Idea No.


Picnic Party 5yr - Picnic Basket Favors



October 2010


Annamagriet in Potchefstroom, Northwest Provence, South Africa

Special Mention

Garden Party

Picnic party for twins: 5 years old I have twin girls who turned 5 in September which is spring time in South Africa with lovely weather. I asked the girls what they wanted their party-theme to be and they both agreed they wanted their party to be a picnic, regardless of the theme.  Therefore I decided to go with picnic as a theme.  

INVITATION Since we invited only the closest friends (6 in total) invitations were done orally.  The invited guests were 3 girls and their 3 brothers, and we are also close friends with their parents.  Other guests invited were the aunts, grand-parents and great-grandmother.  Thus we invited the 6 friends and their parents as well as the closest family to have a picnic with us for the girls' birthday.  The date was set on a Friday which was also a South African holiday, and the setting we chose was The Dome Lodge in the Vredefort Dome, a world heritage site, which is just about 20 km from where we live.  Guests were asked to bring some snacks and drinks, as well as swimwear. In the end there were 12 adults and 6 children in total at the picnic.

DECORATIONS  The Lodge had a smallish lapa (thatched roof) overlooking a small pond, a swimming pool and some veld and trees where Impala and some pony's grazed.  High round tables and chairs were packed in a circle near the braai area and decorated with pink balloons and ribbons.  Off course everything had to be pink since both girls love everything pink.  The tables were set with a birthday cake for each of the twins and a party-basket for each of the children invited.  Picnic blankets were set out. 

ACTIVITIES  As the guests arrived the adults were invited to have a cool drink and some snacks under the lapa while the twins took their little guests to meet the ponies, and to show them the surroundings.  Presents were placed with the cakes on the tables.  When everyone have arrived we al gathered round the tables, and the kids all gathered round the birthday-cakes for the ceremony of blowing candles and singing Veels geluk liewe maatjie an Afrikaans birthday song.  After blowing candles each child received a miniature picnic basket filled with goodies and sat on the picnic blanket.  Curious as children are they were keen to find out what was in their baskets.  At this time the girls opened their presents which was okay since the guests were few and quite close.

Then it was time for swimming.  The kids spent quite some time in the pool while the adults started the braai (BBQ), made salad or sat by the pool watching the children and of course took many photos.  After a good swim the kids got out and sat on a picnic blanket next to the pool having their own little picnic with their own individual little picnic baskets, chatting and eating away peacefully.  The great thing about a small party was that the children were much more tranquil and quiet much less running and shouting than a big party.  Also the lovely outdoor setting added to a very relaxing atmosphere which everyone enjoyed.

For lunch we had some worsdogs a South African favorite consisting of a roll with wors (South African sausage) and salad.   After lunch and cup cakes we all went down to sit by the pond while my husband took the children 2 at a time with a canoe to a small island in the middle of the pond.  This expedition was much fun for the kids.  On coming back from the island he children first played in the shallow waters of the pond for a while, after which another swim in the pool took place.  By the time everyone had enough it was time to go after a quick coffee and chocolates or another cup cake.    

GAMES No formal games were necessary.  The setting provided ample opportunities for kids to be occupied.  The lodge also had a jungle gym which the children never even used.  Swimming, picnicking, canoeing and playing in the water was more than enough entertainment, moreover, the relaxing nature of the activities saw that children were not hyped up and over-stimulated.  This offered the adults a chance to also relax.

COSTUMES No costumes necessary, only cool, comfortable clothes for picnic, and swimsuits. 

PARTY SNACKS The party started at eleven am, and went on till about 4 pm.  Snacks at the start included pop corn, chips, dips etc.  We had lunch at about 12:30 which consisted of worsdogs and salad, which was followed by cup-cakes.   Children had snacks in their baskets which they enjoyed after the first swimming session.  In the afternoon after coming back from the pond some had another worsdog (especially the men) or salad, or nibbled on some more chips or cup cakes.  We also had coffee and some chocolates and candy.  Both kids and adults also enjoyed eating sweets from the birthday-cake baskets, and we cut one of the cakes in blocks so guests could have some.  

CAKE  The girls are both allergic to eggs and milk, therefore I wanted to make them birthday cakes which they can eat.  I decided not to use a cake mixture, but instead melted some pink and white marshmallows and added Kellog's Rice Crispies.  I pushed the mixture into bowls that are shaped more or less like a picnic basket and left to cool down.  When it was cold I tool the stiffened mixture out of the bowl and now had two baskets made from marshmallow and rice crispies.  Each of the girls had their own cake since this help with individualization and tells them that they are both special as an individual, and not just as one of a pair.  This is very important with twins. I covered the rice-crispie baskets with pink butter icing and decorated the icing with pink vermicelli, edible glitter and some icing flowers I bought from the nearest cake shop.  I filled the baskets with pink and white marshmallows, other pink sweets and blocks of dark chocolate (which do not contain milk).  For the handles of the baskets I used tin foil which I covered with pink ribbon and propped onto the baskets.  The cakes were off course not complete without candles, thus I added 5 pink and white birthday candles to each cake.

FAVORS I had a local basket weaver weave miniature picnic baskets for each of the children attending the picnic.  The baskets were about the size of a hat.  I laced the baskets for girls with pink tissue paper, and boys baskets with silver tissue paper.  Then I filled the baskets with a cool drink, packet of pretzels (no trans fats, very few colorants and preservatives), packet of chocolate coated peanuts (a more healthy option than brightly colored sweets), a lollipop and a marshmallow-filled cone.  Each of the items in each child's basket was marked with the child's name to avoid a fight over what is whose. Baskets were marked by binding a card-board tag with the child's name with pink ribbon (girls) or raffia (boys) to the basket handle.  Each child received a small gift: glitter purses for girls and cars for the boys.

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