The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

8 01 2012

BBL turns 1 this week so we had his birthday party yesterday. I may have just learnt that focusing on Christmas is a bit unfair on my youngest after I planned to invite people in December and then didn’t until the New Year. Better planning for next year should mean I don’t come up with the ideas for his party on the day (better family planning for any future children also – January isn’t good !) Anyway…he’s been regularly peeling our Very Hungry Caterpillar wall stickers off so I thought I may as well take his obsession to the full level. It’s a great theme for providing healthy food with all the fruit, great for savoury party food like swiss cheese, salami, gherkins and sausages and you also get to include chocolate cake, cupcakes, cherry pie and ice creams cones which make it very much a children’s birthday party. I made fruit skewers to go in the ice cream cones by sticking grapes and a strawberry onto small skewers and then putting them inside the cones.

LBM and I decorated the cupcakes with green icing and sprinkles (I saved the red one for me and used Mikado chocolate sticks for the antennae). And then on my way back from the supermarket stopped at the party shop and gave them the strangest order of the day – 8 green balloons and one red one please…After a few strange looks from themthe staff and other customers everyone came round to the idea of a balloon caterpillar. He looked really cool and appears to have cured BBL’s fear of balloons. Party bags were really limited in their fillings because I’ve kind of got fed up with the idea of lots of things in them. There were smarties which remind me of the front of the book and a glow stick each because a party in January is dark by 4pm when everyone goes home. I really enjoyed this party even if I do say so myself. BBL had a great time falling asleep at 4:30 after eating loads and waking up as a beautiful butterfly!

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Winnie the Witch Potion Lab

8 01 2012

Father Christmas has been and gone and there is a certain sense of relief that it is now over for another year. We did loads of things including making mince pies and elf cakes (elves don’t like fairy cakes apparently), place name cards, hot chocolate etc etc. Christmas is an interesting time though because we also had a first birthday on Christmas Day (LBM and BBL’s cousin) and yesterday we had BBL’s first birthday party too (I’m going to share the theme because I was quite proud of myself and my last minute planning). It seems as if future Christmas periods are just going to be one long round of presents and parties and I’m going to need a holiday for the month of January. I’ll admit to having got a bit bored of Christmas stuff so a rather splendid opportunity presented itself to steer children away from it but to make good use of some cupboard items and stocking fillers.

Father Christmas left LBM some Tinti Crackling Bath powder in his stocking (effectively space dust for the bath for those of you who remember it and can also be bought on Amazon). We tried it whilst he was in the bath and he was rather scared by it. It did sound as if the bath was boiling and our cast iron bath seemed to amplify it. However, I realised there was fun to be had so following a visit from a friend and a quick scoot round the cupboard I thought it would be more successful in a potion lab. I laid out set of experiments each after reading Winnie the Witch which was the only magic colour changing book I could think of. It looked quite unexciting which may explain why they both decided to dress up as Buzz and Woody!. ¬†However, bicarbonate of soda tipped on top of powder food colouring makes a very exciting fizzing and bubbling potion when you add lemon juice. The colour was a surprise as the second picture shows. Vitamin C tablets mixed with water also create a great fizzing mess which smells lovely and creates orange water. And finally the crackling bath dust. Far more successful ¬†this way. They had so much fun tipping and pouring that we used up all the rest of the sachets, all the lemon juice and all the bicarbonate of soda. Using pipettes and spoons is great for fine motor control, tipping and pouring is great for understanding volume, mixing the colours is great for discovering everything goes brown when you mix it together. I love afternoon’s like this. Especially as it was a break from a month’s worth of Christmas ideas.