When thinking about the theme for their birthday party I decided that because my girls both love to be outside, to explore, to move, and to have fun I wanted to reflect that in their celebration. When I spoke to them about their ideas there was a solid idea of having a bug party, mainly because it would appeal to both boys and girls. Taking both ideas we came up with having a nature play birthday party.
One of our favourite places to get into the great outdoors is the Burleigh Headland, so it seemed like the natural choice to celebrate their birthdays there. With wide open green spaces, the beach and a rainforest all in one spot it wasn’t a hard decision.
I tried to keep everything as neutral as possible so that not only was it environmentally friendly but it would appeal to the kids and adults alike. Everything was printed on brown recycled paper, food was served in brown boxes with bamboo spoons and I tried to make everything reusable or recyclable where I could.
The decorations were kept very simple with a few tissue paper butterflies and flowers pinned up and of course some giant helium number balloons. With a gorgeous backdrop like Burleigh we didn’t need to go overboard. If you would like to know how to make the tissue paper butterflies or the tissue paper flowers I have written a couple of simple tutorials just for you.
The kids were all given a VIP Party Pass to hang around their neck, it made them feel important and we were able to keep a track of everyone a little easier. This is a great idea for any kids parties in public areas. We organised for a ‘ranger’ to entertain the kids by taking them exploring the rainforest before playing some really active games with them all.
I was thanked a few times by the parents because for once they were able to just sit back and relax for a few hours while the kids played. Some grabbed a coffee and mostly everyone sat in the sunshine laughing at the kids having water fights or trying to jump through moving hoops. There was plenty to keep the kids occupied and there was still the security of being able to see mum or dad watching close by. I think this is the key to keeping everyone happy at a kids party.
Blankets were thrown around the grass for them to rest on while we served individual lunch boxes to each child. I kept these as simple as possible with a juice, ham and cheese sandwiches, a fruit salad and some coloured popcorn and lollies.
The parents really appreciated that we didn’t load the kids up on sugar for 3 hours before sending them home. There was a big drinks tub for the adults along with platters of antipasti and crackers. This was of course topped off with (nut and egg free) birthday cake which I will reveal more of on Thursday.
The thank you gifts were small plants in plantable pots. We had a good mix of veggies, herbs and flowers with a freddo frog and thank you note tied on with twine. Each pot then had a small chalkboard with their name written on them. These were great because they also doubled as decorations!
On their actual birthdays they also took some treats in to share with their friends at school. Keeping with our nature theme and trying to be a little bit more creative than another cupcake or bag of lollies we decided to make some ‘dirt cups’. These were so ridiculously easy but were very effective.
I layered chocolate custard in the bottom of individual plastic cups (they were actually sauce containers so I could have a lid for them too) to make the mud. I topped this with a layer of crushed chocolate ripple biscuits for the dirt and then hid a snake, frog or butterfly lolly in the top. Everyone got a bright coloured spoon with it so they could eat them up straight away. Luckily I made a few extra for the teachers and lingering parents who wanted to have a taste. The added bonus to these are that they will suit egg free and nut free classrooms!!
All of this is exactly why I was exhausted last week. But I was more than happy to do it, despite the effort that goes into it I actually really enjoy planning their birthday party each year, and the sheer joy on their faces and the fun that all of their friends have is more than enough to make me do it again next time.
Do you plan your kids birthday parties?
Have you ever tried a nature theme?
What was your favourite part?