fascinating to go through all the facts about planets, the galaxy, the super nova, the black hole and what have you! It felt like I had gone back to the school days!
      Hugs to you….

  • Pritam December 17, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Superb!!! Pari  is looking very sweet and beautiful in astronut outfit…….Gr8 efforts by whole family….hats off to you and Pari!
    Today we again had a space tour with my baby! He loved it so much…that he wanna be astronut like Pari for his next B'day -:)

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 17, 2010, 5:00 pm

      Thanks Pritam for your encouragement! Another Astronaut in the making?! I am sure your son will have loads of fun being an Astronaut just like Pari did. :)

  • sharath December 19, 2010, 11:41 am

    amazing enthusiasm from all the kids that enjoyed the birthday party and i am sure even more enthu hosts also :-) happy birthday pari once more!
     
     

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 21, 2010, 4:28 pm

      Thanks Sharath for your comment! Yeah, it was heart warming to see the kids participate with much enthusiasm!

  • Vitoria December 20, 2010, 6:42 pm

    The education, the time, the work that you put in for your daughter amazes me, we in the USA are far back and this site should be a wake-up call for us, the innovations, the thoughts, the art and everything else that comes to educate a child, it was not just a party, it was a Theme party with a beautiful group of children.  I wish I was there!  congratulations for Pari, Mama and Papa for this wonderful, meaninful event.  I am forwarding to my friends as a "hint"…

    • Rashmie Jaaju December 21, 2010, 4:35 pm

      My dearest Vitoria,
      I am humbled by your kind words! Yeah, I too wish you were here to celebrate with us all. I know for sure that, with your child-like enthusiasm, the party would have been doubly fun! About parenting in U.S., I am not aware of the overall parenting culture there, but I personally have come across and known so many American moms who are very passionate about creative parenting and are spending time and effort to create creative and playful learning environment for their children.
      I do take inspiration from your culture…
      Thanks once again dear Vitoria for your motivation and for sending this link to your friends… :)

  • aparna March 10, 2011, 7:26 am

    OMG…this is such an amazing party! Applaud you and Pari for all the tremendous effort and enthusiasm put in! Loved her astronaut costume and the other kids’s costumes were so cute!

  • Moitreyee June 22, 2011, 7:45 am

    Wow, I am so happy, and inspired to see this party. May be I could show this to my girl who is going to turn 5 in October and also loves all things space. An a double Ah! to know that you are from my home town Delhi.

  • shalini September 15, 2011, 9:41 am

    oh my my… i totally loved the idea.. .. i also want one party :)

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