Cosmic space themed birthday party.

The weekend marked the second major family event of the year! My little boys 6th birthday party! It’s quite a daunting prospect to start the organising of another birthday party so soon after my little girls party but I always ensure I put the same amount of effort into both.

This year I’m not sure which came first a trip to Leicester Space centre or the birthday theme, nevertheless the theme somehow arrived at ‘Space’. I rubbed my hands with happiness at this theme, straightaway it conjured up lots of galaxy, planet, cosmic and starry possibilities.

I knew I wanted to make some outfits for us all to wear. I headed straight to eBay to search out cosmic cloth. I found some fantastic kitsch cosmic kitten fabric that I thought my little girl would love, but she had other ideas and chose a blue and purple swirly galaxy print with glow in the dark stars (slightly wasted on a daytime party, but still nice).Joe liked a similar print with glow in the dark constellations. I found an awesome large scale nebula and planet digital print for me.

I used my own tried and tested patterns to create a skirt for my little girl, a dress for myself and a grandad shirt for my little boy. I found silver four way stretch lycra to make a space age t-shirt to go with my daughters skirt and leggings for me!

I spent a fair bit of time searching the web for ideas and filling my pinterest board with suitable spacey ideas for games, food and decorations.

I found lots of great ideas for decorations with glow sticks, however not much use for a daytime party. In the end I opted for covering the ceiling with glitter and helium filled balloons. We added silver stars bought from our handy local balloon shop Every Occasion.

Then for some cosmic activities. Our first activity was to make space slime. I have never made this before. I found several recipes on the internet and went for one which used PVA glue and powder starch. I scaled up the quantities a bit so there would be enough for everyone to take home if they wanted. I don’t have any pictures of us making this as my hands were very gooey. The kids loved tipping in glitter and food colour and taking it in turns to stir. However in the end the mixture became more stiff than slimey so we named it a space blob and decided to move on.

The weather didn’t look like it was going to be on our side so I rain proofed a treasure hunt by wrapping all the gifts in clingfilm. My sister gave me the idea for this, rather than reading clues ( a bit tricky at this age). To find their treasure they simply had to find treasure with their allocated coloured sticker. I printed their names on their colour and attached a square of the same colour to each tinfoil wrapped space treasure. There were 10 kids so some of the colours were a little bit similar and got a bit confused but it all worked out in the end.

Opening the treasure took priority over food.

Lunch included sausage rockets,

rocket and star shaped sandwiches,

and a galaxy of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes!

The rain stayed away so we were able to play shoot the rocket to the moon. Which translated as shooting a plastic cup along a string with the jet of a water pistol.

Winners were awarded with a milky way medal.

We decided to play meteor strike (name kindly provided by my husband ) inside. Each bucket had a planet with a score on it. I made bean bags from the left over party outfit fabric and filled them with rice. The aim of the game was to get the highest score. My little girl was super happy to come third. More medals and prizes were awarded to the winners.

We then played pass the moon rock – also known as pass the parcel before going back out side for some pinata fun.

We decided this was an almost indestructible pinata, despite several bashes each it didn’t seem to want to break. In the end a corner broke away and the goodies started to tumble out.

After a scramble to gather as many goodies as possible it was time for the birthday cake.

The sparklers are an every birthday occurrence now but they did fit in well with the theme this time.

We dyed sugar crystals blue and learnt that you can’t add liquid food colouring to chocolate because it reacts with the chocolate and turns very lumpy. Luckily we have the amazing sugarcraft shop Sugar and Ice on our doorstep who sell powdered food colours and suggested mixing this with oil to colour the chocolate black. A perfect solutions for the galaxy uprights at the back of the cake. Adding a bit of oil made the chocolate less brittle too so I was able to cut the shapes without them shattering.

The kids loved helping with the preparations, making the party bags and baking as well as filling the pinata which makes it all the more worthwhile. All in all another great fun party. Mummy feeling suitably spaced out but happy by the end of it!!

 

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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