Monday, March 30, 2009
Mary Poppins Birthday Party
Miss 3 has just graduated to being Miss 4 so to celebrate the occasion we decided to have a birthday party for her. She wasn't sure what sort of party she wanted so I waited for inspiration.... Well finally 2 days before the party it struck me, a Mary Poppins party would be perfect!!!! She has been obsessed with the movie, asking to watch it almost every day (I don't let her watch much tv or movies at all, so it's not often that she actually gets to see it. We've had a lot of colds and flu lately though, so there's been more than normal, which I think has led to the Mary Poppins obsession.)
We were at the store and Miss 4 had seen the Mary Poppins Barbie along with Bert and Jane and Michael. She went into the kind of frenzy only a 3 year old could. I did not buy them at the time but thought the Mary Poppins one might make a good birthday present since she was so excited and obviously wanted it. Lucky for me, I found them at the Grocery outlet and they were a great deal, they even had all of them. So the entire set only cost me $30 instead of the $75- $90 they were at the toy store. I was really excited to be able to buy them, that's when the idea struck for the Mary Poppins Party.
So here's what I planned for the party... with just 2 days to plan and pull it together.
This part probably sounds vain, well at least it does to me, but since I love costume design and haven't been doing any plays lately I went with it just for fun. Besides, I don't remember ever claiming "not" to be vain. I dressed as Mary Poppins. Miss 4 loved the idea and told me I would be going away and that Mary Poppins would be at her party, she was so excited about it. I already had the coat and the right shape(wrong color) hat, and a black umbrella (although not a parrot handle on it), so I thought I should be able to pull an outfit together for the party. I'll tell you more about my costume later on, hopefully adding some better photos too.
To start the party off, the kids did sidewalk chalk drawings. I got the big box of sidewalk chalk ($5) and Miss 8 gave it to Miss 4 as one of her gifts on her actual birthday. For the party she was glad to share and have everyone doing chalk drawings with her. That part went well. Then the kids played on the swings for a bit, which was fine but I would have had them come in sooner if I'd known that most of them needed to leave early.
If you have seen Mary Poppins you may remember "Toppins toppins toppins a bag" Well I loved the scene with the snow globe and was trying to figure out how make snowglobes that were fun and not expensive. I was roaming the store looking for something small yet significant to the story to put in baby food jars for snow globes. Aha! Toppins! I decided to use Nickels and it worked out great! I did the gluing of the Toppins and the kids poured glitter into the jars of water I helped them put the lids on and ta-da! a snowglobe with toppins. Each cost me a nickel, the rest of the supplies were either on hand (glue & glitter) or recycled (baby food jars).
To go along with the "lets go fly a Kite" song I also had a kite craft ready but most of the kids had to leave early so we skipped it, my girls had a blast with it after the party though, so I think it would still be a good idea.
I made "spoonfulls of sugar" for the kids and they were a hit. (I did not give them any other candy or send home bags of candy like most birthday parties my kids have been to, so I felt like a spoonful of sugar was fun and not too much sugar really.)
Miss 4 wanted a barbie doll cake and we have the pan,(thanks to the Paisley Penguin! ;-) so I made a Mary Poppins cake for her. If you ever use a real barbie with the wilton doll cake pan you need to add a single, or double layer cake under it to make it tall enough for the barbie, also take a knife and cut a hole in the center to put barbie in. I might add that barbie was very clean before we put her in the cake ;-)I have to say that while I am capable of decorating cakes pretty nicely, a lot depends on the consistency of the frosting and amount of time I want to put into it. Lucky for me Miss 4 is not a critical child and was totally happy with the cake. If I'd had more time I would have made a little hat and certainly would have done a more professional looking job with the frosting (I actually shudder at the frosting on this cake). As it was, I used a 7 minute icing (that I will never make again) it was droopy and didn't hold the shape of an icing tip at all. Oh well it was cake and we ate it and now it's gone. ;-) None of the kids seemed to mind the lack of decorating perfection. I did get many complements on the frosting tasting really good and Miss 8 thinks it was the yummiest frosting she ever had.
Miss 4 was so thrilled with the Mary Poppins, Bert, Jane and Michael, Barbies, she has been playing with them for the better part of the last 2 days, along with taking swims with her new mermaid and playing My little pony. I think the ponys have been filling in for the Carousel horses with the Mary Poppins group too.
I think I'll write a couple Tutorial type blog entries showing how I made stuff for the party and the details of my costume (which I just might wear on a daily basis, but only if I find a good carpet bag). Hope this was fun for you, it sure was for all of us!