Since the Ball’s birthday fell on a day of summer school, the Hubby and I talked it over, and instead of letting him miss school to celebrate, we decided to celebrate in school with his classmates and teachers. So.. viola! Our very first school party!
Oh, I had so much fun planning this party! It was the first time I organized a party in school. I asked permission first if this was allowed, and good thing it was. But I did have to work with some important things when doing my planning:
- The party would be allowed only during snack time, which was roughly 20 minutes. This meant the setup, actual party time, and cleaning up would have to be done fast!
- The class could have anywhere from 12-15 kids on the day, since 12 were officially enrolled but there might be more kids coming in on certain days for a “trial” session. But I was assured that 15 would be the maximum.
- The kids are all aged 2-3 years old, so I needed to consider this when planning what they could (and would!) eat.
- There would only be 5 adults at most who would help the kids eat (the Hubby and me, and three teachers).
So, considering all of these, presenting: The Ball’s third birthday party in school!
The Theme: A Dino Party
I’ve had party planning experience over the years, and with my kids, one of the things I take the longest time to decide on is the theme. Sure, you can do a generic, un-themed party and it would probably be just as great, but hey… themed parties are fun to plan! It also gives me something to anchor on to make sure that the party elements all come together, especially since I planned to do a lot of DIY.
I had a couple of themes in mind, but those got thrown out the window when we noticed that everyday in school, the Ball would instantly go for the dinosaur toys before anything else! He just loved ‘em dinos!
So: a dinosaur party it is!
The Invitations: Design by my sister-in-law
I know, I know… why give out printed invitations when it’s happening during class time anyway, and the kids will already be there? Well, I decided to give out invitations a couple of days before the party mainly so that the parents would know the food items I would serve, since some of the kids might be allergic. This way, I thought, I would give them enough lead time to let the school know if their child had any allergies, so we would avoid any untoward incidents. Also, since the parents knew that the kids would be attending a party, they could also anticipate that the kids would probably be bringing extra items home (like lootbags, balloons, and leftover food).
So, I just sent my pegs and invitation wording to my amazingly creative sister-in-law (she designed my blog banner and the Ball’s photo table centerpieces). She came up with a super duper cute dinosaur invitation for my Ball’s birthday! I printed these out on vellum board paper and asked the teacher to put them in the kids’ lunch bags a few days before the party.
The Food for the Kids: Party Bentos by Bento Mommas
Oh this was what I was so excited about! Class was in the morning, so I knew I wouldn’t have much time to prep the food. I decided against fastfood orders, and I also wanted to serve something that little fingers wouldn’t have difficulty eating and that little tummies would enjoy. I researched and inquired, and finally found what I was looking for. Enter: Bento Mommas!
Considering the age of the kids, I opted for finger food without rice or pasta options. These were the contents of the bentos I ordered for the Ball’s birthday: Jif choco-hazelnut sandwiches (in dino shapes too!), three chicken crispers, and a sugar cookie. I didn’t expect the kids to eat them all at school, so I was happy that they came in convenient take-home containers. We just put them in either the lootbag or their lunch bags to take home.
Aren’t these just the cutest little dinosaurs? These bentos set my theme off perfectly! And Bento Mommy Monet was very easy to correspond with. She answered my emails and texts right away, and was flexible in my design requests. She asked for my invitation so she could put a matching label on the bento boxes too. The bentos were delivered straight to the school, and Monet texted me early on the day to give me the driver’s name and mobile number and remind me of my remaining balance. So this was really hassle-free for me.
For the kids’ drinks, I just bought fruit juice in tetra packs. This was an epic fail for me though: I put them in the freezer and forgot to thaw them in the fridge overnight, so they were still frozen come party time! Buti the kids still brought their water bottles! We just put the juice in their lunch bags to take home.
The Food for the Teachers: Shakey’s Pizza
I knew the teachers at the Ball’s preschool wouldn’t be able to eat with the kids, plus I wanted to have food for the admin and staff of the school too, so I just had Shakey’s Pizza and soda delivered to the school. I wanted to let them easily enjoy these over their lunch break after the party, and I thought pizza is fuss-free and easy to grab.
The Cake: Mrs. Pepper’s Belgian Marshmallow Cake (custom size)
I just wanted a simple white blowing cake which I planned to decorate with a colored birthday candle and a few printed toppers. I knew exactly where I could get what I wanted, and so I called one of my go-to bakeshops: Mrs. Pepper’s!
Mrs. Peppers’s Kitchen
253 El Grande Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
Tel: (02) 553 5206
I ordered a 6-inch chocolate cake with marshmallow icing which I picked up and paid for on the day. One of the teachers was also celebrating her birthday that day, so instead of serving the cake (the kids already had their cookie treats..baka masobrahan sa sugar!) or taking it home (I ordered another cake for the family), we decided to leave the cake for her. We’ve had Mrs. Pepper’s Belgian Marshmallow cake several times before, so I’m sure the teachers enjoyed this extra treat.
The Giveaways: DIY Lootbags and Balloons
For the lootbags, I just bought paper bags in my theme color at a nearby baking supply store and printed out themed thank you labels on sticker paper to match the invitations. I filled these with some of my Ball’s favorite snack and cookie treats.
I also bought green, orange, and white balloons and balloon sticks which we inflated at home. The balloons were distributed to the kids after dismissal time, and boy did their faces light up a notch after receiving a balloon to take home! To be honest, aside from the cake-blowing, I think the balloons were the kids’ favorite part of the party!
Whew! I’m happy we decided to have a school party this time around, and I do hope the kids had fun too and enjoyed their take-home treats. I also hope the teachers and staff enjoyed their pizza and cake. But let me say this: after experiencing the happy chaos of a school birthday party with 15 toddlers, I surely have a heightened appreciation for our preschool teachers!!