A few weeks ago we threw my son Henrik a super hero party. I thought it would be fun for the kids to feel like they were real super heroes flying through the sky saving lives, so we created a city scene photo booth. At first the kids didn’t understand why they needed to lay on the ground with their arms stretched out and their feet pointed. Once they saw the pictures they understood they were more willing to oblige and started getting into it. The adults at the party had so much fun watching the kids strike their different super hero poses.
To make the city scene all you need is an old blue sheet, a ladder, a cloud pillow or two, buildings made out of cereal boxes and duct tape, and of course a willing super hero with a cape and mask. For the buildings I enlisted the help of my good friend Merrilee who among her many talents is something of a duct tape genius.
I saw this idea originally many years ago in a craft book and unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the book, maybe someone can help me out?
Last weekend we celebrated my son’s birthday. Today I would like to share the glasses I made for the day. It is a simple idea that helps the kids keep track of their own glasses!!!
I got the milkshake glasses in “La Fiesta de Olivia“. They are are so nice, remind me of some “old movies”!!. I just added a band of chalk paint to each of them.
And wrote the names of the guests!! It also works well in glass, but in glass the paint will go as soon as you wash it, which is good so you can use it just for the day of the party!!
Last May it was Sara’s 7th birthday, and she wished for a ’sewing’ party with her girlfriends. I suspect this has to do with the craft night I organise with a few of my girlfriends every 2 weeks on Monday night, which involves tea and homemade cake and lots of chit-chat. Sara loves the idea of it — she always lies awake in her bed, waiting until my friends are here and secretly joins us for a bit of cake and some knitting before I put her to bed for a second time.
For her birthday party, I decided to apple-stamp tote bags with Sara and her girlfriends. I prepared the bag linings beforehand (up to step 4 below), and cut and ironed the outside of the bags in preparation as well. At the party, we let the girls stamp their own name and apple design first. When the outside of the bags were drying (see photo) we played games and had cake. Afterwards, we let the girls sew the sides of the bags using Sara’s sewing machine (step 6 below). Nothing but two straight lines, but except for Sara, none of the girls had ever touched a sewing machine before, so this was a big success! I quickly sewed the lining to the outside of the bags so all the girls could take their personal tote bag home. It was such fun to see all the tote bags the next day at school – used as gym, book or lunch bags!
As for the making of — here is a quick how-to. I used this twenty-minute-tote-tutorial from the PurlBee for the basic idea. And in the meantime, I have been making more of these bags for personalised baby presents. Fun!
This week in escarabajos bichos y mariposas, I wrote about the candles I make for my parties. I like them being more personal. The ones in the pictures are from my son’s cowboy birthday party. To make them long I use a wooden skewer, I attach the candle to the stick with some string and finally add a little object/goodie related to the party, in this case a blue star.
Very simple and I think it makes a difference. Kids love it!
What a wonderful mini-present, this adorable bunting birthday card by Dutch company Engel. The card itself features sweet printed bunting, but in a little plastic bag attached to it (with cool neon stitching), is an adorable mini bunting — such fun to decorate the cake with, or the party table, for example! And it comes with an envelope so can easily be posted to far away friends as well.
Engel is a Dutch brand and webshop which started some years ago when Sabien Engelenburg decided to sit down behind her sewing machine to sew her daughter a bunting made from the fabric scraps her grandmother left her. Engel is most known for its beautiful buntings, but I also love the pretty and practical wipe-clean tablecloths and pompoms, and the many other cool products they sell in their webshop. Worth a visit!
Here is yet again a product that I am officially buying for the good of my children, but to be honest, I actually also want it myself. It is a 3m (which I believe is 10 ft) long giant colouring poster! Can you imagine pulling this out of your hat one rainy weekend, when everyone is cranky and a little bit bored?? I reckon this could be a hit for the whole family! It can be used as wallpaper that kids officially can draw on, or you can spread it out on the floor or use as a tablecloth for a party — the possibilities are endless.
For Pim’s ‘knights’ themed birthday party last week, we had the idea of letting the boys decorate their own shields. I always like to do something a bit creative with the kids to offer some ‘downtime’ before the more active games we played later. My husband had made 8 shields out of thin beech plywood, with bands (from cheap winch straps), and rivets. He used a round plate to make the design, and an electric jigsaw to saw out the shields. I was impressed by how fast he made them, by the cool-looking end results, and by the sturdiness of the shield! Oh, and the materials we used were really cheap — I think we didn’t spend more than 10 euros for the 8 shields together.
Shields in the making
I printed some different images of coats of arms like dragons, lions, and unicorns, and bought carbon paper (didn’t know it still existed, but it does!). As a first party activity, each boy transferred a drawing onto their shield using the carbon paper. Taping the printed paper and carbon paper to the shield helped to keep everything in place. The magic of tracing the drawing and automatically transferring it to the shield kept them interested! Afterwards, they used markers to colour and personalise their shields. I was so impressed by their concentration — they loved this activity and were so serious, and so proud of the results!
Transferring the design using carbon paper
Colouring and decorating
Of course we couldn’t resist sewing 8 tunics for the knights the night before the party (including a tiny one for Ava!), and to get a few plastic party helmets to go with the outfit. (Swords were forbidden — for obvious reasons…)
Games (or ‘knight’s challenges’) included: Obstacle course in the kids’ bedroom (under the bed, over the bed, jump 10 times, somersault, etc.), pin the fire to the dragon’s mouth (like pin the tail to the donkey), mastering the yoga warrior pose, and killing the piñata dragon (finally they were allowed to use a sword!). All the kids got a score card around their neck, and each time they had surpassed a challenge they earned a sticker. Only with a full card did they earn their official ‘knight certificate’, which, printed with a Medieval type font on brownish paper and with burned edges, looked impressive enough!
Pin the fire to the dragon
The party bags (do you remember the stamp we made?) and the knight certificates
It was a fun party and the kids loved it! We were pretty exhausted though. I’m glad I don’t have five overactive 5-year-old boys in our house every day!
I discovered these giant balloons on My Little Day and now cannot wait for one of my kid’s birthday parties to come up. I think they are so cool. They get up to 90 cm big and still are as light as a feather — so much fun to throw around and play with!
I also love another idea the clever ladies from My Little Day have: why not fill up one of these balloons with toys and bonbons before you blow it up and use it as a piñata? The balloons do come with a good piece of advice: incredible lungs or a balloon pump are strongly recommended, if not you might get a little bit tired of blowing these things up… they need a lot of air
For Christmas my thoughtful husband gave me a set of lino cutting tools and some card-size sheets of linoleum. Do you remember linoleum cutting from when you were a kid? The smell of linoleum brought me right back to the craft room of my primary school in the countryside — amazing, the memories smells can bring back to you.
With Pim’s 5th birthday fast approaching I had good reason to make a stamp: the party invites! Pim had been requesting a knights party, so I asked him to draw a knight for me. I transferred his knight to the piece of linoleum — you can trace the drawing on tracing paper using a soft pencil, put it face down on the linoleum and rub so the drawing transfers on the stamp, or use old-fashioned carbon paper (another thing from the past).
After having cut out the stamp, which takes a bit of time but is extremely relaxing, you can ink the drawing using block printing ink and a little roller, and press down on a piece of paper. A rolling pin works well to press the stamp down evenly. Carefully lift the lino up and let dry. Done!!
You can also print on fabric using fabric paint — the possibilities are endless…
That was fun! And I already know how I’m going to decorate the party bags!!
Seriously, is there anything better in the world than beating on a massive ball with a stick and, when you finally smash it open, being showered in bonbons? It’s no wonder kids go crazy for piñatas.
Piñatas had not really crossed my radar until I went on holiday to Mexico last year. But now we can’t possibly consider a birthday party complete without a good piñata bashing! Here in Paris I pick our piñatas up from a lovely shop called La Pinata, which is along the Canal St Martin (the photo above is of a pinata I picked up for Coco’s birthday last week). I have also found a ton of piñata DIY posts online, like these by the lovely Oh Happy Day blog, just in case you do not have a handy piñata shop around the corner!
By the way, it is hilarious watching the way kids react when they are picking the bonbons out of the broken pinata. Some just go crazy and try to grab whatever they can, others stand back observe and hone in for the choice pickings!
Petite Alma have recently launched some new birthday card packs (for grown-ups and for kids) and they’re so cheerful and happy and just the perfect thing to have on hand for all upcoming birthdays this year. I love the vibrant watercolour illustrations, the fun greetings on each card, and I’m so smitten with that adorable little mouse on the ‘You’re a Star’ card in the Furry Friends set (above). So cute!
My children’s birthday parties must be the most exciting day of their lives. However, I am much more hesitant. I have no problems baking the cakes, decorating the room and getting the party favours ready. It is entertaining all the children that scares me! They are a tough audience, these 6-year-olds, so the pressure is on.
It was Coco’s birthday party this weekend, and I needed to come up with some games to play inside on a cold, winter day in a small flat in Paris! One of most successful games was a whole body paper cut-out, and hilariously enough, was also the simplest to organise. We got the kids to lie down on a big piece of paper and drew the outline of their body. We then drew on some accessories and the kids finished them off. After they were done, we cut out the faces and held the piece of paper up so that the kids could stick their face through it. (Apparently this was one of the funniest thing ever!)
After that we got them to dance, cracked open a pinata, ate cake, dressed up and suddenly it was time for all these little people to go home again, tired and happy! Phew, another birthday party successfully navigated!
I had the great pleasure of meeting the lovely Teresa, founder of the brand new Hedgehog Shop, a few weeks ago when she opened up her London studio for a little pre-Christmas shopping. I knew immediately that I would LOVE her online shop. Her knack for sourcing the cutest toys, craft items, dress-up pieces, party gifts and loads of other adorable treasures from around the world is SO spot on. I got my Christmas crackers from her shop and they were a huge success at my dinner table. I also found the most charming toys and other little winning gifts. The online shop is now up and running, and I just know you will all love it as much as I do.
When I found out I was going to have a daughter, I had this deluded idea that my child would only play with wooden toys and that there certainly would be no princess dresses in our house. Oh, how naive I was! Five years, two daughters and about 15 polyester princess dresses later, our dress-up box has become quite famous with the under fives on our block. And now we have a reputation to keep!
Now, it turns out that even in the world of fake princess dresses, there are cheap and cheerful models and, on the other end of the scale, there’s Haute Couture. The dresses by Ivoy Paris fall into the later category. The taffeta, the ruffles, the lace and the elaborate cuts of these dresses are quite spectacular. They are probably what little girls imagine a genuine princess dress to be like. They do come with a certain price tag, but this is truely the creme de la creme of princess dress-up dresses….
Isn’t this pint-sized berry basket such a brilliant goody bag idea? I’m definitely copying this idea for our next birthday party. I’ve always loved the idea of giving veggie seeds in a goody bag (in fact I’ve done it before!), but this whole presentation is just so perfect. It’s one of many cute party ideas in the newest issue of LMNOP magazine. Check out the rest of the issue here.
(Image designed and created by LMNOP)
I am not as good at planning kid’s parties as some of my other Babyccino compatriates, but my kids do love a good birthday party, so I definitely need to get with the programme.
Enter the website My Little Day… which is one of the best party websites I have seen! There is a great selection of party favours, party accessories and some great costumes. For me the best part of the site is the birthday guides, full of ideas on how to organise a birthday party — great inspiration if you are at a bit of a loss. (Unfortunately at the moment the site is only in French.)
Who doesn’t love a piñata? They make great party decorations, they offer entertainment (if you decide to bash the beauty up), and they’re filled with candy! Such fun! Jordan at Oh Happy Day has recently started a Piñata DIY series and offers all the tips and necessary steps for how to make them. It actually seems quite easy to do — I think I might give it a go for our next party… although I’m not sure I could stand watching it get destroyed after all that work, no matter how many sweets it bears.
Images from Oh Happy Day
Do you know that sentiment — to be almost more excited to give presents than you are to receive them? I especially have that feeling when I know I have found something spot-on perfect, which will most certainly be well received, and is wrapped with lots of love and care…
This wrapping paper from Lollipop is just perfect for such a present — so happy and stylish with the baubles, printed on 100% recycled paper with lovely veggie inks. (There are matching gift tags and labels available too!) I’m also loving the polka dot masking tape from Petite Alma — cute with the baubles paper, but also exquisite on plain white paper (readily available from your kids’ crafting corner!). More cool party ideas can be found in this week’s Top Ten!
Gosh, time flies! Can you believe we have been blogging for exactly four years this week?! It’s a funny thing because in some ways it’s hard to believe four years have passed so quickly… but then on the other hand it’s almost impossible to think about life pre-Babyccino Kids (at least for us)!
To celebrate our fourth birthday, we’re devoting this week to all things party-related. We’ll also each look back on the past year and reveal our five favourite posts. But before we begin to bring you new ideas, here are some of our favourite party-related posts we’ve featured here before:
- A cute and easy Japanese-themed birthday party Esther threw for her daughter
- Delicious, chocolatey cake toppers available in NYC
- Cute party invites by Rifle Paper Company
- A balloon-themed birthday party — easy, festive and fun!
- Never forget another birthday with this handy Date Reminder Calendar
- Water-resistant garlands for every celebration (don’t let rain ruin your party decorations!)
- Mo’s brilliant Cops ‘n Robbers party with easy-to-copy ideas
- DIY goody bags made from the pages of old magazines
- The most adorable and reusable candle holders!
- Make your own Crocodile Clothespins and use them in many ways (i.e. on top of goody bags!)
- The perfect carrot cake recipe (for every sort of party)
- Esther’s DIY stick horses for her daughter’s ‘pony party’
I’m not sure how it works in other countries, but here in the Netherlands kids are supposed to hand out treats to their classmates when it’s their birthday. The teacher will make a special birthday crown, the class will sing happy birthday, and afterwards the treats are handed out to the other kids. Fun!
It was Sara’s 6th birthday last week, and I decided to make what my mum made for me in the ’70s: skewers stacked with yummy things (and hopefully a bit healthier than cakes and candy)! It’s easy to make — just stick things like cheese cubes, pineapple pieces, grapes, sausages and strawberries on skewers and place them in half a melon covered with aluminum foil. It looks very festive and most children love this treat!