I have a 3 year old *sniff*! Its so hard to believe that it has been over three years since I officially became a mother. How much has my life changed in all that time and how much has she changed and developed. My baby is now a cheeky little girl with her own personality.
My Mother was over from the UK to stay with us for the week so she was there to celebrate with us and join in the party preparation madness. As you saw with M’s party I get a little carried away sometimes and E’s celebration was no different. Ever since February and we started talking about birthdays E has been telling me, on a daily basis, that she was going to have a Peppa Pig party with a chocolate cake. Alright I told her and started looking at feasible ideas; scouting out google image search and Pinterest.
For those of you who haven’t come across her yet Peppa Pig is a stupidly popular series on Nickelodeon. I haven’t met a child yet who has seen it and not become obsessed. E does not even get to watch much television (it is generally reserved for travel) and it was only because I stumbled across it once on the TV while staying at my Dad’s house after one particularly early start that she knows about it. The show gets a lot of stick as Peppa is seen as overly bossy and because Daddy Pig is a “bad” male role model being overweight and a little hopeless at times but I quite enjoy it. Daddy Pig might be unable to hang a picture or read a map but he is persistent and everything he does is well meaning. Likewise Peppa is very confident and a little bossy but is that really a bad thing? She learns a new lesson every episode based around something practical or how to get along better with her little brother George or her friends. Also I love the fact that the show’s creators encourage the fact that children should get dirty from time to time and enjoy the outdoor: “Peppa loves to jump in muddy puddles. Everyone loves to jump in muddle puddles!” E now loves to jump in muddily puddles too but only when wearing her wellies (thank you to the writers for adding this into the script).
Anyways back to the party. As E was turning 3 I decided this year we would have some games: musical puddles, pin the tail on the Peppa and a Piñata. We would also have an outdoor event, weather permitting, so that the children had space to burn off the sugar they would undoubtably consume.
Despite my best efforts to give plenty of healthy options, like fruit and crudités, and plenty of savoury items, such as mini pig pizzas an sausages, I always find that sweets are generally the most popular (and you can’t have a party without some sweets and biscuits). I actually raided Marks and Spencers when I was in the UK last buying up copious supplies of Percy pigs and Phizzy Pig Tails which helped to give the party an extra piggy dimension. Note: you can buy a similar product in Switzerland but it is just not the same!
Until the kids are in full time school (about 5 or 6) I will invite the parents and siblings with the child. I have seen some poor children cry the whole way through a party because they are alone and it also give me the opportunity as a foreigner in the community to get to meet some other adults. As a result however it turned into a fairly major affair with over 25 adults and 15 kids. So while we had a wonderful time designing muddy puddles for the garden out of cardboard, and they looked fun between the picnic rugs had laid out on the lawn, they never got used as by the time everyone had arrived we ran out of time for too many games. The kids were having a lovely time exploring the newly decorated playhouse which had been made to look like Peppa’s home and generally doing laps of the garden anyways.
So the time came to cut the cake to allow those that needed to depart speedily could do so. E was very happy with the results of her request (a rather rich chocolate fudge cake) and the cake despite being enormous did not leave much in the way of leftovers.
After the cake we moved on to some games starting with the Piñata which had already been pawed at by a few of the overly excited children. We used a bought “non violent” one as I did not have the time or the inclination to start playing with papier maché last week and actually the string pulling was much more manageable for the young children than trying to wield a stick. I taped up the eyeholes in a Peppa pig mask though so it wasn’t too easy for them to see which string to pull.
Then we had a spot of pin the tail on the Peppa which was suitable for those nearly 3 and over. The younger children couldn’t fathom why they had to wear a mask they couldn’t see out of but the older ones enjoyed the game.
I’ve learnt a lot from this last experience as to what is to come from birthdays as the children get older. Namely always fix a date by which to RSPV and set a precise time of arrival and departure if you want to be set on timings. If you are happy to just let the children play though our party was perfect and we had fun.
Hope you had a good week too!