Small Hands in the Big World

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Celebration Season

‘Tis the season for celebrations around here. Sara’s birthday was last month, next was Easter, then Mother’s Day (lovely by the way, thank you sweet family), William’s birthday is next week and Father’s Day is just around the corner….and that’s not even mentioning the birthdays of our extended family members!  Thankfully, a busy atmosphere suits me this time of year. Even though we’ve had a soggy spring, the longer days, chirping birds, and green sprouting every which way bring a welcome burst of energy.
Sara’s only request for her 3rd birthday was a Zoo cake—I made one last year too so perhaps she has decided it’s an essential piece of the annual celebration.  Using melted chocolate and stick pretzels I built “fences” for little animal figurines, Oreo thin crisps provided the path, and I used blue and green frosting for water and trees. (Our favorite fluffy and delicious frosting recipe comes from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, a little book I recommend wholeheartedly.) M&Ms made a lovely trim around the edge and I also stuck a couple onto the tigers’ paws so it looked like they were playing with balls (Sara insisted those tigers were all hers).

Mom's Little Helpers

Happy, Beautiful Birthday Girl!
We have fallen into a routine of first having a small quiet family affair and saving the wild child frenzy for a few days later (ideal for our combination of personalities around here and the kids love the extended festivities) so Sara's kid-party was later in the week. After finding some charming and affordable finger puppets at IKEA, a theme started coming together.  The enormous refrigerator box that has been a rocket ship, restaurant, hideout, and countless other things over the past couple months officially became a puppet theater and I put on a short silly show for the kids. When I finished, the kids were clamoring to put on shows of their own. Their creative brains stayed focused on this for a long time.

For goodie bags, we made a little theater to go with their finger puppets. First we cut a "stage" hole in poster board then folded it in two places. Then my inventive artist Mother came up with the perfect finishing touch: a background made from a simple scene painted on two small squares of watercolor paper then taped on in a triangular shape. This construction created a wonderful slot for kids to put their finger puppets in and put on a little show of their own at home!
William’s 5th birthday is around the corner and he requested a Superhero party with all of his preschool buddies (20 kids plus many siblings, GULP). Inspired by some brilliant blogging Mommies, (thank you Creative Kismet and icandy ladies), I am in the process of making capes, masks, belts, and superhero wrist bands for everyone….but unlike the Mommies who have conquered this theme, I do not sew… hmmmmm, this could be interesting. Please stay tuned.
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