Saturday, January 3, 2009

A snowman birthday

In the midst of the holiday season, we also squeezed in a birthday celebration for our resident five year old. She made her appearance in a most memorable way, and we continue to enjoy celebrating her unique place in our family.

She asked for a snowman themed birthday party this year and we had lots of fun in that context. Of course, I started with my favorite party planning website, and they had a whole slew of snow party ideas. Many repeat each other, but we found enough activities that struck Brooke's fancy. Fortunately, she did not want to actually play in the real snow, although we ended up with plenty of it that day.

We started with a playdough activity. I used my favorite homemade playdough recipe and made red and green to keep the kids busy while we waited for everyone to arrive. Apparently, I should have added a bit more water (probably due to the dry, dry, dry air right now), as it was a bit crumbly, but they still had fun.

We played games:

- "snow" (cotton) ball relay -- the kids had to race to bring their cotton ball balanced on a spoon to a bowl at the other side of the room. This was so simple, but the kids all cheered to do it a second time, so we did.

- Winter clothing dress up -- players had to quickly dress up in oversized winter clothing (coat, snow pants, boots, mittens, scarf) and run to the other side and back and pass it along to the next person. Lots of giggles with this one!

- "Snowball" (white balloon) buckets -- They took turns throwing the little balloon into the four buckets. This was a little more challenging than the traditional ball or beanbag, but they did a great job.

- Ice fishing -- String with magnets on the end and the fishermen took turns catching paper fish with a paperclip attached to it. They each had a turn to catch a few fish as we sat around the fishing "hole."

Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy (Nature)

We took a break in the middle of the games to have cake and ice cream and read a book. I read A Stranger in the Woods which is an adorable story with real pictures of animals discovering a snowman in the middle of the woods. I love the pictures and the cute story. I see there is a whole website around this sweet little book, too.

We wrapped up with presents and passing out goodie bags, and everyone headed back out into the snow. It turned out to be such a fun, simple party. Brooke had so much fun being the center of things for a day and seeing her snowman ideas take shape.

Oh yeah, the cake . . . (pictured above, too, I know)

(My three year old calls all snowmen "Clementine" because we used a clementine peel for a mouth on our snowman outside earlier this season. So even the cake was Clementine!)

I sometimes go a little crazy with my cake plans. This one was cute, but EASY! White frosting, blue frosting. I got pull and peel licorice for writing her name, age and the snowman's scarf. Chocolate chip pieces for the face and buttons, and pretzel stick arms. She specifically requested no hat. I think he looks a little bare, but it's not about me. :-) As usual, my amazing husband did the actual frosting part. I formulate and sketch it and add the finishing touches, but he does the actual frosting.

Happy birthday once again, my sweet girl! I can't wait to see what you dream up for next year.

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