Pim turned 9 in February, but something very sad happened in our close surroundings around that time, which made it difficult for me to get myself in the mood for organising a party back then. I kept postponing it, until suddenly I realised the end of the school year was near. Oops! So on the last day of term, he finally got his party. And we made it a good one! (Thankfully he had been asking for an ‘outdoor’ party, so a warmer time of year actually came as an advantage!)
From the moment he was able to walk, Pim has been an avid stick gatherer. We still keep his collection in a big pot next to our front door, and it is still being used for all sorts of pretend play. (He loves sticks so much that he even keeps stick-insects as pets in his room!) All in all, we thought it would be a fun idea to throw him a ‘sticks’ party for his 9th birthday.
On the day of the party, we took the best sticks from his collection (plus the extra ones we had found in the park a few days before). I had also made an example that I brought as well, so that it was easier to explain what we were going to do. I brought acrylic paint in some nice colours, paper plates, enough paint brushes, cotton thread, blunt-tip needles and scissors, and kitchen towel for spills. Tamar brought a hammer, big and small nails, some flat pieces of wood (one with a hole drilled in it slightly bigger than the bigger nails), and Pim’s collection of bottle caps.
As a first party activity, the children painted stripes around the stick they had chosen. It was fun to see with how much detail and concentration they were painting! When they were done with the stripes, we put the sticks to dry and had something to drink and there was time for Pim to open his presents.
Then, we brought out the cotton thread, and we winded thread around the sticks (securing them with the needles). The children also found feathers in the park which they attached to their sticks as well. And taking turns, Tamar helped them to flatten bottle caps with a hammer, make a hole in them using a large nail and the hole in the board, and then nail them to their sticks in stacks with the smaller nails — a cool detail because now the sticks could rattle!
With some football, climbing trees and cake-eating activities in between, a collection of beautiful ornamental sticks were the result of this super fun party. The children were all so super engaged making their sticks (some of the boys couldn’t be dragged away by their parents at the end of the party!) and they were so proud to take their treasure home. It was such a wonderful afternoon — and Pim said it had definitely been worth the wait.
PS Pim’s knight party for his 4th, the fun disco party for his 5th, the exciting treasure hunt for his 7th, and the fun Lego party for his 8th birthday. For Sara’s 9th birthday, we organised a strawberry high tea.