First of all, the cake. She wanted a 3D monkey cake and she got it! I had extra cake mix so she had some cupcakes, too. Good thing, because I had to write happy birthday somewhere!
This cake was made from a 3D Wilton Teddy Bear cake pan with the ears cut off and reattached lower and hand molded Rice Crispie Treats for the hands, feet, and tail. I came close to just adopting it and making it part of the family; I loved the outcome that much. Also, it took nearly as long as my labors to get it here. Especially since the first go around fell apart. When in doubt, use this recipe for 3D cakes, I guess, because that is what made it work.
- I designed and made the actual bags myself. Fabric stores now sell gorcery bag material and mine carried it in zebra stripes. Awesome!!
- I also designed and made all the monkey masks. This site has great blank templates for masks. I'll be coming back later in the summer for crafts.
- The foam puppets were bought in bulk and separated out.
- The monkey keychains were the craft. I judge age appropriate craft by my kids' ability to do it, forgetting they have extra practice in crafts, but it turned out okay and the kids liked them. You can make your own with this pattern. Due to a lack of brown beads in all three local craft stores, I special ordered the beads. Kwik crafts had a fantastic deal and they arrived 2 days after the order was made.
Then there were the decorations.
- I printed out coloring pages of animals and enlarged them onto poster board with my tracer. What? You don't own a tracer projector? I'm on my second already. Then I traced over the lines with a sharpie, colored them all, and cut them out.
- I filled 23 balloons with helium, 5 of which survived till the end of the party.
- I also bought animal birthday hats, animal shaped paper plates with matching cups, some table covers.
- God provided the rest of the decor, it was lovely. I wrapped all our presents to her in brown paper with animal print ribbon and thought it looked fantastic!
And finally, the party itself, where I forgot to take pictures until lunch time).
- We began with coloring bookmarks backed with animal print that I laminated during the party, added a hole and some hemp rope.
- Then we played pin the tail of the Zebra (I was particularly proud of the zebra I made, almost wanted to adopt her, too). Then onto the beach for an elephant race. Basically you reach between your legs and take the hand of the person behind you who does the same until there is a long chain and then race.
- We settled down for the keychain craft and then headed onto the beach/sandbar for several minutes of play.
- Then pizza, pinata, cake, & presents. (Sadly I could not think of a word for cake that started with "P".)
Was that as exhausting for you as it was for me? Probably not.
Too many hours to admit to prepare, 2 hours set up in the morning, 3 hour party, 1 hour clean up. Four more years till her next friend party.
Here is a picture of the birthday girl opening our family presents because we ran out of time before the party ended. Happy birthday Kirsti!!