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!