A How to Train your Dragon Party
Warning: Lots and lots of happy photos in this post! Like, lots!
(All links and downloads will be available soon.)
Sooooo…I could go the whole sappy route, and strum those heart strings on and on about what this celebration was about- what with it “only” celebrating my very first born turning five and all. But I won’t. Mostly cause I already played that tune; I strummed those strings, along with the rest of the entire heart string orchestra, all about yet another trip around the sun with my girl. (see here) As well as the dramatic metamorphosis she brought about in me, the day she was born into our lives, making me a mother.
BUT…What I will do is tell you about her awesome little Dragons and Vikings party we had recently!!
Also, those of you who follow my blog, would be quite the bunch of Sherlocks if you pointed out that Morgan-Lee’s birthday was, what(?), only almost 2 months ago already…and yet here we are..posting about her birthday party only now?
I could also go into explaining the whole schebang about the would-be Disney World birthday celebration drama and my whole self-imposed mom-guilt trip I put myself on for disappointing her and how I really wanted to make it up to her. Blahblahblah…But screw it – I’m tired. And last I checked there were no rules etched in stone about timelines w.r.t birthday celebrations…in fact, mom, (yes, you there reading this), you feel like celebrating all year round? Then go ahead girl, and get at it. Let’s rip up that little non-existent rule book and do what’s good for the soul – yours, and your kids’. Random dates to celebrate your child’s 5th birthday it is then!
As for the theme, it was pretty easy settling on it: my girls are absolute How to train your dragon suckers!!!! However, it first started off with Morgy suggesting a few rather “mission impossible” type themes. Themes that I silently and quizzically sat there contemplating, as I desperately called upon my wildest imagination gods to assist me in how the fc&^ I was going to make any of it a reality…when in came daddy, on his quick-thinking little horse to save the day and suggested: DRAGONS!
The lightbulbs immediately sprang up! It made pure sense, as Morgy is always asking me to make her dragon wings, and dressing up like Astrid or Hiccup, while Parky likes to pretend Whiskey, our dog (or me), is Toothless. Also, it fitted in so well with Morgy’s “young yet wise” and rather adventurous ways. Very Hiccuppy if you ask me. So, naturally, this was received with high pitched shrills of girly delight (yes I see the irony in that: Dragons. Girly shrieks. Whatever. They are my girls – my friends are never really surprised by their likes)
I had loads of fun planning this party…even if it was put together a bit last minute. (We changed our minds so many times about when to have it) But I knew Morgy and her little friendies would enjoy it. The thing is, due to last minuteness and the rate at which the dollar recently consumed our Rand, we decided to keep it really small this time. So we were a little heartbroken to not invite all 26+ kids that we normally do for all our other parties and missed them terribly. However, the smaller more intimate group of 14 kids meant that I could do more hand-made magic for the party than usual. I still kept a lot of it very basic though, and toned down much of what I normally do, but still turned out great. (Errm, even if do say so myself.)
Oh, and a useless little fun fact before I start:I, for some odd reason,had been having 2am bed times almost evey night before this party – needless to say, I was a proper mamazombie. And yet, I managed to make it through that day without a single drop of coffee! How EVEN?! Don’t ask me – apparently running on pure love and adrenalin! I had to put that one down in the momma history books. As in ths blog….Ok, ‘nough tish tosh, onward with the party deets!
I won’t lie. It took me a few tries to get this cake right. The actual baking of it, that is. Not the assembly. The amount of flops I’ve been having in recent times (years) would have probably had my dad thinking I’m pregnant for sure. (with an elephants gestational period apparently) But, after tweaking my usual recipe, and thus creating my own new little recipe, I persevered and finally, a flop free cake emerged. Only took me three tries.
Of course in keeping with tradition, I managed to injure myself right before the party. A knee injury, mind you…you know, to make that party deadline that much more exciting! I finally had my appointment with the knee specialist last week. Diagnosis: Torn ligament,bruised bone and damaged fat pad. Yay! Seems I do nothing half- assed. Go me. Apparently I’m not really supposed to be walking around much. Hmmm…
It also didn’t help that I had a little self-appointed taste tester that literally dug finger and small handfuls out of these cakes. Her only unremorseful response to any of my incredulous cries as to “why, Parker, why?!” was, “I LOVE cake, mom.” Then kept on munching on her loot.
So not exactly how I wanted it to turn out (forgot to add the legs) but I think it did job jussst fine.
He was set ontop of a two layer chocolate cake covered in grey fondant that was intentionally covered roughly to simulate mountainous area – so no need to feel the pressure to get that perfect smooth covering. (now I’m thinking how I can make all my cakes of a mountainous nature from now on!) 🙂 I added a few grass patches with green fondant that i poked with a fork for grassy look, some flowers and cool chocolate rocks to complete the mountainous look from the How to Train your Dragon movies.
Note:Toothless may have suffered severe injuries during his transfer from modelling tray to his natural mountainous cake habitat. Like, as in complete tail severing. But nothing a bit of dragon sugary fondant first aid couldn’t fix. No other dragons were harmed in the making of this cake though.
However, my friend over here, renamed the Viking Sweet beer, to…wait for it… “cookie injection”.
There was also “cake tampon applicator”, and a few more less than PG versions I wish not to share here. However,it was a firm favourite amongst the adults and kids.
My talented sister-in-law, the same one that’s preggers and that kindly helped me out on the day with serving the food, made these hum-dinger Viking Helmet cupcakes.
These cute-as a button Toothless cake pops were made by the seriously talented Hazel Dippenaar. She’s an events organizer extraordinaire (Flower Cafe) turned cake artist, and is really cleaning up in the cake scene recently.
She really is incredible and reliable. So if you’re looking for gorgeous cookies, cake pops, cakes or party ideas, you simply can’t go wrong with Hazel. And her prices are quite reasonable. (To see more of her recent work from our broader circle click on link: Stacy N-H, Lauren B, Chad Saaiman) Call her for your next party!
Hazel’s contact details are:
Cell: 084 555 8976
Eat like Vikings
Ever since last year October (Parker-Grace’s Monster Bash) I’ve discovered how much I love making cheese platters. But that baby flew before I could even capture any of it’s prettiness. In fact, the actual food table itself did not survive long enough for any pix.
The entrance (both indoors and outdoors) definitely fell under the toned down category. We still displayed the take home gifts in the entrance though. Bought some hessen from my local material store and covered both the entrance table and the cake table for a rustic Viking look.
And there was this guy…
He’s simply fabulous and was totally psyched and ready for the vikings party. I made his tiny helmet out of fondant. (The felt version I cooked up in my mind was too time consuming compared to this sugary version.)
Dragon Party Loot
For Take home gifts, there were these Dragon Eggs! More specifically Dragon Egg Bath bombs! HAND-MADE bath bombs! ( Think Lush – I kid you not – just cheaper.)
These were fun to make and after seeing how much our girls enjoyed it for their bathtime, I knew it would be perfect for their little buddies.
What’s more is that it’s wonderful for the little delicate skins – and has similar ingrediants to that of popular Kiddy Calm. (Watch this space for that step by step how-to). I popped them into cellophane bags I’ve still had from about three parties ago . (MerryPak). Tied it up with some ribbon and a this little label.
Also one of my awesome sister- laws knew about the dragon them some time back and gave me these cute little Dragon themed lunch bags. They come in packs of 50 and really go a long way.
I just popped in a bag of Niknaks, lollipops, a little treat and a small bag of How to train your dragon gummies.
There were also these hand-made Viking Helmets – like seriously easy to make. Just some cardboard for the two bands, and mirrored duct tape that I already had. For the horn templates I created myself, click here.
But, wait!!! That’s not all the kids got to take home…
These babies were hand-made. Only reason I was such a sucker for punishment was because my mom was not here to show me how to set up her machine – her machine hates me. Although these were so easy to cut and sew, that the by hand bit wasn’t actually so treachorous. For the pattern and all the templates I created to make these stick dragons, and a full how-to, watch this space!
I had planned a whole Dragon adoption activity at the party, under the banner of “Earn your Dragon’s trust”, complete with a naming certificate that they could then string around their dragon. (Taking care of any mistaken dragon confusion between the kids – and trust me they got really attached to the very distinct dragon they each chose.) But since I was running around with pretty much everything else, the kids helped themselves to the Dragon stables and selected their own dragons. So we skipped the dragon trust and naming ceremony completely. Although if you’re going to do this, I highly recommend using the certificate as a way of keeping track of who’s dragon is who’s.
Download these certificates I made over here, by right clicking, and saving it:
Oh, another upside of these Stick Dragons? No need for jumping castle, soft play equipment or other form of entertainment really, as the kids had a ball with them. I mean you could have all that, but it definitely wasnt necessary for us that day.
The party activities, however, may have been one of my favourite highlights of the party.
Especially THIS one:
So I don’t know how craft activities go down at your parties. But mostly at our’s there’s a no pressure, do it at your leisure kind of vibe. It mostly works out to the majority of kids doing it at the same time, leaving those other kids who don’t prefer the crowd, to only come around when they feel like it. But this often leaves me having to spend a lot of my time at the craft table for the party. Or worse case, some kids skipping the craft completely ’cause they or their moms are not 100% sure of what to do if Im not there to explain it. I’ve tried using photoframed instructions before (see here), which look great, but don’t always work out. But this time, I think I may have finally found a solution for it all:
Cover the craft table in paper, and writing all instructions straight ON to the paper in the order in which they need to happen, along with the necessary materials for each step. (Including warnings.)
For a break down of suppliers, templates and instructions for these Dragon Caps- watch this space!
They had to race on their dragons to collect one sheep at a time, and see who collected the most sheep in their “basket” by the time all the sheep have been wrangled in. You could add a black sheep in there – I just ran out of time to make one.
I made the sheep using those playpond balls that are normally strewn across our lounge at almost given time, and hot glued some stuffing to them. (The same stuffing I used inside the stick dragons.) Then glued some sheep faces to a few. You could do all the balls if you have the stamina – I didnt.
pic of sheep.
They turned out pretty cute, and was a favourite for our little animal lover, Parker-Grace. She was so into that Sheep Toss, she made her cousin play it with her well after the other kids had moved on from it.
Our lawn looked a bit like there was a sheep massacre after the party…Totally worth it though!
Dragon Egg Scavenger Hunt
I’ve got to say though, not having my mom here really made a difference- not having her to advise on the cake flops was bad enough, but helping things run smoother at a party is always a touch trickier without her there. Thankfully though, I had my little party planner assistant (Morgy) give me cues throughout the party. “Hey mom, I think it’s time for the caps.” Or, “hey mom, we haven’t sung the birthday song yet, I think it’s time.” So when she got stuck into Dragon play with her little friends, and wasn’t there to give me some cues, I totally forgot about the usual scavenger hunt we have for every party. One the kids always love!
This time it was basically to find all the dragon eggs I had already hid in our garden. (It’s the same eggs we use for Easter) I was little bummed that I had forgotten, as I know how much the kids really enjoy that, especially the bigger kids (4 yrs upwards)
I may or may not have also forgotten the facepaint – my little party assistant also only remembered it as the last guest left. In fact, the whole planned sequence in my head for the activities of grab helmets, get face painted for dragon naming ceremony, followed by dragon races, sheep toss and dragon egg hunt might not have gone off completely in that order.Or at all in some cases, but hey, there’s a few ideas for you to play with for your party. (For more ideas for Dragon Party Activities, watch this space!)
It doesn’t really matter though, we all know kids don’t need much to have a blast. I was reminded of that before. (See here.) But all-in-all, I think it went off awesomely. Especially considering some of the feedback I received via some of the moms messaging me a few days later. Always makes my heart happy to hear that the kiddums had a blast. We love our friends dearly, especially their littles – and always appreciate them taking time to come celebrate our littles with us.
More importantly, birthday girl had a blast. And regardless of the time lapse between her actual birth date and this party, we took absolute joy in celebrating these past five years we’ve been blessed to have her with us, as well as all the wonder and joy that is yet to come! All things considered, I am so glad we took the time to make this party happen. Even though we had to hastily wipe those cupcake crumbs from our mouths and toss off those vikings helmets to race to the airport for my mother and sister’s much anticipated arrival…which was a whole other adventure for us.
But in the mean time, some more snippets of the party to brighten up your day:
Oh,and for all the labels I used, go go here for the original ones I used, or go here for the ones I created. All free! Enjoy!
Happy Monday, Folks!
The mornings after our parties are always so laid back…