Tween Party – Ice Skating Party

Embrace your child’s wintertime birthday with a party that features a favourite frosty weather activity: ice skating! Even if your guests aren’t experienced skaters, an ice skating party can provide a fun opportunity to learn the basics.

Invitationsimages

If you are going with a Birthday on Ice theme, one fun way to invite guests is with a cardstock cut out in the shape of an ice skate. Have the birthday child decorate one side of the skate with coloured pens, glitter and stickers. Write the party details on the other side.Ice Skating Party Pink Invite

 

Other ideas for ice-skating party invitations include:

  • A postcard invitation portraying your child wearing ice skates, or ice skaters on the rink in the photo section.
  • A paper printout from your home computer that features ice-skating themed clip art in the design.

 

Location

An ice skating rink like The Ice Station at Grand West in Cape Town has birthday party packages available for your occasion. You can inquire about renting the facility for a private party, or acquiring a group rate for your skating session. The arena offers birthday packages which includes a hostess who will assist with serving food, birthday cake and party favours.

Another fun idea for a Birthday on Ice celebration is to take a few your child’s friends to an actual ice skating show like Disney on Ice (6 – 10 July ), and then head to the public rink for a skating session where guests cans show off some of their own moves after the performance. You can even invite kids to come dressed in their favourite character costume.

Food

11755707_605387849564269_1551121789878521539_n.jpgWhether you have the party at a rink that includes food as part of the package or host the party yourself, some ideas for ice-skating party food to serve are:

  • An ice skate cake.
  • Snowflake cupcakes.
  • Hot cocoa.

 

Activities

Ice skating is the obvious main event at the skating themed party. At an arena, you can arrange for an instructor to give a lesson to your guests, or simply spend the time freestyle skating. If you’re looking to have some organised games in the ice-skating theme, however, some ideas include:

  • Play freeze skate: Kids skate around the rink to music, but must stop skating and freeze in place whenever the music stops.
  • Ice skating relay races: Divide guests into two teams and have them race on skates to a designated finish line and back.

Favours

Ice-skating favour ideas include:

iciclecone

  • Icicle treat cones: Dip a sugar cone in melted white chocolate. Fill with white chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Wrap in cellophane and add a tag that reads “Thank you
    for skating with me!”
  • A pair of mittens or gloves.
  • A program (if you attend an ice skating show).
  • A pair of ice skate laces.
  • Themed party boxes.

Baby’s First Birthday Party

After months of sleep deprivation, countless nappy changes and about a million smiles and giggles, it’s finally time to plan your baby’s first birthday party.

No, your child won’t remember the big day, but you will. And the photos with baby in a “1st Birthday” hat will be priceless down the road.

Of course, these bashes are as much a party for the parents as they are for the child. It’s been a year of wonder, growth and change—for everyone — so celebrate.

Choose a Theme for Your First Birthday Party

You don’t have to follow a theme, but sometimes picking one makes it easier to focus on the colours, decorations and other party details.

Consider these ideas:

  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Set up hay bales as seating, dress your child in overalls, serve a farm-themed cake and give party favours in metal buckets (to resemble milking pails).
  • Circus Party. Delight your baby and all of your guests with the big, bold colours and entertaining ideas for this circus-themed party.
  • Over the Rainbow. Young children are drawn to colours, so celebrate them all with a rainbow-themed party. Set out red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple party supplies and decorations. Make a cake with a different layer for each colour and send everyone home with a CD mix of children’s music, starting with your favourite rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
  • Seasonal. Choose a theme that ties to the time of year, such as a Snowflake Partyfor winter babies, Sprinkles and Sunshine for a spring baby, Flower Power for a summer baby and Fall for Fall for an autumn baby. Hang handmade paper snowflakes for the winter party and serve snowman mashed potatoes and snowman treats. Suspend decorative umbrellas from your ceiling at the spring party and cover cupcakes with blue sprinkles to mimic rain. For the summer party, give Hawaiian leis as favours and set out a flower-shaped birthday cake. Serve owl cupcakes and foods at the fall party.
  • Cupcakes and Cocktails. Yes, real cocktails. The baby will never know! Throw the party in the evening, serve swanky hors d’oeuvres and offer grownups a cocktail that matches the party’s colour scheme. The kids get mocktails. Set up a cupcake-shaped piñata (contact us for details) or make a pin-the-candle-on-the-cupcake game. Serve cupcakes that are more classy than cutesy.
  • Hap-bee First Birthday. Decorate in yellow and black for this “Fun to BeeOne: party theme.

Almost any kid-friendly theme will work for a baby’s first birthday. Consider how you could adapt these birthday themes for younger guests.

 

Invitations and Gifts

  • Send out invitations at least three weeks before the party.
  • The wording could read “one is fun” or “one little baby, one little cake, one whole year to celebrate.”
  • Some parents might feel as though friends and family have given them a lot of presents over the prior year, especially if baby showers were held or if gifts were given after the child’s birth. If you want guests to know you don’t expect any more presents, you could write something on the invitations to indicate that, such as “your presence is gift enough.”
  • The invitations also could be a place where you set a theme for the gifts. For instance, you could say that you’re working on building your child’s library and you’re hoping guests can give a used book that their own children no longer read as the present.
  • When it comes time to open presents, you will probably be quite busy helping your child. Ask someone to write down the gifts and who gave them so you can write personal thank you cards after the party is over.

 

Games and Activities

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Softplay Set suitable for tiny tots

Entertain the birthday girl and all of her guests with a variety of first birthday games that friends of all ages can play.  Or hire one of our softplay sets for hours of fun.

The Cake

Some parents can’t wait to see the look of delight when their child takes their first bite of birthday cake–their first taste of sugar! –at their first birthday party.

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One of our Yummy Rainbow Cakes

Others worry what too much sugar will do to a tiny tummy that was only introduced to carrots and peas a few months before.

If you’re in the latter camp, consider serving carrot cake made with less sugar than normal and topped with a low-sugar cream cheese frosting. Or, choose from other healthy cake recipes.

Another fun tradition is to watch a child blow out her first birthday candle. Be careful, though. One-year-olds tend to flail their arms about, especially when they’re excited like, say, when a room full of people are singing at them. Keep the candle far enough away during the Happy Birthday song that they can’t reach it, then pull it in close when it’s time to blow.

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Relax and enjoy the party. You’ve worked hard this year and deserve to have fun, too.

 

10 Birthday Party Do’s and Don’ts

We all know that planning kids’ birthday parties can be fraught with stress and anxiety for the planner (read mother).  Here are a few tips which should hopefully make the process a bit smoother.

1. Do include sufficient details on the invitation

You may have all the details etched in  your memory but the invitation is usually the first time guests learn about the party.  It is here where they find out what their child needs to bring to the party and whether or not a meal will be served to the kids.  E.g. Indicate whether the party will be between mealtimes and whether only cake and beverages will be served.  Parents can therefore plan meals beforehand, if necessary. Thereby avoiding a room full of cranky, hungry kids who were expecting something more substantial to eat.Invite e.gInvitations should also include any specific instructions related to your theme or any activities planned e.g. “Wear a princess dress” or “Bring a change of clothes as we’ll be having some messy fun!”.

Other things to mention:

  • Several options for RSVP contact info
  • Clear directions to the venue
  • Indicate whether parents are required to stay. If not, provide clear instructions for drop-off and pick-up of kids.

2. Don’t expect everyone to RSVP

As the party host you have no control over whether or not parents choose to respond. The best thing you can do is make the RSVP options as painless as possible by including as many contact options as possible i.e. telephone as well as email address as well as a deadline date for the RSVP.

If not all of your guests have RSVP’d by the deadline date, maybe quick a courtesy call would be in order.  We all know as mothers we tend to be forgetful and it may have slipped the parents’ minds.

3. Do plan for unexpected guests

Unexpected guests can throw a spanner in the works, especially if you’ve catered for a certain amount of people. Whether some guests fail to make an appearance or others arrive with additional kids in tow; baking a few extra cupcakes and throwing together some extra party packs could save you the anguish of scrabbling around to accommodate additional guests whilst the party is in full swing.

4. Don’t ask other parents to pay for activities

Parents who choose to host a party at a facility which offers paid-for activities are expected to cover the cost of such activities as well as the entry fee.  If children are too young to be dropped off, you should cover the cost of at least one adult accompanying the child.

That being said, it is permissible to indicate on the invitation that you’ll be paying for 1 child and 1 adult so that parents are aware that they’ll have to cover the cost of additional parent and / or children.

5. Do provide food for the adults

The cost of hosting a kid’s party soon adds up and you can be forgiven for thinking that it would be okay to forgo providing snacks for the adults in attendance but alas, no.  They are after all also your guests and it would be unfair to expect them to skip a meal to be at your party.

You don’t need to go out of your way with an elaborate meal for the parents in attendance; a few snack platters or even pizzas should suffice.

6.  Do provide entertainment

The snacks and birthday cake are laid out; decor on point and you’re all set and rearing to go. But wait, what about the entertainment?  Is it fair to expect your guests to entertain themselves for 2 to 3 hours?   Even after all the singing, well wishes and eating, you have at least 2 more hours to entertain the guests.

Why not hire an entertainer for an hour or 2?  Face painters and balloon modelers are ever so popular or maybe even a character who ties in with your theme.  Party games are also very popular and inexpensive. (Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts on age-appropriate party games)

7. Don’t limit the game prizes

Party games are a lot of fun for kids, and it’s fine to have winners, but the fun quickly ends when the winners are awarded game prizes while the remaining players are left empty-handed. Either eliminate game prizes, or use trinket prizes so everyone who plays can win a little something.

8.  Don’t open the gifts at the party

Yes, it’s nice for parents to see the delightful expression of their child opening their gifts.  it is however hard for the attending little guests to see all the awesome gifts that they will never play with.  It’s also hard for the birthday girl or boy to walk away from all the lovely gifts that they cannot play with right then.

9.  Do give out favours

Yes, you provided for the food, the entertainment and any other party frills that went along with your event. No, it is not mandatory to give out party favors. But it is a lovely gesture that will send kids who are disappointed to see the party end home with a little something to ease the pain of saying goodbye. It is also a nice way to thank them for coming and bringing a gift of their own to honour the birthday child.

Party Buckets (2)

Favour choices range from a simple candy bar to extravagant bags of themed treats. Choose whatever fits your style and budget and everyone gets to go home happy.

10.  Don’t forget the Thank You notes

It seems like handwritten thank you notes have become a thing of the past, but if your guests took the time to come to your party and bring a gift, it’s nice to acknowledge them with a short note of gratitude.  1stbirthdaypartythankyou3s

If you choose to go with an electronic thank you, but want to make it more personal, include a digital photo of the recipient’s child enjoying herself at the party.

 

 

 

 

Christmas decor from @Home

Christmas santas

I love this time of year, when you start preparing for Christmas, thinking about decorating the house and making it all Christmassy.  Each year we try and buy one or two new Christmas decorations to add to our collection, so I went shopping the other day to see what is out there.   Continue reading

Family photoshoot ideas

It’s around this time of year that many people opt to have some family photo’s taken.  My advice is use someone with experience who knows how to get the best out of one hour, especially with the kids involved who may start to lose attention towards the end.  We have been fortunate to have a few family shoots, and really love working with our photographers. Continue reading

Party picks from Yuppiechef

yuppie logoOne of my favourite online stores just has to be Yuppiechef. Not only do they have fabulous products, but your goods arrive on your doorstep in record time, WITH A HANDWRITTEN NOTE!!!  Something most unusual in today’s fast paced consumer world, and it goes a long way to ensure their customers keep coming back.

I decided to head over to look at some of the great items they have that you could use when planning your next party. Continue reading