Rose Garden 5yr - Seed Packet Invites
Danielle in Rocklin, CA USA
This was a party for my 5-year old daughter.
I cut apart a standard size seed packet to use as a template, and then created the invitations -- the front looked like a vintage flower seed packet with the words Emma's Garden Party" and a vintage rose photo and the back included all pertinent information in the form of seed planting instructions ("planting instructions" for what they needed to wear/bring "germination date" for the date of the party "care and feeding" to tell that I'd be providing lunch etc.). I then glued the sides and bottom filled it with wildflower seeds and glued the top flap so that it really did look like an authentic seed packet.
When the girls arrived they were taken to a table where I'd set out terra cotta pots for them to paint and decorate. Using terra cotta paint (available at craft stores) and various beads rhinestones and silk flowers (also available at craft stores and adhered to the pot using E6000 glue -- with mom's help of course!) the girls decorated their own flower pot and set them outside to dry in the sun.
For lunch I went a little crazy -- I made several varieties of tea sandwiches cut into various flower shapes with cookie cutters sweet rice cakes (rice with sweetened rice vinegar and tiny edible sugared violets) pressed into little flower shapes with a rice press (though cookie cutters would work as well) and a centerpiece of small crudite vegetables carved into blossom shapes (to do this take a terra cotta pot or other container cut a head of cabbage in half and stick it into the pot curved side up. Cut radishes scallions cucumbers carrots jicama and other firm vegetables into flower shapes and soak in ice cold water for several hours. Stick a toothpick or skewer into the back of each flower and stick into the cabbage creating a bouquet in the pot. Add arugula basil mint or other leafy vegetable or herb between the flowers to fill in the spaces -- it's beautiful and very colorful!).
I also had a cold gazpacho soup with little carrot flowers floating on top served in tiny watering cans with their tops removed and baked little enchilada casseroles into special terracotta pots without holes in the bottom (these are available at specialty food stores and are created to withstand the heat of the oven. The casseroles were made by tearing regular tortillas into small pieces and layering them with sour cream enchilada sauce cooked and shredded chicken and grated cheddar and monterey jack cheese -- like a mexican lasagna!).
Each girl got her own little terra cotta saucer to use as a plate (I first coated the saucers with foodsafe sealant) a little watering can of gazpacho a little pot of enchiladas and I used tiny gardening shovels and rakes (used as decorations these 6" "tools" are often available in many craft stores) as forks and spoons. I made a sparkling punch and floated sugared rose petals on top (pull apart a rose brush each petal with a mixture of egg white powder and water dip in sugar and let dry overnight) and served it from a clean new watering can. The food may seem odd and "mature" for a 5-year old but because of the "packaging every girl ate nearly everything!
After lunch, we played with a pinata I made into the shape of a gigantic rose -- check Martha Stewart's website for instructions on making your own pinata it's much easier than it may sound! As an added bonus, homemade pinatas are generally sturdier than store-bought ones, and that rose pinata is still hanging (empty, of course!) in my daughter's room. I was able to find adorable flower-shaped purses at the dollar store, and this is what the girls used to collect the flower-shaped candy (found at a vintage candy store) from the pinata. Then I gave the girls their goodie bags which included a little kneeling pad, little gardening gloves, a shovel and a watering can, and using their new gifts we planted little pansy seedlings into the pots the girls had already decorated earlier in the party.
The birthday cake was actually cupcakes, with each cupcake decorated to look like a single large rose or violet. I then painted a large terracotta pot with a pink, lavender and light green plaid pattern, inserted the other half of the cabbage used for the crudite certerpiece, and using long skewers placed into the underside of each cupcake, created a large rounded bouquet inside the pot. After all cupcakes were inserted (24 cupcakes is the perfect number for this)I piped additional frosting leaves between the cupcakes so that the skewers and even the cupcake liners were no longer visible.
The girls finally went home with their flower purses of flower shaped candy; their kneeling pad, gardening shovel, watering can and gloves; and their pansy seedling in their decorated pot.