Our Cashel Rock turned four this week and he is a creative one. He finally selected a party theme and it had me excited and perplexed all in the same moment. He wanted “Surprise Eggs” which sounds more like ” ‘rprise eggs” when he says it. For those of you who don’t know… this references a series of videos put out by multiple YouTube channels. Basically they are just Easter eggs of all sizes that are opened during a YouTube video and are stuffed with small trinket type toys. The video creators are probably sponsored and receive the toys, or compensation, for creating videos like this. They pretend play with the toys and that’s it. That is ALL I had to go on.’ Oh and that there are lots of rainbow colors, and that the logo – if there is one – is sort of rainbow as well… So party planning began with those two inspirations.
I LOVED the rainbow “Happy Birthday!” banner I found at Target made from felt – especially since it looks homemade! And I was able to use leftover poms, lanterns, and pinwheels from other parties and from a friend in my local Buy Nothing group to add to the tent. The other thing I have to note is that I am so glad I was prepared for rain. Despite being born in August the only birthday Cashel has had that hasn’t been rainy was the day he was born. All three of the others had rain!
So here is what I came up with…
- Invites delivered in Easter eggs – despite having this idea and materials we ended up having to do a digital invite – things happen!
- A homemade egg shaped piñata thanks to my Mom, also known as “the talented Nona” and of course her creative sidekick Cashel.
- An egg shaped cake complete with a “surprise” center. It was pink since that is his favorite color.
- An “surprise egg” hunt.
- Party favors that were just a rainbow lolly pop and sidewalk chalk with egg shaped tags “I hope you had an EGG-tastic time at my birthday party!”
- Thank you notes that we distributed this week that said, “You made my birthday EGG-stra special, thanks for coming!”
And finally I used rainbow colors for everything else since the “logo” (if there is one for “surprise eggs”) tends to be in rainbow colors.
We also did a couple of EGGcelent activities that included a “surprise egg” toss (aka water balloons), the piñata (do you see it hanging in the tree?!) which had coupons in it along with small toys. The kids got to exchange the coupons for for larger/more substantial toys and activites, and the balloon yo-yos were a big hit too! A tutorial on the piñata can be found here.
I will also add that the typical piñata my kiddos have encountered in their party going adventures is one that you pull a string and one lucky string distributes that treats. Our piñata was not that one. This was the good old fashioned hit it with a bat type piñata and was a hit! Literally. It took an older, and stronger, party guest (a buddy who is around 10) to get the thing to burst. It was great this way since all the smaller party attendees got a crack at it first and then our big buddies cracked that sucker open. Check out that mad dash!
I also painted a birthday banner, including 3 of Cashel’s favorite toys popping out of eggs. This has been something special that I did for both my “big boys” this year – the posters are now hanging in their rooms and made for a special keepsake!
Tie Dye cupcakes and the pink Surprise Egg birthday cake made the perfect novelty desserts and I loved seeing the true SURPRISE on the kids faces. They were tickled!
See the surprise egg cake cutting here! I just used the 3D Wilton egg cake pan , it is now discontinued, but I was able to borrow one from a member of my local Buy Nothing group, and followed the directions exactly. After cooling I carved out a bit of each half of the egg and added the SURPRISE. That being said, doing this the night before was the earliest you should do it as the moisture in the cake does effect the surprises you pick. I made “pink velvet” in line with Cash Man’s favorite color! Stay tuned for a tutorial on these awesome tie dye cupcakes.
My personal favorite rainbow touch were the rainbow dahlia flower arrangements positioned all over. They included photos of Cashel cut out in egg shapes. They were current photos – the past month or so – and will go into his “birthday book” as keepsakes. Dahlias may not screem four year old boy, as my husband pointed out, but it does scream Cashel. He loves beautiful things, and is always pointing out God’s amazing creation. He also loves the farm and a neighbor who’s family has owned their farm since 1906 allowed us to come a pick these flowers to make our special arrangements. It was also special to get to send these bouquets home with parents of the party guests as they left the party. A fun “favor” for them too.
Campfires are also on Cashel’s “favorites” list so for food we did his favorite – roasted hot dogs and had BBQ food, along with his special request – my party punch. When my husband asked what he wanted at the party he said “the big drink thing with Momma’s special juice!” It is amazing to me what things stand out to kids as what “makes a party” for them. I used that cute end table as a punch dispenser stand and included rainbow paper straws. This party was fun because I got to use leftovers of just a few plates, cups, napkins and combine them to make enough for the party in rainbow colors. Great way to use up what I had.
The “cherry on top the sundae” or I should say “sugar on top the cake” was the cotton candy machine that my husband rented last minute.
Isn’t my man darling – it is a true gift he gives his boys by being so involved, loving them for exactly who they are, embracing them and knowing them so well.
We have never done something so grand, but cotton candy has been a very special thing this year and with his favorite color being pink, how could we say no. It was a complete HIT!
And on a completely different note, presents have always been a hangup for me. First of all I don’t love the expectation or pressure that comes for party invitees to bring a gift, let alone the ‘perfect’ gift. Additionally it is hard for me to predict what my boys may like, especially for Cashel as he is my firstborn and I just don’t have a complete grasp of where he is developmentally not to mention the fact that many of his interests are vastly different then my own. Then there can be so much pressure during this “gift time” at a party. This was the first year guests really brought gifts, and that we opened them at the party. (Other years I have asked for contributions to experiences, said guests “presence was enough present for us” or waited until after the party to open gifts.) I still wanted to take the pressure off so I let kids bring the gift they brought up to Cashel to open, without announcing to the whole party it was what we were doing. This worked for us. A bit more my style, at least this year it’s what felt right with the age of our kiddo and the vast difference in age of the party goers. That being said one special lady thought to wrap and bring a wee gift for our Camper and boy was he tickled!
Just had to share a few fun “real life” family photos!
- run with any theme your kid selects.
- be intentional about color scheme.
- plan for rain if you are outdoors and live in a place that can be unpredictable, like us.
- make this easy party punch.
- plan and invite for a bracket of time. this lets people know how long to carve out in their schedules.
- have fun – for me this means be prepared.
- ask your kiddo “what will make this party special for you?” you might be surprised at the simplicity of their answer, and maybe even be able to help their wildest dreams come true… sometimes.
- less can be more – I am always trying to remember this one myself.
- call on your local buy nothing group – just in case it didn’t occur to you… Easter eggs sort of are not in season. I asked for eggs and small prizes to stuff them with and my community came through with all I needed and more. It was incredible!
- carry on traditions – for us this is the birthday crown and chalkboard.