The Oocean is Calling - Ariel is 6!

Posted by ~Summer~ on January 04, 2019
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For a girl who came into this world three days before Christmas, it's not surprising that her birthday usually gets combined with a festive celebration and she ends up blowing her candles on log cakes topped with snowmen and santas.

This year, we decided to hold an early birthday celebration for Ariel because some of her friends were going away for holidays and I wanted to make sure everyone could attend. We had a mini celebration in her preschool with her classmates and teachers - for the last time *sob* - just before November ended. Then, we also organised a birthday-cum-Christmas party for her closer friends to celebrate her turning six. Yup, S-I-X, that's how fast my baby girl has grown and it's still taking me a while to accept that she will be a primary schooler come 2019.

When I asked her what birthday theme she wanted this year, she took a while to ponder and then said excitedly "Moana!". Since Moana is one of my all-time favourite Disney movies and this spunky, plucky, ocean-loving and adventurous character kind of reminds me of this girl of mine, I thought it was a perfect fit and we were ready to set sail!


School Celebration 

As this would be the last time she was going to celebrate her birthday in school, I wanted to add an extra something in the party favours for her to give out as farewell gifts to her classmates. Over the years, we usually try to minimise snacks and candies but to instead give out more practical and useful items instead. This time, we decided to include a Moana themed activity book, a personalised notebook and a thank you card for each of her friends to let them know how much she appreciates their friendship.




The activity book comprises of 12 pages of fun pages such as colouring, spot the differences, tic tac toe, word guess and origami instructions. I found these materials online and while it wasn't hard downloading and resizing them, it did take quite a bit of time for us to print and then cut out the pages one by one - we did over a dozen books in total. Thankfully, while I was in charge of the cutting, the girls were very helpful in organising the pages and helping to bind them together. They also took charge of packing all the stuff and making sure that the names of the different items matched so I didn't have to worry about that at all. Phew!

One of her friends completed the whole activity book and even brought it for the following Show-and-Tell session! How sweet of her, right?




The personalised thank you card was a way of showing our gratitude to each of the friends and hoping that we will be able to keep in touch in future. I'm very heartened to say that some of us mummies have formed a group and we are determined to organise gatherings so we can still continue to meet up - we've already said that we will meet up for CNY and Easter this year!

As for the cake (yup, a log cake, haha), we have to thank Eatzi Gourmet for sending over this gorgeous traditional truffle log cake which was so rich and delicious that it earned praises from all the teachers and friends in school! Some of them even came to ask for a second helping because the chocolate flavour was indeed delightful and addictive.

Oh, by the way, this was the first time I did a personalised cake topper using a miniature bunting and sticks. I thought it looked pretty nice on the cake, don't you think so? As for the backdrop you see below, I did it by printing out a bunting that I designed on Powerpoint, stringed them together using twine, stuck them onto a blue piece of scrap cloth I found in my stash and added some artificial flowers to make everything seem more Moana-ish. Haha. The best part was that it was easier to carry around so I could bring it to the school celebration, hang it in my home or use it as a backdrop during the party.



Party Preparation

Back to our own celebration, this was the first time I booked the function room at our place and I was very lucky to get it because the weekend slots are usually snapped up within seconds of being made available.

Every birthday party of ours begins with designing the invitation card and I still find it so much nicer than giving out e-invites or ready made ones. Since it was a Moana-cum-Christmas celebration, I added a Christmas hat on Moana on our invite, along with all the party details for our guests. Simple but nice, right? The best part is being able to personalise and print out every card for each of her friends, which I believe made each of them feel more special.


It's great that the birthday girl was very enthusiastic about helping and she offered to help in almost everything I did. I think it's nice that she puts in her own hard work too and be reminded that behind every party, it takes great work, time and effort for everything to fall in place. Here she is, cutting out the thank you cards - which feature the super adorable Baby Moana - to add onto the party favours.


Since it was a Christmas celebration too, we decided to give out presents as the party favours and these included cupcake dolls and toy cars,which I bought from a sale. The kids were so thrilled to receive them, which makes me feel happy to see during this season of giving. The transparent goodie bags were gotten from Daiso, which is still one of our favourite places to shop when it comes to party planning.


One of our biggest project for this party is making the.... piñata! We spent nearly a week doing it and my first attempt failed because the balloon burst. So we had to try again and thankfully, everything was okay on the second attempt. The kids also learnt to blow balloons in the process and Ariel surprised me by being able to blow them without fear and could even achieve a bigger one than me! Fwah.


For the piñata, we toyed with the idea of doing one with the picture of Moana, Maui or Te Ka (aka the lava monster) but eventually decided on doing a Kakamora! I mean, this antagonist in the movie has got to be the cutest one and since it is basically a coconut with limbs, I think it was the most fitting one for our oval-shaped balloon too.


I'm not going into details of how to do this as it's been said before but if you would like to see how we made a Shark piñata previously, go here. The steps are similar just that instead of a flour paste, I mixed one part white glue and one part water for the Kakamora instead. I used crushed newspaper and crepe paper to make the limbs, bone and weapons and did the facial features using felt. Ariel helped to 'polish' its teeth by painting some white paint over it too. Haha.


Once the piñata was done, the birthday girl was only too happy to feed it with lots of snacks, stationery and stickers and it was definitely the Kakamora with the biggest tummy ever. Haha. There! How do you like the final look?


As for the party games, other than printing out colouring and activity pages, we were also going to play BINGO in Moana style! Haha. This was an idea that I got from online and you can even download the calling cards and Bingo pages here. Yup, so thankful for creative mums who love party planning too!


All we did was to print out the pages (and used a lot of colour ink!), cut out the calling cards and to make them look nicer, we laminated the calling cards and put them into a Christmas stocking. And we are all set to play!


A last party preparation that we did, and one which excited the kids most, was making our own slime! I've blogged about how we make our own slime at home before so if you would like to learn more about that, go here.

Just to make sure our recipe worked, we did this not once, but twice before the party! To make the colouring easier for the six year olds to handle, I mixed them with water and used plastic squeeze bottles from Daiso to contain them. I also bought some red and green glitter from Popular just to add in some festive mood.


You know why I thought of making slime? Well, firstly, because kids LOVE slime and I know my kids will love such a party activity. Secondly, see how the slime reminds me of water and the ocean? Haha. How does our origami sailboat look?


Let the Party BEGIN!

On the day of the party, which was to start at noon, I sprung out of bed and started to busy myself with all the setup and decorations hours before the guests arrived. Yup, while the kids and the hubby were still in lalaland, I somehow managed to carry all the decorations, a portable table, a backdrop stand, game props and more to the function room. Woohoo!

After changing into her costume, the birthday girl was very eager to help in the setup too and together with the siblings, they took lots of Christmas themed decals to stick onto the glass windows.




Our Kakamora found a snowman friend, which was a cute decoration that the hubby borrowed from one of his navy Christmas party. Wait till you see some of the DIY decor his crew did, I was so amazed!


Let's see, this was the most creative Christmas wreath I've ever seen and it's made out of... plastic cups! You can even turn on the lights which were cleverly hidden inside the 'Santa' tummies. Very nice, right?



We also had a gigantic snowman made out of plastic cups to welcome our guests and were thankful that there was already a Christmas tree in the function room so we didn't have to carry ours down. Haha. One of my favourites were these huge red and green candy canes which were made out of pool noodles! Yup, these had white tape stuck around it and the shapes were formed by means of transparent string. Nice, right?


Now, check out some of the food decorations! I always try to buy some disposable cutlery according to the theme but it seems like while they make good photo opportunities, they are always left over from the party. If anyone is holding a Moana party soon and would like to have these paper plates, straws, forks, knives, spoons, cups and serviettes, ping me and I'll pass them all to you!


The Moana swirl is a trademark of the movie so I printed out some paper sails and stuck them onto toothpicks for the finger food. Instead of cardstock, I printed these on plain paper so they could flap about when the wind blew.


There, our dessert table is all set up! Not bad, right? We had a Moana table cover, balloons, a bunting backdrop, a personalised lightbox, bottled water, a cupcake stand, some Christmas goodies and flowers spread all around.

The table is a foldable one that arrived just two days before the party after I bought it on Taobao for just over twenty bucks. Same goes for the height adjustable photo backdrop stand which I must say will come in very handy for my future parties!




While waiting for her friends to arrive, the birthday girl couldn't wait to start taking some photos - and start munching on the candies too! Wait, who was she dressed up as? Well, Moana, of course! I bought this set online and the top was a little loose so I had to sew up the sides. But other than that, she looked really lovely and happy in it.


Food, Food, Food!

For the first time, we tried out the buffet from On and On Diners and I must say the food exceeded my expectations! Every guest was full of praise for the dishes and I even had some of the parents coming over to ask me for the catering company contact. Check out our menu below.



This was the Mini Buffet which is suitable for a party with 15 pax or more. The variety of food is huge and there are also themed buffets (upcoming one is for Chinese New Year) that you can choose from. There are no tables set up for the mini buffet so you will need a space to lay out the food, which will be contained in disposable trays and containers. Disposable cutlery (even ladles!), bowls, plates, thrash bags are all provided too.



Our favourite dish from the party had to be this - Herbal Chicken with Wolfberries. I had no idea it was going to be a soup dish and many of the guests gave it the thumbs up - even though it was a little cold when we consumed it. We took home all the leftovers and the kids and I loved it even more after we heated it up and we drank every drop of the soup. I will share more about On and On Diners in my next post on Asher's arcade party so stay tuned if you are keen.




The Party Activities

Every kid who comes always looks forward to the games and activities more than the food at our parties, so I wanted to make sure that all the12 kids who came could have some fun on one way or another. Their ages range from one year told to 11 years old so I had to come up with activities that could be played across the different ages.

First up, we did colouring and maze activities just to keep the early birds occupied. I know, this seems mundane but it's always a hit with the little ones, especially when they get to choose their favourite character to add colour to. I also included the puzzles that we did for the Moana activity booklet so there were options for the kids to choose from.






-> It's BINGO time!

For our first game, we played Moana Bingo! Using the Bingo sheets and calling cards that I printed up (see party prep above), we had fun letting both the kids and their parents pick out the calling cards one by one. These calling cards were all made up of characters and symbols from the Moana movie and fitted so well with our theme!

To win, you have to achieve a straight line, either vertical, horizontal or diagonal one consisting of five squares. You can let the little ones use stickers, which was what I did, to strike off the cards that have been called. I thought this was more fun than using just a pencil to make an 'X' but feel free to do that too!



We played a total of three rounds because the kids loved the game so much! Guess who was the first winner of all? Well, I swear we didn't cheat! Each winner could choose and bring home a stationery item of their choice, which was a good way to help these kids get prepared for the new school year, right? Hee.



-> Let's make some SLIME!

For the second activity, which thrilled all of the kids, we let each of them make their own slime! Some of the parents had no idea how to DIY it so it was a good opportunity for them to learn too while the kids had fun.

I let each of them have a small plastic container to do the mixing and gave them an ice cream stick too. Once everything was finished, they just had to throw away the stick, cover the container with the lid and bring it home. Minimal fuss, maximum fun!



This activity was suitable for all the kids no matter how old they were and even the toddler was very keen to make his own slime too. Some of the kids were excited to try mixing colours and of course, everyone wanted more and more of the glitter too! We eventually ran out of contact lens solution and the activity had to come to an end, if not I think the kids would just go on and on.



-> Smash the KAKAMORA!

A week of hard work for ten minutes of fun, if you ask me if it is worth it, my answer is TOTALLY! Why? The birthday girl told me the piñata was one of her favourite highlights of the entire party so I'm glad my Kakamora made this girl so happy.



The funny part was when the older boys smashed it so hard that the Kakamora became detached from the bone at the top and fell off! The younger ones were disappointed because they didn't get enough of the fun and wanted to hit it again. Thanks to a fellow dad who was quick to react, we did it 'manually' as he climbed up onto the play structure and used his hand to hold and steady the piñata. Haha, yesh, thankfully no one hit him!



So each kid managed to get around three turns before the head was totally smashed and the goodies were spread all over. Yup, Kakamora made it worth its while! Ariel was so sweet as to say that she wanted to keep one of its hands for keepsake. Awwww.



Bring out the CAKE!

In wanting to let her have something else other than log cakes, we decided to make it special for her since it is her graduating year and let her have an..... ICE CREAM CAKE! Yup, this one was from Swensen's which happens to have the Moana series so she was able to choose her favourite design. I reused my cake topper because I really like how it looks on the cake.


Of course, before we cut the cake, we had to take some photos first!



I made it a point this year to take a parents-and-birthday-child-only shot with the kids so here is Ariel's.


Now for all the friends! Thanks for celebrating her special day with us!



For their birthday parties this year, each of the kids had a sparkler in the shape of a number (according to their ages) so here's the number 6 one. It never fails to earn some 'wooohhs' and 'aaahhhs' from the kids whenever it lights up so that was definitely more fun than normal candles! Oh wow, six years since I had this cutie, chubby, bubbly baby girl, makes me emo just thinking about it.


It's not always that the whole cake gets eaten up and the guests come asking for more! Haha. That's the power of ice cream cakes. We totally devoured and loved every of this chocolate and cookies-and-cream flavoured one.


Santa Surprise!

Think we've come to the end of the party? Well, almost!

We kept a surprise for the finale and that was when Santa Claus appeared out of nowhere! Haha. Okay, actually, he came running out from the toilet with a big bag of presents that the parents had brought along for the kids to exchange. We had drawn lots beforehand (the Secret Santa game, you know?) so every of our kid was going to receive a mystery gift.


I must say our Santa was really one of a kind and he had this amazing gift to make people laugh at his jokes. Even the parents were very tickled by him and one told me afterwards "Thank you for the amazing party! We love the games and having Santa appear was the icing on the cake!"


He made the kids give him a kiss each, he asked them to state one good thing they've done during the year and he told them to give their parents a hug and say "I love you".


Of course, my kids were the happiest of all to come up close to Santa and plant kisses on him. Thank you, Santa, for making our party extra special and meaningful!


With that, the party came to an end and everyone left with happy hearts. Ariel gave out the presents to her friends and also received many back in return. No wonder she couldn't stop smiling!



Thanks to everyone who helped to make this party a success and for making this day such a memorable one for the birthday girl! I think it's a great way for her to end off her graduating year in preschool and look forward to the start of a new journey in 2019. To my little Moana, happy turning six and please know that we love you so, so much! Stay happy, healthy and spread joy wherever you go always!


***

Read more on Ariel's birthday parties here:

Ariel is 5 - It's a Shopkins Tea Party
Ariel is 4 - A Royal Princess Party
Ariel is 3 - Sofia the First Birthday Bash
Ariel is 2 - Let's Get Frozen
Ariel is 1 - Turning One Under the Sea


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