Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A Safari Second Birthday Party

Happy New Year!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and an enjoyable farewell to 2013.  After Christmas I went straight into party-planning frenzy, so I'm looking forward to a bit of a break (On school holidays- not likely!) 

Before I launch into all the details of my sweet, little two year old's enormously fun safari birthday party, I want to take a moment to say "Thank you".  

Thanks for reading my little blog.  Thanks for sharing in my journey.  For those who have taken the time, or have been able, to leave comments a very big Thank you!  I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of creating Stay at Home Territory and I'm excited to identify myself as a blogger as well as a Mum.  I can't believe that last year saw 61 posts and over 12000 page views (and only about 61 of those were my Mum!)

I'm looking forward to continuing to chronicle my adventures here and really hope you'll stick with me.

So- into the Jungle!

As is our tradition, Helium balloon tied to the mailbox greeted our guests... 
We chose a safari theme because Rohan just loves animals, especially Lions.  He has a nursery with safari decor and his first word was "Ra!" (said while reading "Dear Zoo" by Rod Campbell - one of our absolute favourites.)

I made good use of my hole-in-the-wall covering decorative paper tree in the entrance to welcome our guests and get them set up with essential safari items...
Each little guest got a pith helmet and pair of binoculars.

We decorated the playroom with streamers and cardboard leaves to make a jungle...

Due to the age of the birthday boy and range of ages of our guests, I decided against having organised party games and instead set up some Montessori-inspired, African-themed activities.

We had a reading area with cute themed books like Dear Zoo, That's not my... Monkey, Elephant & Lion, The Little Lion Who Lost Her Roar and At The Waterhole (this one is all onomatopoeia and such fun to read).  The globe cushion and cuddly friends made it the perfect place to rest and read...
A map and flag matching activity for my biggest boys.  Maps and flag printables from Montessori Print Shop.
A collection of objects and jewellery I bought in Kenya and Uganda many years ago...
An animal matching activity using the gorgeous animals Rohan got for Christmas.  These gorgeous Montessori three-part-cards are Free!  They're here at Teachers Pay Teachers.
This one proved very popular...
Rohan loves this one...

There was also a Montessori My-place-in-the-world box stacking activity, a sensory bin (with coloured rice, animals, pyramids and an ostrich feather), some travel guides and an atlas and an African animal puzzle.
 The birthday boy had a ball...
I was having trouble finding cute clipart for invitations (plus Christmas was super busy) so I decided to order the invitations.  Luckily, I found this amazing package of totally cute party supplies from Cupcake Express on Etsy.  It came with all of the matching details you can see throughout this post including the invites, the papers (which I used to line the envelopes) and blank labels (which I used for the food as well as the front of the envelopes)...

I used the water-bottle labels on mini Evian bottles...
 
A batch of "Jungle Juice", sparkling water for the grown-ups, some themed cups and super cute, striped-paper straws completed the drinks station...
I decorated the table with some bunting (from Rohan's safari nursery) and the wall above the table with more jungle vines...

And a number two made up of all the monthly photographs I've been taking since he was born.  I love this SO much I might just leave it there!
I didn't get a chance to take any photos of the savoury food, but I made some Zebra Sandwiches (three layer Vegemite sandwiches) and my sister-in-law made an incredible sandwich in the shape of a snake- just like this one.  We also had some Hungry Hippo Dips...
I even bundled up these super cute napkins and hand-stamped bamboo cutlery with twine and covered this box with an old map- which no-one used!  But who uses cutlery for sandwiches and dip- Duh!

My favourite thing would have to be the dessert table.  The banner is again from the Cupcake Express package.  I used these fake fronds (that I've had since Liam's fourth dinosaur birthday) and co-ordinated the very different vases by wrapping them in a strip of map and twine.
As well as the choc-coated bananas you can see above right (which I forgot to photograph!), we had cupcakes (personalised cupcake toppers were also part of the package)...
Banana lollies and Jungle jellies.  Those stamped bamboo spoons make me insanely joyful and were so easy to make...
 Jelly Snakes and Banana-flavoured Monkey puddings...
 
 And fruit kebabs...

The kids went straight for the puddings and jelly...



 The choc-bananas were SO good...
(Don't you love that she's wearing a Zebra shirt?  Perfect!)

Rohan got very spoilt with some gorgeous presents. Can you tell he loves animals?

 Then it was time for cake...
(Don't look too closely.  That fondant aged me about ten years.)

Happy Birthday to the sweetest little boy... 
 May all your wishes come true.
Of course, we sent our guests home with a little package of safari-themed goodies...
Malaria Pills!  Gosh, I love Pinterest!!

So, tell me, how was your New Year?  Have you made any resolutions.  Mine- not surprisingly after Christmas and birthdays (my Dad's is the Day after Rohan's) -is to quit sugar again!!

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