Saturday, 26 February 2011
If you’re anything like me – perpetually short of that precious commodity called time, you’ll be keen for ideas on easy-peasy birthday parties for kids. For Riley's 8th birthday today, I was shorter on time than ever, so I wanted something super-easy yet still special.
This is how I figure it: the way to a boy’s heart is through his legs. Kicking, running, leaping, jumping, playing… make it easy on yourself. Book a lane at the local bowling centre, book a lane at the pool, dig out the cricket bat or give them a ball and a backyard - they'll go nuts.
We went for the first option, booking an AMF bowling lane. Riley's friends (he was only allowed three) met him at the centre where Husband tried his hardest to out-do these talented little strikers. After bowling, they spent a pretty penny or two on arcade games... what more could a boy want?
Ice cream, of course. So after bowling, the lads came back to our house for an ice cream buffet, chips, lemonade and cake. Honestly? That's all they need (and they didn't even eat the cake). That and a soccer ball. I didn't even see them, other than the quick nip inside for a little rehydration... pile their bowls with ice cream... and to blow out the candles on the cake.
So - this is just how easy Riley's easy-peasy 8th birthday bash was.
This is the first party - ever - that I haven't even created an invitation. Email invites are the new black (sadly), so that's the way I did it.
Next, husband blew up 15 balloons and I bunched them into three groups of five. I put some party favours in cello bags, tied them with grosgrain ribbon and attached them to a group of balloons. Then I used the balloons as decoration for the back of the table. Done.
Next I stickytaped a large piece of striped wrapping paper to the dining room table and rolled out Riley's red wagon, filling it with popcorn boxes ($2 shop) and the birthday cake, which was just layered chocolate cake with a plop of choc butter icing on top, allowed to ooze down the sides. Jaffas rolled around the periphery and that was it. Voilà. Lightning-fast.
Decorations: the aforementioned balloons and the number 8 printed on card and punched out with a circle cutter, glued back-to-back and pegged to a photo mobile, strung from the ceiling on fishing line.
I also re-used Ella's happy birthday sign from last year - printed letters on card, punched out and sticktaped to skewers. I poked the sticks into tiny green apples and lined them up along the table.
For the ice cream, I filled San Pellegrino mini juice bottles with dotties and sprinkles, mini M&Ms and choc buttons.
Then I lined up plates and bowls - symmetry is so nice on the eye.
Ice cream cones were next. You could also provide wafers and cones in varying sizes, along with toppings - we had lime slime and raspberry jelly toppings (from the supermarket). Bottle holders are a perfect host for cones.
The only other foods were some chips and popcorn (always a hit) - and I also tried my hand at some chocolate-chip ice cream cake pops. All you do is smoosh leftover cake with a little butter icing (so balls can be formed). Press the cake into the cone (so it's not top heavy) then roll some into a ball and press it on top. Refrigerate til firm.
Melt chocolate and dip the tips of the cones into the chocolate, swirling quickly. Stand in little bottles and refrigerate immediately. I added chocolate sprinkles to my white chocolate melts, to give a chocolate chip look. Then I topped each with a jaffa. You can experiment with all manner of colours and flavours and toppings.
The boys went for it.
In between bouts of soccer...