Parties: Nursery Rhyme Party

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

For Riley's first birthday in 2004, I was inspired by a great love of mine... nursery rhyhmes. I just adore them, especially the old classics originating from Old Blighty like Humpty Dumpty. Did you know that this olden time rhyme was actually modelled on King Richard III? and the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe was referring to the British Empire attempting to control its colonies.


With Humpty being the featured nursery creature, I printed out simple invitations on white paper and glued them onto pale blue card stock before cutting out with decorative-edged scissors.

The blurb on the invitation read:

Boys and Girls Come Out to Play,
I am turning one today!
Hey Diddle Diddle, Jelly on a Plate,
Come to my party and celebrate!

Riley’s 1st Birthday

Sunday 15 February 2004
At Our House

Hickory dickory dock,
It starts at two o’clock!

RSVP 16 January


I kept decorations simple and monochromatic. Light blue paper bunting (made from triangles of cardboard sewn together) and lettering printed onto paper and cut out to form rhymes on walls and on the fence in the backyard. Blue balloons and paper chains were a must.


SO many options for fun food with a theme such as nursery rhymes. I made...
  • The Animals Go in Two-by-Two animal cookies, colourfully iced

  • This Little Piggy cupcakes made with pink icing and marshmallows and chocolate buttons

  • Mary's Little Lamb meringues

  • Eency Weency spiders (ice cream sodas)

  • A Frog Jumped Out of His Pond One Day green jelly with a chocolate frog on top

  • Wibble Wobble Jelly on a Plate - er... jelly on a plate and covered with sprinkles

  • Three Blind Mice marshmallows with almond flake ears and licorice tails

  • Hot Cross Buns

  • Sing a Song of Sixpence apple pie

  • Twinkle Twinkle fairy bread Stars (cut with cookie cutters)

I labelled all the food so people could appreciate their adorable names.

I also served cornchips, tomato and bocconcini skewers with salsa verde, red onion and goat’s cheese pastries, parmesan thins with yoghurt with garlic, cucumber and mint and black olive tapenade for the adults.

When the cake was cut, I also brought out ice cream sandwiches which melted instantly in the 42 degrees C heat. It was some hot day!

I set up the table outside where there was at least a breeze, and the kids were happy to settle in for a feast in between games and climbing trees.


We had a spectacular Humpty piñata which I decorated from crêpe paper - alas there is no photo! He even had long springy legs. We played musical statues and pass the parcel (kids had to be Jack the Nimble quick!) and pin the mouse on the hickory clock.


Favours contained candy and some little nursery trinkets, and were labelled with tags that read:

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And all things nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

The adults also received a favour - a rolled up piece of blue paper filled with facts on the origins of several famous nursery rhymes.


This cake is the most memorable I have ever made. I remember my mother making this same cake from the Australian Women's Weekly cookbook, making a brown wall and using the end of a lid from a matchbox to make the indentations in the wall.

Alas, with 42 degree Celsius heat, it was a feat to get the icing even stuck to the wall, let alone imprint it with anything. I remember using two massive spatulas, being blasted with two fans on full bore, sweating and squealing as the icing slid into puddles at the base of the wall. Lord knows how it eventually stuck.

The grass was made from coloured fondant icing. The red of the butter icing was only achieved via cake decorator's colouring paste. Liquid colouring could never achieve this brightness.

Mr Dumpty was actually a white Easter egg, decorating with pipe cleaners. Shortly after Riley blew out the candle, Humpty slowly caved in on himself in a melty pile. An apt ending to a jolly old party.

Kids Parties A-Z


Tiny Concept said...

Just gorgeous as usual! I am really enjoying all your parties, keep them coming!!

Margaret said...

Wow! What an amazing party! So many fantastic ideas for so many nursery rhymes... I wish I had seen this before my daughter's birthday last week!

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