I had a dilemma.
My son, Tot, was turning one ... an occasion we like to celebrate in a big way, but my daughter's 3rd birthday was only 5 days after his. Poppy had been all about birthdays from the day she had a birthday cake and candles to blow out when she turned two.
So really the decision wasn't too hard. I'd throw a double party. Since neither of them were really 'into' anything in particular, I chose a theme that I thought would be fun and easy to include both boy and girl aspects.
Critters and Flitters
Critters for the boy:: caterpillars, beetles, ants, spiders etc.
Flitters for the girl:: butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs etc.
Naturally we had to have one cake for each child ...
I went with a simple #1 cake with a caterpillar crawling on the top for Tot.
The icing on the #1 was chocolate with chocolate cookie chunks in it to simulate dirt.
A butterfly was the obvious choice for Poppy's cake.
I used a paper template to cut out the cake and again to make the wing design with the sugar crystals.
TIP: SCRAPBOOK PAPER ON TOP OF A PLAIN WHITE CAKE BOARD, OR A PIECE OF AN OLD CARDBOARD BOX, COVERED IN CLEAR CELLOPHANE MAKES FOR A UNIQUE BACKGROUND FOR YOUR CAKE. CHOOSE YOUR PAPER TO GO WITH YOUR THEME
We had a wide age range of guests at the party so we tried to have activities to suit them all. Here are the three 'theme related' activities.
|Stand alone activity: Guess how many worms are in the jar|
|Group activity: Bug hunt, each guest had a labeled jar and searched the garden for 3 hidden bugs each|
TIP: BUG HUNT JARS WERE CREATED FROM OLD BABY FOOD JARS SAVED FROM TOT'S MUSHED UP FOOD DAYS.
|Independent Activity: Supplies were set out for our guests to make their own bug creations.|
TIP: OLD EGG CARTONS, CUT UP INTO SECTIONS OF 1, 2 OR 3 MAKE GREAT BASES FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF CRITTERS
I had fun keeping with theme for some of the party food.
All guests, young and old seemed to take great delight in the 'Build-a-Bug: Snack' table. We made an idea-starter display and provided all the ingredients for them to make their own! It served two purposes, an activity and a tummy filler!
The other fun food addition to the critter theme was our gummy worms in green jelly. This was a fun one to make with Poppy's help. The end result was a little squiggle away from my initial plan. I carefully curled each worm into place on a baking tray, in neat little rows to enable easy cutting into little squares. The worms had an idea of their own though once the hot jelly hit them. They all went NUTS squiggling all over the place and ended up as you can see ... NOT in neat little rows to be cut into neat little squares. It turned into quite the jigsaw puzzle! The squeals of glee from Poppy as she watched the worms squirm made this treat even more delightful!
|Gummy worm jelly treats|
And of course no party is complete with out take home gifts for the guests.
The little girls in the group took home butterfly wings and the little boys took home a bug mask (not pictured) both purchased at our local "Dollar Tree".
|Balloons and butterfly wings|
The balloons were tied onto little cardboard bags that were a perfect vessel for the guests bug jars, filled with their finds from the Bug Hunt activity.
Each guest also chose a critter or flitter cookie to add to their take home bundle. These were made as an adaptation to the Women's Weekly cupcake idea, but, we already had cake, so I made them into cookies.
A special thanks to Tot's Aussie God-muma for sending all the necessary confectioneries that we can't get here in the US.
|Critters and Flitters Cookie assortment|