It's a Sylvanian Tea Party - Angel is 8!

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 01, 2017
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When I tell people that I have not one but three year end babies (yes, all by coincidence and birthed naturally), they usually go "Oh good! Then you can celebrate their birthdays together". In a sense, it is true and if I were to combine a birthday bash for all three of them, it would definitely save me a lot of hassle.

But when you think about it, a combined birthday party loses that special touch for each individual kid, doesn't it? I've done two combined bashes for the girls, one was a Sofia the First themed party two years ago at our old house when I was just a couple of weeks away from delivering the boy, and the other was when The Tiara Society kindly offered to host a Frozen royal party last year for my princesses. It's not that they didn't turn out to be awesome because they did and the sisters were happy to be part of each other's big day; it's just that I knew in my heart if I could, I would prefer to hold a small, personalised party for each of them.

So, we decided this year that we will have cosy, intimate parties to celebrate their special days and I realised that in this case, less actually means more. A less number of people on the guest list means more time for interaction, more opportunities for play, more games, more involvement, more goodie bag items, more photo taking, more joy and laughter, more room for enjoyment. Yes, I think this is the way that works best for us and it's probably how it will be from now on.


Here's sharing more about the big girl's birthday party which was a Sylvanian Families Tea Party. Yup, the kids get to choose their own themes this year and you bet they were super elated about it! It was heartening to see how they would look forward to the big day and even though my decorations were kept very simple this time, everyone was very excited and we would talk about the games, the food, the friends we were gonna invite, the goodie bag items we could get, which charity we would donate to, and so on. It was easy for us to get into the party planning mood!

The Preparation

Weeks before the big day, she had already decided on the classmates she was going to invite to the party. I asked her to keep it to a number of around 5-6 so that we could have a small-scaled party with lots of activities and she was more than happy to oblige because she has always loved all the games and crafts we do at her parties. Anyway, since she is transferring to another primary school next year, one which is nearer to our current home, I wanted this to be a farewell party for her too so she could have some precious memories with her best buddies whom she has bonded with in the last two years of her primary school life.


I'm still very much into doing hard copy invites so we printed out a self-designed one and she helped to cut and stick them in place. One of her classmates' mum, who also came to our party last year, actually took photos and told me how much her girl cherished these invites and had kept them in good condition. Awwww, how sweet, right? She is also one of the handful of friends who have been giving Angel handwritten cards and notes to say how much they will miss her when she's gone, how sad they are, and how they wish her all the best in her new journey. Till date, we have received over a dozen farewell gifts, notes or messages already and they are very much treasured. Yes, my girl has very awesome friends and I'm just so thankful she has bonded with so many people in her class.

Back to the setup, having a small-scaled party doesn't mean I don't do any decoration because I still have a passion to do it and I think it's the very least I can do for my kids. So, for our Sylvanian party, I designed a simple, personalised bunting to hang onto our brick wall which will be the backdrop for our photo booth. Yes, I wanted a photo booth so that the kids can take some shots together and make some memories and to jazz things up a little, I added paper cutout fans and also did a basket of DIY photo props (will share more about these in another post).


As for the goodie bags, these have got to be the best ones we've ever given away. Oh, by the way, Daiso is my go-to place when it comes to getting party favours and since I don't like to give out candies and chocolates, I really love shopping around in Daiso to see what stationery, toys, ornaments, bags or lifestyle items I can get. For the Sylvanian party, which reminds me of animals and all things cute, I got some animal tote bags, furry rabbit sling bags and vintage photo frames from Daiso for our lovely guests.


The highlight items in the good bags will be these cute Sylvanians we bought from Kiddy Palace - which even come with rocking horse, study desk, and springer. Like I said, less people means better gifts and I honestly hope that all our guests loved the presents we had chosen for them.


Another personalised touch was that I would print out the photos the guests each took with Angel and slot them into the photo frames as a surprise. Yes, it makes a huge difference as compared to an empty frame and it was worthwhile rushing to do it on my computer during the party!





The Setup

The night before the party, we brought out all the girls' Sylvanian collection to decorate the dining tables. They had so much fun setting up and deciding where each piece should go, and it's nice to actually involve them and let them play a part in the preparation process too.


This lightbox is a new addition in our house and I think it works great for parties! Well, except that the word Sylvanian is a teeny weeny long for the box, I loved everything about the box and how it was a good way to let the younger ones practise their alphabets and spelling when we were setting up too.


On the morning of the party, we put the box at our shoe rack area outside our main door so that the guests would be able to tell at first glance which house was ours. Oh, can you see that paper marche rabbit that we put at our door? Yup, it's nicknamed Honey Bunny and it was done by the birthday girl in her art class too. How apt for a Sylvanian themed party, right?


Last year, we requested for our guests not to bring the girls any gifts but if they would like to, they could help make a donation to Children's Cancer Society. This year, I asked the girls if they would still wanna donate for a good cause and to my delight, they said "Yes!" After we had a discussion, they decided that this time, they wanna do their part for their animal friends and collect funds for SPCA. I also promised them that we'll make a trip down after the party so that we could personally hand over the donation too. A good way to do something meaningful, don't you agree?



The Party

Time to get the party started! Before the guests started pouring in (okay actually it's streaming in because we only had five), we made sure we took a family photo first. With our rabbit ears, no less! Oh yes, the rabbit hairbands were for our guests to use at the photo booth and they could take one home with them afterwards too.


As with every party, some of the guests will arrive early and some will inevitably be late. I usually try to plan some simple activities to keep the early birds occupied while waiting for everyone to arrive too.



It was heartening to see how some of her friends made beautiful cards and personalised bracelets for her and I'm hoping we can find a special spot to keep all these precious memories for her to look back on some day.



For those who arrived early, they were kept occupied with these Sylvanian colouring sheets which I printed from online. I hope my kids will always love to colour because at my age, I still do! Haha.



When all the guests had arrived, it was time for a group photo and for the fun to begin!

Games and Activities

-> Design your own pencil case

First up, the kids each received a set of fabric markers which they could use to design their own pencil cases, thanks to these creative sets from Squiggle Doodle! Since the big girl loves to doodle and loves drawing and designing, I knew she would love this activity and it turned out they all did!








-> Make your own animal

Next, it was time to get our fingers sticky and colourful! Using Play-doh, we tried to mould it into animal shapes and it was interesting to see what the kids came up with, from pigs to caterpillars to snowman look-alike figures. Angel was the only one who tried to make a rabbit that resembles the one from Sylvanian Families and she did a pretty good job at it too!










-> Sylvanian Mini Golf

I wanted to add in a ball game so that the kids could stand up, stretch, move around and have fun too! This might look easy but it took me an afternoon just to cut out those animals onto the cardboard. I'll share more in a tutorial next time but the good news is these turned out awesome and all of the girls couldn't stop playing! All you have to do is hit the golf ball into any of the animal holders and you get the number of points that is indicated. The one with the highest score wins!






-> Win, Lose or Draw

Lastly, we also had a game where the kids took turns to come up to the whiteboard to draw and let the others guess the answer. I did up the game cards based on "Activities that the family can do together" and came up with a stack of 48 different answers as shown below. Simple but oh so much fun, just like how I like my parties to be.






Food

This being a tea party, we ordered finger food from Prima Deli which included fruit tarts, cupcakes, cream puffs, Swiss roll, chocolate eclairs and also added some fresh fruits and yummy jelly from Châteraisé (costs $2.50 for one!). I wanted the games and activities to be the highlight of the party more than the food, so a tea party was the ideal choice.




It was all smiles and laughter when we took a break from the activities to indulge in the treats before resuming with all more crafts and games. I like that it was kind of free and easy and that the kids had plenty of time to interact with each other, enjoy the food, talk about anything under the sun and have a thoroughly good time. For me, it was the first time in a long while I felt so relaxed as the party host too, which was a way awesome feeling.



Time for the cake cutting ceremony! We didn't want to have a fanciful cake so I asked Angel to pick a cake from the catalogue we saw at Prima Deli. Being a chocolate lover, she chose this Chocolate Fudge cake which is ranked as one of their Top 10 most popular cakes. Indeed, the sponge filling was very fluffy, the icing was moist and everything was just the right amount of sweet, no wonder the guests gave it the thumbs up too!




To go along with the theme, I printed out a cake topper and also used some of Angel's favourite Sylvanian characters to decorate the cake too. Yes, I'm loving that it looks simple yet tastes yummy, which is way better than customising an elaborate cake which looks pretty but loses out in taste.


All in all, it was such a simple yet superb Sylvanian party we had and I know Angel enjoyed every minute of it. The mums of her friends told me they couldn't stop talking about the party too so I'm just glad they enjoyed it as immensely as we did. Happy turning 8, my dear girl and I'm so happy to know that you're happy! Till your next birthday celebration!

******

In addition to having a party with her best friends, we always have a gathering with the close family members to celebrate her special day too. Yes, that essentially means I usually plan two parties for every kid which explains why I'm so busy during the year end! After all, it's hard to mix the extended family with her classmates and since her cousins vary from ages as young as four to twelve, it is always a challenge for me to think of games that will entertain everyone, including the grandparents.


The good thing is our family members are usually very sporting and we always love to catch up over a good meal. With the help of the hubby and my in-laws, we prepared a steamboat and some side dishes for everyone to enjoy. Yes, I'm very thankful for these people who can cook better than I do because I'd much prefer to stick to my role of the game master too, haha.

I thought the golf game was much too fun to be missed and it turned out that every kid, no matter big or small, was happy to keep trying to be the top scorer of the game! We played multiple rounds and although Angel was a little dismayed that she didn't emerge top (yes, she is a perfectionist at times), it was a good learning lesson for her because at one point or another, she needs to know that she cannot be champion all the time. In fact, I told her failure is good for her because it means she needs to pick herself up and try harder the next time round. That's how we build up grit and tenacity in our lives, isn't it?


Our last activity for the night was also the most fun one - CHARADES! Yes, family charades. I used the same deck of cards from the Win, Lose or Draw game but this time, they were supposed to act out the family-friendly activities for others to guess. It was hilarious and I loved how everyone took part in the game, including our mums and dads and everyone in the family. We acted out activities like "Going on a cruise", "Staying in a chalet", "Going on a roller coaster ride", "Visiting Gardens by the Bay", "Celebrating Christmas", "Doing household chores", "Having late night supper" and so on and I must say some of them were very creative interpretations!



It was an evening filled with good food, fun games and incessant laughter and I love how these simple celebrations are going to stayed etched in our minds for a long, long time to come. In fact, I think this is the way we will be celebrating birthdays from on, cosy gatherings instead of large-scaled parties.


Oh, for her second cake (how lucky, right?), we got this Chocolate and Hazelnut flavoured ice cream cake from Swensens! It's the first time we got an ice cream cake and even though the big girl is not really a cake lover, she enjoyed every bite of this cake because well, it's ice cream after all, right? I hope she knows just how blessed and loved she is, not just on her special day but every day of her life.


Much thanks to the family and friends who helped to make Angel's 8th birthday such a memorable and fun-filled one! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did too! Till the next party update, which is happening very soon! Woohoo! It's Party Time!


1 comment:

  1. Lovely celebration! Didn’t know you were related to Christy!

    ReplyDelete

Yoohoo, thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving your comment! I am feeling the love! (^.^)

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