For the last few days, most of my free moments have been spent preparing for E’s 5th birthday party. Up until this year, I’ve gotten off really easily because she has never wanted to have a birthday party with other kids invited. She’s been perfectly happy to have a cake and presents with family, and it’s so soon after Christmas that I’ve been happy to avoid anything that requires planning and organization. However, this year she requested a penguin party, so we decided to go for it. E informed me from the beginning that she didn’t want “one of those surprise parties” and proceeded to micromanage all of the planning. With the exception of some penguin schwag for the goody bags (ordered from The Penguin Gift Shop, which carries everything imaginable for the penguin-lover in your life) I was able to pull off the party almost entirely with things that we had around the house already.
I sewed up 20 felt bean bag fish with magnets sewn into their noses, and made 4 fishing rods:
We used the felt fish in a fishing pond…
and to play a bean bag fish toss game:
I painted a cardboard igloo facade for our Crazy Fort set to make an igloo for the girls to play in. Posing inside the igloo is “Waddly”, a weighted helium balloon who hovers just above the ground and has a little ribbon leash attached so he can be taken for walks – he was probably E’s favourite part of the party:
Stick the beak and bow tie on the penguin:
An antarctic play scene with snow, colourful icebergs (water and food colouring frozen in yoghurt containers), rocks, shells, and lots of little penguin figurines:
A very simple penguin cake, using our collection of Schleich penguins. E personally positioned all the penguins, including the one diving head-first into the pond:
It all seemed relatively simple, and I had it all well under control the day before the party, but boy am I glad that it’s over with! I’m sure that E appreciated everything – I mean, she pretty much got exactly what she asked for – but her anticipation/over-the-top excitement/exhaustion led to some rough times over the last few days. When E is over-excited, she seems to turn into an angry mini-rager, and on the day of the party she treated us to a 4am wake-up time. Things were not looking so good by the 1pm party start time. Add to that some preschool girl politics – none of the 3 friends that E invited knew each other particularly well, and two of them were competing for her attention and love – “I’m your best friend, right?” I felt bad because E gets along so well with each of the girls individually, but they just did not mix well. There was a lot of refereeing involved. I can honestly say that I learned some lessons about hosting kids’ birthday parties:)
Anyhow, I was really happy with how all of the penguin props turned out, and we left everything set up so that E can play with them some more. I was so happy to make all of these penguin-y things for my girl. I had very mixed feelings about E turning 5 – I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d get all teary singing Happy Birthday! 5 seems like a really big milestone.