Sunday, May 2, 2010

Birthday Bash for Zahara

Wow, what a day. My littlest girl celebrated her 2nd birthday today, surrounded by family and friends in our home. It was fun, easy and comfortable.

Zahara's absolute love and ease with animals was the clincher for deciding her party theme; short of buying her a pet, it was the best present her little heart could want. We had some lovely visitors from Animals on the Move; guinea pigs, rabbits, a piglet, lambs, a calf, chickens and goats. We fed, petted and held animals to our hearts delight.

We started preparing party decorations about a month ago. This is always a fun project for the girls, giving some purpose on those after school art and craft sessions. I've also found it gives siblings a chance to share the excitement and feel like they are part of the celebrations.

We made paper chains - my six year old did this almost hypnotically, my four year old learning to handle the loops and sticky tape herself. We also painted animal cutouts (I downloaded from the internet and cut out the shapes myself), using small roller brushes which were fun for the girls - red roosters and pink piggies. These were strung on fishing wire and hung to decorate our party space. Others were blu tacked to our window.

I hired bales of hay for an authentic farm feeling, placing the take home bags on one and a Radio Flyer trike on the other. They looked great (but make lots of mess!)

Take home bags
We also made simple but very sweet (and inexpensive) guest take home bags. I bought some blue gingham fabric by the metre, cut into squares and placed a toy farm animal, bubble mixture and some stickers. These bundles were tied with yellow ribbon and then a homemade thank you card (using a Thank you stamp) with a handwritten message (done by Yasmin) on the back was looped on with string.

Table Settings
These were simple but so effective. I had kept some artificial grass samples from a garden makeover earlier this year, placed these on the tables with a farm animal on top. Cow print cups, gingham tablecloths and farm plates were all purchased in advance. I always start looking for decorations and ideas about two months before the party to allow enough time.

The Menu
For adults - bagels, homemade dips, cut up fruit and vegetables, home made borekas and a feta and caramelised onion tart my mum made. Juices, mint tea and coffee.

For the kids - cut up fruit and vegetables, cheese and Vegemite sandwiches (essential for any kids party in Australia), and brown chocolate cows (using a playdough cutter, I buttered cow bread shapes and dipped into chocolate sprinkles. This was the only 'treat' apart from the cake, as I don't like to give kids lots of rubbish at parties after watching them a) gorge themselves and b) get totally hyper after).

The Birthday Cake
My mum made a chocolate marble cake and then decorated it with chocolate icing and plastic toy farm animals and a fence. Adults and kids gobbled it up.

The Soundtrack
Animal Playground. We LOVE the Putumayo CDs.

Other activities
On the morning of the party I quickly printed off lots of farm animal colouring pages, cleared our play area and table and left jars of textas and pencils for colouring in. This was a hit too. While having a break from petting the farm animals, the kids were colouring in for about half an hour quietly and contentedly. Kids parties can turn to disaster if the kids run out of things to do, and I remember this about 1 hour before the party. Phew!

Post party edit
A great, fun and happy birthday party for my sweet, happy 2 year old.


  1. How great is this?! The grass centerpieces with the farm animals are fantastic. And I love that prior to the party the girls work together on all the decorations. Such a nice, family bonding tradition. When did you get so crafty? I love to see this side of you! Brava! Mer

  2. Looks beautiful - such details. I love the farm idea theme even for the table settings. Kids must have had a great time...