I love a good party. The Pickle starts to plan her party before the tea is properly digested. This year was the year of the Rainbow Fairy!
Have you heard of the Rainbow Fairies Books? Pickle loves them so the whole party was a homage. First step, doctor the book cover. For that we needed to decide what she was going to wear and using a scanner and that ancient technology of a pencil the Pickle was turned into a fairy. It took a while but that took care of the all the stationary.
Theme and look sorted now the imagination gets going. We always start parties with a craft activity - everyone can get involved and it means that everyone is not waiting around, they can get stuck in.
This year I made fairy wings, to be decorated with metallic and glitter markers. Armed with a couple of pairs of pliers wire coat hangers can be shaped onto wing shapes. Each pair was marginally different making them a little special.
If you buy pink tights the budget would be blown out of the water. Instead I found five pairs of the delicious American tan style tights in XL for £1.25. Using only what I had, I used pink food dye and the centre of an old pink marker with some salt (in case this was needed as a fixative in this strange combination), to dye the tights pink. It did seem to work, but I am not sure if it was luck or judgement, I guess if you were worried about dye rubbing off you could buy a specialist dye.
I managed to get a pair of wings from a single leg. Cut each leg in half and tied a small knot at the end (even on the toe as otherwise you have the dark tone of the toe showing up) then popped them over the frame.
It says something about my life that we had some carpet tape in the shed, and this proved ideal to tape up the wings. I wound it around each end, making sure that the cut ends we're properly coved then bound the two wings together adding in a large loop of elastic to act as the arm straps. To do it properly you would take a wide fabric tape and stick across the two wings, but the Pickle was adamant this was to the look that she wanted so I just taped the wings together along the horizontal stems (without the wide ate going across both the wings can droop). I finished off the wings with some felt across the back secured by some white tape.
So we had the fairy wings to decorate and some fairy wands. We have a formula that really works, start the party with a craft activity while everyone arrives, it is such an easy way for even the shyest child to get involved.
This year I was on super economy, I was making invitations etc I decided to go for broke on the party bags. I made bags from some poly cotton sheeting (normally much cheaper than standard material) then for just a few pounds I bought some iron on transfer paper to print the bags with the fairy's names. The paper came from china so took forever - but I had been quite organised. Each fairy was treated by their bag (can you see the loop for holding their wands) and an undecorated wand and pair of wings.
First game was tracking down the lost lollies. Picture the scene: Jack Frost and his pesky goblins have stolen the lollies and our little fairies must track them down (giving them an iced drink and starting the theme early, clever?). They followed a trail of hidden goblins across the garden to a chest where there prize was awaiting. The Pickle has spent hours painting cardboard to disguise the cooler box as a treasure chest, and it certainly did the trick. Later it came in handy too for any tea leftovers that we're scooped in to provide chicken snacks (yes, we have chickens) over couple of days.
Next step Pass the Parcel. I love the Mum who gave me the tip of using different colours of paper and making sure that when they unwrap the layer they put the paper behind their backs - an easy way to remember who has had a turn. In the past I have put chocolate coins in each layer (#fail, the chocolate melts) and most food it a bit dubious as it can be a distraction. This year I managed to rummage around the party box and find 12 random mini prizes to go between the layers so I only needed to buy a few extras.
Next we did the donut game. Eating mini donuts from a strong with no hands. Brilliant! The only nightmare was getting them hung in time during the pass the parcel without ending up with a cat's cradle!
Next time for tea. Over the years I have reduced and reduced the quantities as they really don't each much. I had made sure that the lollies were made from fruit juice and the donuts were small so that there would be space for tea. I had to be really careful alone friend had a peanut allergy - I guess this was useful as it made me really focus on what I was feeding them. I always feed them on rugs in a large tent / gazebo type thing.
Next on for the finale and a treasure hunt. They really have to work for their party bags! I have rambled along for too long now so I will continue in part 2 coming up shortly...
Any hints for improvements for next year, let me know. Xx