Monday, 9 July 2012

Story Book Party

Holly is a reading addict. Any opportunity she has to spend a minute with her head in a book she will do. She has really wanted to have a reading party for about 3 years now. I understand that for her there is nothing better imaginable than having all her favorite people with her reading... I had to nicely try to explain that it might not be everyone's cup of tea and maybe a party should be a bit more lively and fun?!  So this year, for her eighth birthday, I considered her idea and we came up with the compromise of a story book party... We could somehow include bits of her favorite stories, a few more grown up games and a chance to well and truly declare to her friends that she loves books.

INVITES

We made the invitations by photographing a big stack of loads of her favorite stories and had them printed as matt postcards. I printed out some plain library book record inserts and wrote the info on there with the date stamped in a good old fashioned stamper. I got 100 of these printed for about £7. It means they can double up as thank you cards and the leftovers are totally usable for Holly as postcards throughout the year.

DECORATIONS
Decorations were nice and easy for this party theme. We had a few white balloons on old ribbons held down by a few old hard back books, bunting made from a second hand book stapled onto ribbon and some printed out quotes from well known stories and cut out letters dotted around and hung on ribbon. I did get a lot of objection when Holly saw me chopping up a book to make bunting but it was very ethical...a local charity shop had a big basket of second hand childrens books for 30p each. (I picked up a few from here for the party bags - see below) and I selected the ones I thought looked the most shallow and least educational for my cutting up. Turns out the Princess Diaries is not just a bit shallow but also not AT ALL a children's book despite the princessy name and front cover. I had to take down a few bits of bunting that were discussing birth control and plastic surgery. Glad I got those out of the children's basket before some unsuspecting young princess fan picked up those and got an early sex ed lesson!

We had fun making a 'Big Bad Wolf' pinata to hang in the gazebo above the party table. So long as you can tolerate the kitchen table being covered in newspaper and wallpaper paste for a few days while you're getting it done its a really nice way to get the children involved in all the planing and ideas. Elijah had a great time scribbling on the big sharp teeth with a marker pen.

THE CAKE
 The Cake! This was a little more complicated than I'd thought it would be. The 4 rectangles were easy enough. I made 2 pink cakes, 1 chocolate and 1 vanilla white sponge in rectangle tins and chopped down to size. Rolling out the fondant once the colour was mixed was far more tricky. I tried to cheat with the white one when I sent Joel to get me ready rolled sheet. It was round and so I had to squash it and roll it anyway. It took more hours than I'd given myself on my time allocated Things To Do list... so its a good job she loved it!

PARTY BAGS
The Party Bags. I'm not a fan of the typical party bag. My mum tried to persuade me to stand my ground and not do them. I'm not into having 30 upset children at the end of an otherwise successful party so I've never gone down that road but I equally don't see the point of spending my money of pieces of plastic to share out between friends bins. This year they all got... 2 chocolate mice (one white, one pink made in molds from Lakeland) a Russian doll notebook, a pencil and a classic old second hand book. I suddenly got very jealous of all the great stories I had managed to find in charity shops and book stalls that I was about to give away. I almost got Holly onto reading as many as possible before her friends arrived. She is a fast reader but I think getting through Black Beauty, Wind In the Willows, Heidi, Watership Down and about 8 Enid Blyton books in 3 hours was a bit ambitious. I will have to enjoy trying to re find some of those again.


 I've not jumped on the cake pop bandwagon. I did that with macaroons and learned how to make them just before they were becoming very cool again and then I spent far too much time and egg white making batches where half would be great and half would be 'mistakes that I have to eat'. My mum is into cake pops though and I think one cake pop maker in your close family is enough -I think they can just make them for you. She has 2 books and a cake pop maker (which makes the cake mix into perfect little spheres) I shall leave her to it...and she produced these little faces :-)

Recycled drinks bottles dipped in chalkboard paint. Write the childrens names on and they wont lose theirs.

ACTIVITIES
I wanted all the activities to suit the theme so for a craft activity on arrival we made book marks. I just collected some stamps, cardboard letters, stickers, brown paper and textured paper together and printed off a few phrases 'fairest of them all' 'theres no place like home' 'once upon a time' and wildest of them all' and bought a couple of rolls of fabric tape. I had ribbon thread through once these were laminated too. 
I had a code breaker activity going on too so that not everyone was making book marks at the same time and a photo opportunity. We stacked up a load of blankets and mattresses to make a 'Princess and the Pea' bed and took tonnes of pictures. 
GAMES
Each guest brought one of their favorite books wrapped in newspaper and Holly collected them on arrival in her red riding hoods basket. Everyone chose a parcel to unwrap and then we had a guessing game to find who the book belonged to. 
We played story consequences which took up most of the time but was nice to play something a little more substantial with them now they are a little older. I printed out sheets with the guidelines for what to put eg describing word, girls name, MET, describing word, boys name etc. I dont think any of them had played this before but once we got going it went well and there were many many giggles when it came to reading them out...especially the ones involving some of the names of their school teachers getting married and falling down the toilet.
Pass the parcel because they do all love it. I found 2 vintage looking jigsaws in a bargain bookshop in a box shaped like a book. One was an Alice book with a jigsaw inside and the other Black Beauty so I'd snapped them up while on holiday a few months ago for pass the parcel prizes. Then we ate and sang and finished with the pinata.

It was great fun, surprisingly chilled and ended with a sleepover thanks to there being an inset day at school the next day. Good time had and onto planning he boys camping party for 2 weeks time!!



1 comment:

  1. Mandy, this is awesome! Have you ever thought of doing this as a job?!

    ReplyDelete