Some of my happiest memories are of the birthday parties I had as a child; you know, in the 80s, when everyone just invited their school friends, neighbours and cousins over to their house and you played party games and ate jelly and ice cream.
Nothing too fancy, just being with your friends and having fun. Don’t get me wrong, with Sam we have done all sorts of crazy, massive, expensive parties. We’ve hired halls, done soft play a fair few times and even group cinema trips, but I’ve always liked the gatherings we’ve had at home the most.
So has Sam I think – the most expensive party I threw for him he has always said was the worst! I think the entertained we hired had an especially terrifying toy dog in her box of props which he’s never got over.
Florence was four last week and she loved the idea of inviting her friends over to enjoy all things unicorn. And I mean ALL things unicorn, as our house is now officially a palace where you can worship the sparkly one-horned wonder, and hell, it even has its own ‘real life’ unicorn in it. That’s Sam in a unicorn onesie to me and you, available to hire for special events for the right amount of Haribo.
I seemed to send the invitations out like someone who knew what they were doing. It wasn’t until two days before the party that I really thought about what I would do with twelve three and four-year-olds for two hours. “Two hours?” my friend said. “Wouldn’t an hour and a half be ok, I mean they reach their limit don’t they…” Hmm. Best draft in my mum and sister then!
I started by decking out the playroom with as much unicorny, pink, sparkly stuff as I could get my hands on. I really love the I Love Unicorns banner from Party Delights, it’s turned into a feature in the playroom now and I think it will stay all summer.
I also put up some pink paper garlands, a silver sparkly door curtain and filled the space with loads of pink balloons. What can I say, sorry gender police but Flo loves pink and insists on having everything that colour, whether I like it or not! I had some small unicorn balloons on sticks too, which are really easy to blow up and last ages.
The garlands look really cute, so much easier than the ones I decided to make myself last year. The tassel bunting did look really good but it took me an age to make! Tassel bunting tutorial is here if you fancy having a go.
My sister Katie came to the rescue with an amazing birthday cake, saving me as I am a useless baker and always go down the ready made route. Flo loved it and it tasted really, really good too. She was also amazing at blowing up balloons, herding small people from room to room and drawing pictures for the treasure hunt!
This was probably the party game that went down the best. I bought a few packets of small rubbers from the pound shop and hid the right number around the garden. They were mostly all different, and shaped like ladybirds, butterflies and bugs. I cut out some pieces of card to playing card size, and drew a picture of a rubber on each.
Then, making sure the number of cards matched the number of rubbers, I handed each child a card and their task was to find the corresponding prize. I thought this would last about five minutes but overestimated how easily they would find their treasures. It actually took much longer and was a good break getting them all outside for a while.
Inside, we played musical statues, pin the horn on the unicorn and pass the parcel. My mum had also set up loads of colouring for them to do, with cardboard glasses to decorate with stickers and pens while they waited for everyone to arrive.
This activity actually could have been stretched out a bit longer because they loved it. Sometimes it’s the simple things, right? I mean I think I had quite an easy crowd, they were all really well-behaved and pretty compliant when it came to party games, I have to say!
I’m not sure I would have had the same amount of success with Sam and his friends at four, him being much more lively and with a shorter attention span.
We finished the party by all wearing a unicorn horn party hat (never too old to get into this) and singing Happy Birthday to Flo. I’ve never seen a happier little face as when she was surrounded by all her little pals.
She has always amazed me with her kind, loving spirit and happiness, knowing what she has lived through and experienced in just four years on this earth. She is a joyous, confident and outgoing little girl who I am just so, so proud of.
Happy Birthday smallest one!
I was sent some of the unicorn range of party accessories from Party Delights for Flo’s big day.