Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mad Tea Birthday Party

Light of my life turned 8 in March. Due to her actual birthday falling right in the middle of spring break, I decided to have her birthday party the weekend after Spring Break was over. It was about 11 days after her actual birthday, but she was cool with it.

About July or so of last year, I found a great idea for her birthday party. We would have a Mad Tea Party. She loves all things Disney (chip off the old block) and she likes the movie Alice in Wonderland.

I thought it would be a blast to have mini tea cups and little finger foods and play croquet (except with regular mallets instead of flamingos).

I started doing some research on the 'net (I love the Internet, have I ever told you that?) and found lots of good ideas.

One of the ideas I found was to take a regular sized brown paper sack from the grocery store and paint the sack all different colors and designs (whatever the kids wanted to do). You then roll up the bottom of the sack and the sacks then resemble Mad Hatter hats.

Because paint can take a long time to dry and the kids wouldn't have any time to wear them, my mom volunteered to paint the hats ahead of time, that way the kids could just pick out the one they wanted to wear and it would save time for other activities. Plus, really, 10 kids painting? It's like a nightmare come true.

So, that was one part of the party down. Now for another activity to keep them occupied. The party was 2 hours long so we had to have enough for them to do so they wouldn't run around like hyenas.

The party was being held at my uncle's house. He has an Old English looking house and backyard that was perfect for the tea party. He graciously let us use his house. It really was the perfect setting.

Anyway, I came up with the idea for a treasure hunt. We had one prize and the first kid to get all the clues got the prize. I'm not a big believer in letting everyone win something. Life doesn't work that way. Besides, they were all going home with goody boxes (they were actually little Chinese take out boxes) filled with a magic towel (you know, those compressed wash clothes that expand when they get wet), a Smarties connect four game with spare Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, scented bubbles and Chinese finger cuffs as well as an Alice in Wonderland book and the Mad Hatter Hat. So, they all had enough.

Back to the topic at hand.......the treasure hunt. I wrote out 11 different clues and made 10 sets (we had invited a total of 10 kids, but only 4 showed up....typical). However, in order to keep the kids from just following each other, I had to make each kid take a separate route but still all end up at the last spot. What a pain. I randomly put one of each clue in each envelope with each kids name on it and then had to physically walk out each route for each kid to make sure that they were different but to also have the right clues in the right spot. Not only that, I didn't want to just put down ..... go to the tree. I wanted to make it a little tougher for the kids to figure out. One of the clues said to "get thee to where the roses grow red". That meant that the kids had to figure out where the rose bush was and find the clue at the rose bush. Another one told them to find the "Mad Hatter and tell her a joke". My aunt was dressed up as the Mad Hatter, albeit a modern and female version. This made the kids have to think on their feet. She was instructed not to give them a clue until they told her a joke.

The kids had a blast all around and just enjoyed themselves so much with this aspect of the party. So much so, that at the end of the party, they wanted to do it again and came up with their own version.

They also did one crafty thing. We had found those plastic mugs that have the paper inserts in them that you can customize. Light of my life had done one for me a couple of years ago that was for Mother's Day. Anyway, I thought it was too young for them but they all really enjoyed that as well. Go figure. I guess coloring never gets old.

I also came up with the great idea of baking mini-cupcakes. I had some mini-cupcake baking cups and we bought ONE mini-cupcake pan. ONE, I tell you. That was a mistake. I should have bought several so I could bake more than ONE at a time. Oh, well. The individual cupcake sections on the pan were so small, I had to using an icing squeezer thingie to pour the batter in. That was such a huge mess but also a little fun! I got sick on cake batter. All in all, we had over 100 mini cupcakes. I put food coloring in the frosting and we had pastel yellow, pink and green cupcakes. I had some gel icing stuff, so I used that to write on the cupcakes "Eat Me" like from the book. We had some punch (orange sherbet and ginger ale) that we put in all different size tea cups (that was a chore to find) that had a label that said "Drink Me". We had chips, mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut out like hearts (for the Queen of Hearts), chicken salad sandwiches and ham and cheese sandwiches. It was a tasty party.

My grandmother attended as well as my other aunt. It was such a great party. Light of my life said it was her best party yet.

I love to hear that.

Anyway, I'll post some pics in the next post.


Mama Dawg

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