I can not believe that Monkey is now three, it only seems like yesterday that we brought this little screaming bundle home from hospital! This year he had asked for a Going on a Bear Hunt themed Birthday party. It is one of our favourite stories and we both know the words off by heart, unlike the previous parties we have held I wanted to keep it relatively simple, this is how we did it…
Invites & Thank You Cards – I opted to use Truprint to make our party invites using one their standard templates. Importing a picture of the front cover from the internet. We took Monkey to the beach today with some of his Birthday balloons and took a photo which we will be using to make a Thank You card.
Entertainment – Incase some of the children coming to the party had not heard the story before I thought it best that we started with the story so that they could better understand everything which had been set up in the garden.
Initially I had intended in our conservatory and had set up a bed using our sofa so that they could duck under the covers at the end – just like the book. However because is was so hot even with the doors open it wasn’t really an option. Instead we opted to sit under the umbrellas on the rugs which had been set out for lunch. I had found a large copy of the book around 45cm square from Walker Books online which worked well with all the kids as it meant that they could see the pictures easily. It was really lovely as a number of the kids knew the book well and joined in.
I had anticipated needing something to keep them entertained when they first arrived, while we waited for anyone that was running late. I covered sixteen sets of toilet roll binoculars with patterned paper and brought some sticker sheets for the kids to embellish them. I was surprised by how much they enjoyed this activity! As far as party games are concerned we ran pass the parcel, as the decorations themselves were actually part of the entertainment as well..
Decorations – bear balloons greeted the kids, my initial intention was to use these as the ‘bear’ and hide one for each child in the ‘cave’, however we had issues with the helium canister and couldn’t manage one for each of them so they became welcoming decorations instead.
We routed everyone straight round the back and I had set out 72 bear footprints, they ran down the side of the house and then between each ‘scene’. Once we had read the story I led the kids around the garden to each one, before letting them loose with bubbles..
Long Wavy Grass – I used crepe paper and attached it to the washing line using a stapler, to make it as straight forward as possible I pre cut the crepe paper. One word of warning if you do something similar be careful of the dew as it doesn’t mix well with crepe paper!
A Deep Cold River – We set up a paddling pool with a few inches of water in it, I completely underestimated the enjoyment this would bring to all the kids. They were jumping in and out having a whale of a time, just as well the weather was glorious. You can see in this photo that next to each scene I attached a picture from the book so that they could recognise how it all fitted in.
Thick Ozzy Mud – I can not take credit for this one as this was Hubby’s idea, we laid out a tarpaulin and put compost over it with some stepping stones in-between, we used some garden plants to separate the area from the rest of the garden
A Big Dark Forest – Initially I had intended on making a forest from wrapping paper rolls and green corrugated card. However we were running out of time so Hubby went and found some branches and we placed them strategically in the ground to make a little tunnel.
A Swirling Whirling Snowstorm – Ping Pong balls in the trampoline.. 450 of them to be precise. I opted to use them instead of cotton wool
A Narrow Gloomy Cave – I had covered a piece of fleece in fake leaves with a glue gun previously which I placed over his little tent. Inside was a large teddy bear.
Food & Cake – This was the first party Monkey had, had with friends from nursery and we had initially expected eighteen children which meant food needed to be reasonably simple. As we couldn’t accommodate so many kids with chairs and tables we set up blankets in the shade and they had ‘Bear Snacks’ sandwich bags.
I decorated the paper bags with an ink stamp and sharpies. Inside included Pom Bears at Monkey’s request and a Barney Cake to keep to theme as well as a small pot of cucumber and tomato and grapes. There was also a table set up with ice water and squash to keep them hydrated through the couple of hours, some of the mums thankfully helped out making sure they all had drinks.
The cake was a simple chocolate cake covered in chocolate buttercream with some fondant icing and giant chocolate buttons for eyes. Compared to the cakes made for his first and second birthday it was quite simple but Monkey loved it which was the main thing.
Party Bags – I’m not a fan of party bags and would prefer to give something a like a book. Since the theme of the party was round a book it made sense to give each child a copy. Those we knew really well who already have a copy I submitted with something else. I appreciate to buy the book full price makes it an expensive exercise but we got lucky and found the books on offer in The Works. I also filled some plastic honey bear jars with gummy bears, as you can imagine they were a hit with the kids, the books with the parents so everyone was happy.
This year compared to others it was definitely less involved from an organisation point of view, but the kids had a great time. We also a got a number of thank you texts and messages which was lovely.
You can read about Monkey’s other Birthday parties below: