My first baby is turning four this week. 4?!?!! I can't believe it. But then, I'm sure I'm not alone in how fast our kids grow. When I asked Claire what kind of birthday party she'd like this year, she insisted on a giraffe party. Seriously? A giraffe party. We ended up making almost all of our decorations. I'm not sure how many of you have tried to throw a giraffe party- but there's not a lot out there to be purchased for one!
One of my favorite decorations were the circles behind the food table. I picked up a few sheets of 12x12 scrapbooking paper and cut them into circles. On the yellow ones Claire painted some handprint giraffes. (A more detailed post for another day!) My Mom and I tried to make the same ruffled streamers that we made for Simon's birthday party last year, but my sewing machine was having nothing to do with ruffles. They ruffled until I answered the phone, and then we just ended up sewing them together. They still looked pretty.
In an effort to make her party more giraffe-y, we made some homemade graham crackers. We used a small cookie cutter to cut out small giraffe shapes. The kids LOVED these crackers. It was so hard to get them to stop eating the crackers so that we'd have some left for the party. This morning the kids ate the last of them. Recipe to follow shortly. You will want to make them.
I also make some giraffe labels for the juice packs and water bottles.
I saw this cake in a Martha Stewart Baby magazine, way before I was even married. (I've always loved Martha, so I used to flip through her mags, even though I wasn't even thinking of babies yet.) I made this chocolate cake recipe, which I have used many times before. It's one of my favorite Martha recipes. The cake was baked in a 9x13 pan, and then using the template in the back of the magazine you cut the cake to form the giraffe. Unfortunately, this cake isn't on Martha's website.
Here's the birthday girl! Mom and I made giraffe shirts for Claire and Simon. I cut the giraffe out using the cricut (thanks Sylvia!) and then just traced it onto the fabric. My Mom sewed them onto the shirts.
These pics were taken after the party was over. Simon is seen here holding the bowl that held the graham crackers. He ate them all afternoon.
It was a fun party. I ordered these giant (although I didn't know they were going to be quite so giant) balloons from Bargain Balloons. There's a flat shipping rate, and since I have already planned Simon's party, I was able to order balloons for his party too. I bought party hats and then covered them with construction paper. I printed out the giraffe image that I used on the water and juice packs to glue to the front of the party hats.
Out of bristol board, I cut a giraffe (use your imagination!) so that the kids could play pin the tail on the giraffe. We also played a game called pretend you're eating like a giraffe.
We my very awesome Sister, just threaded timbits (donut holes) on string and then hung the string from a broom handle. Then the kids had to try to eat the timbits without their hands (like a giraffe).
Lastly, I made a spiced punch in the slow cooker to have on hand for the adults. It was so tasty. If you're going to make it, make sure you remember to take out the cinnamon and cloves after it has been in there for a few hours. By the time that I sat down to have some it was a little too clove-y.
There you have it- a full fledged giraffe birthday party. I love planning my kids birthday parties, but I'm a litle excited to have a bit of a break before the next party.