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Sep '11

Wesley’s First Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Wesley’s 4th birthday with his first-ever party with friends.

This would also be my first-ever experience planning a birthday party for little kids.

Lesson Learned #1: Simple is best!

When I started planning I was kind of extravagant, but I simplified and things were a lot easier to pull together with less time. Plus, the kids are three, four, and five. They don’t care about extravagant. They just want to play and eat cake.

We held it in our backyard. The kids liked to play, but they wanted a little structure, too. Once the thrill of just playing wore off (about ten minutes) we brought out snacks.

I bought some pointed wooden sticks from a cake supply store and mounted fresh fruit on them, ala Edible Arrangements style, only with less style and for a lot less money.

I included strawberries and grapes stacked in three as well as marshmallows and half-bananas that I dipped in melted chocolate/peanut butter (recipe below).

The pictures above were taken after the fruit had been out a few minutes and already attacked by the kids. I think they especially liked the chocolate-peanut butter marshmallows and bananas.

But Wesley’s favorite was the strawberries. I think he may have eaten them all.

Carissa liked the banana.

When snacks were done we pulled out a pinata. This was a smashing success. And, it was the most orderly I’d seen the kids all hour. They lined up and patiently waited their turn to swing at the ball.

We gave each kid a couple swings, and then after a few rounds we just told them to whack at it. That pinata was industrial strength!

Wes needed a little help to realize he was supposed to be hitting the pinata and not the tree, the clouds, etc.

At last it fell and the kids were on that candy like piranhas.

We had cake and ice cream.

When all was said and done and eaten, guests left with a goody bag because I like to say thanks to everyone who came.

The goody bag included bubbles and a chocolate-peanut butter marshmallow that I made myself.

It was easy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dipped Marshmallows (and Bananas)

Melt 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 Tbsp. peanut butter in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes at 50% power, stirring now and again. Dip the marshmallow (I used a lollipop stick I got at a cake/candy supply store), top with sprinkles, and put in the fridge to harden. Since I used sticks, I stuck them in a piece of Styrofoam to keep the chocolate looking pretty as it hardened.

You can also do this with banana halves and freeze them for a nice alternative to an ice cream bar.

I actually just read about how you can mash bananas and freeze them and it tastes a lot like ice cream, except better-for-you, and now I can see how that’s true.

Last of all, because every mom deserves a little something, they all got a goody bag, too, with cake bites from my favorite place.

Lesson Learned #2: Birthday parties are best with lots of help! So glad a couple moms stayed to help me out!

And now I am One Who Throws Successful Birthday Parties for Little Kids.

Phew. No more until next year.

1 Comment »

One Response to “Wesley’s First Birthday Party”

  1. tara72 Says:

    well you certainly were an example to me! and it was a lot of fun. did you see my recipe on my blog from a couple of months ago for chunky monkey ice cream? it’s just frozen bananas pureed with chocolate chips and nuts. and it. is. SO. GOOD. you have to try it. :) love the pics!

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