Time becomes even more obscure when you have a child. Days go by slowly, but months and years go by super fast. At times you can’t believe how fast your child has grown-up, and other times it feels like they have been in your life for much longer than reality. 3 years have past since I first held my daughter. We have shared amazing moments together and I truly can’t imagine my life without her, as it is so much more fun and joyful with her.
Celebrating in a big way this year was a must. Eva started talking about her birthday 3 months before it came. She knew what to expect – family and friends visiting, games and a “big” cake (cupcakes weren’t an option). The theme for the party was based on Eva’s adoration of Dora the Explore since the age of 2.5 years. Most recently, she is obsessed with going on “Dora adventures”. This involves me giving her random tasks one at a time (e.g., climb the stairs, count to 20 as fast as you can), and then celebrating at the end by singing and dancing to Dora’s “We did It” song that is played at the end of every TV episode. I decided this had to be incorporated in the party in some way.
Eva’s party was held at an Ontario Early Years Centre on a Saturday. This was great because it is located very close to our home so all the neighbours could walk to the party. I felt good about renting the space as I know the money is going to supporting a free resource I used a lot while on maternity leave. The staff at these centres are also amazing and were more than willing to lead games and help organize the party!
Below are the details.
Decor. Since the party was at a play centre, we were only given 30 minutes to set-up. This meant I had to put up decor quickly and work with what was already on the walls. These 6 feet banners were awesome and made for a good backdrop. A helium balloon bouquet and these banners were the first decor you when you came into the venue.
Food. Most of the food I bought was meant for the toddlers, or at least was toddler friendly. Popular treats were the blue corn chips, guacamole, yogurt cups and smoke salmon & cream cheese rolls. I used my daughter’s Dora toys, and the “3” bucket (purchased at Michaels for $2) to dress-up the table.
Games. I went a little overboard in this area. I knew not all the kids would want to join in the activities but wanted to plan them anyways. First was parachute time which involved shaking it slow and fast, toss a beach ball around on it, and playing Sleeping Bunnies under it. Next was a freeze dance game with Dora wands. Each child was able to take their wand home as part of their loot bag. This was the main DIY part of the party planning process. Go here to learn how to make the tulle puff on top. It is simply hot glued to a painted wooden dowel wrapped in ribbon. The final activity was to go on a “Dora adventure”. This type of imagination play is constantly happening in our home right now.
Other activities. The play centre had so much to offer, all the children were fully Other activities. The play centre had so much to offer, all the children were fully entertained and engaged. The sand table and Little Tykes play structure was popular. Even my niece (14) and nephew (11) managed to keep themselves busy with some Lego in between helping the me stay organized and run the games!
Craft. The craft was to use Dora stickers to decorate a party hat. The craft was set-up on a separate table with Dora colouring sheets so the children that wanted to do it could at any time. My idea was that all the kids would wear their party hats at the table when the cake was served. At first only Eva wanted to wear her hat when we first sat down. Slowly all her friends decided to follow the trend. When the cake was served, almost all 12 toddlers were wearing their party hats! Amazing!!
Cake. For weeks Eva kept asking for a “big” cake. Although I think cupcakes are easier at toddler parties, I wanted to give the birthday girl this one request. I had a local supermarket make a chocolate cake with a blueberry and custard inside (again, Eva’s choice), and print a image onto it. Special thanks to daddy for photoshopping the image!
It was super memorable day for our family, and as always every minute I spent planning was so much fun! Happy birthday to my sweet and thoughtful, Eva! I love seeing you smile! You are loved!