Not long ago, miss R turned six, and six seems to be a big year. Big because it’s the first year of ‘big school’, and lots of the kids seem to have ‘big’ parties. Miss R wanted to invite the whole class to her party, which was a big thing for me. However, I obliged and organised a party at a local playground with a sausage sizzle, some fun activities and some drinks and yummy party snacks. In my opinion the definition of how successful the party is is the size of the smile on the face of your child at the end of the day, so in that respect it was a winner. But gosh, that party…
Where we live you often get sunny Winter days that are warmer outside than in, and we decided to take a gamble on the weather by holding the party at a park – a gamble that we lost because it turned out to be a FREEZING cold day, with 55km icy winds and light snow falls further up the mountain. Picture the mushrooms and onions blowing off the BBQ in the strong winds, the plastic purple tablecloths needing to be duct taped to the tables, and the craft activity needing to be held down with rocks and helium balloon weights and you’ll have an idea of the way things went on the day. Man, was it COLD, but the kids partied on and had a fun time, and the printable hats I created went down a treat.
To make the party hats you will need:
• These printable Party hat templates
• Coloured heavy paper or thin card stock that will go through your printer (the one I used is 120gsm)
• Items to decorate: stickers, streamers, felt tipped pens, bling or whatever else you fancy. I’d steer clear of glue and paint if you are making these as a party craft simply so you don’t need to worry about drying time.
• Thin elastic
• A stapler, scissors, and a hole punch.
Cut out the shape, decorate, then bend into the shape of a cylinder for the crown hat, or a cone for the traditional party hat and staple together. Use a hole punch to put a hole on each side of the bottom edge of the hat and tie a piece of thin elastic though them and your hat is done!
Because most of the kids at the party were school aged and pretty capable with a pair of scissors, all I needed to do was arrange the above items on the table with a couple of finished example hats to look at and they were all able to create their own hats. If you are having a party for younger kids, they would still be able to decorate the hats but you might need to cut out the shapes for them and help them with the stapling and putting together.
It was lovely to see all of the kids running around with their own hand-made hats on and the streamers flying behind them in the wind, and the craft was popular with both the boys and the girls.
The other activities I organised were a diamond mine and giant bubbles. The giant bubbles did not work at all in the strong winds and were an enormous disappointment, but the diamond mine was a big hit!
Miss R is obsessed with diamonds and jewels (typical, I hear, for a six year old), and requested the diamond mine. I have done this activity at home before with the girls on a much smaller scale and they really, really loved it. Read the full post over at Childhood 101.
To make the large scale diamond mine I bought an under bed storage box from the dollar store and filled it with sand layered with acrylic gems and tiny gold pebbles (also from the dollar store). The kids put the treasures they found into small sized paper coffee cups and took them home. The sandbox diamond mine was busy for the entire party and all the kids loved it.
I also went to the trouble of making my own diamond-shaped Pinata. In keeping with the diamond theme, I had seen these amazing looking pinatas on Pinterest. The one I made could have been easily mistaken for a disco ball, but it still looked festive hanging there. It was rock-solid, and after every child at the party had had a good bash at it my husband needed to slam it against a post to get the thing open. BUT, it was fun. I do recommend a party pinata!
If the weather had been more kind, it would have been a lovely party. As it was the kids had a ball and didn’t seem to notice the freezing wind anyway, and the huge smile on miss R’s face at the end of the day made it totally worth the effort.