Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Festival of Cherub.

This is my theory about parties for small children. Give them friends, food and room to run and they will manage the fun. Providing them with any additional entertainment is lovely, but you don't need to do it. On Sunday, the penultimate event of the Festival of Cherub took place in a park with 18 or so children, who were, for the most part, beautifully behaved and no trouble. They ran around the equipment playing their little hearts out, and came back to the food table to graze when in need of refreshment. They gathered for the birthday cake ritual, then went back to playing until their parents came to collect them. After two weeks of school holidays I think they were all overjoyed to see each other, judging by the hugging and the happy interacting. Apart from knocking myself out the day before with baking frenzy, and picking up the broken glass from the playground when we arrived I had very little to do on the day.

Well, apart from managing a couple of my party guests, who teamed up as a unit outside the rest of the guests. I was quietly relieved to hand them back to their parents after these 3 incidents:
  1. Early on, they strayed out of the designated area and began a rock throwing game and when asked to come back they (a) argued about having to do so and (b) tried to smuggle some rocks into their pockets. At least this gave me the heads-up that they needed extra supervision.
  2. Halfway through, they got into an altercation with a non-party child who had a few boundary issues of his own. I ended up taking non-party child over to his parents and saying I'm very sorry, one of my party guests has bitten your child but I believe there was hitting on both sides and suggesting delicately that perhaps they'd like to to keep an eye on their offspring. I didn't mention that he'd been coming over helping himself to party food, you can't blame him really.
  3. Just as all children were to be collected and taken home the 2 boys disappeared and gave me a heart attack. Luckily they had not gone far and I found them before the parents returned.

I'd recently read a comment from someone who claimed she spent $50 total -including catering- on childrens parties, which I found very difficult to believe, but it inspired me to see if I could cut costs. I always bake most of my own party food but I chose cordial over fizzy for the drink option and padded out the savoury options with popcorn. Plus I managed a deal with the Willy Wonka of Blogland for the lollybags, and these were so good that Climber looked up at me in the midst of helping Cherub write the labels for them and said seriously Can we have Shula for my party too?


The ultimate event in the Festival of Cherub was cupcakes for the class, first day back at school. Due to being completely wiped out by the morning's party and needing an afternoon nap to refresh myself, I didn't start baking these until 8.30pm Sunday night. They weren't the best batch I'd ever made, but I received only thanks and no complaints from the school next day.

Cherub has thoroughly enjoyed the Sixth Birthday Bonanza and thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes.

Next stop, Festival of Fixit.


  1. Taking notes furiously since Caleb has his coming up in Dec. Looked like he had a great day, and isn't that the point. You did a great job keeping an eye on all those little ones.

  2. For just a second I thought you'd buggered up and put a 9 on the cake.
    Slight blonde moment (even though I'm not blonde).

  3. Oh, goodness. Looks like the party was great, but those two rapscallion guests ... !!

    The good news is, Fixit's friends are old enough that if they start throwing rocks, you can simply call the cops.

  4. I have happily come to a similar conclusion. My two seem to insist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey or Pass the Parcel to appease the birthday party gods but that's about it. Food and friends will always get you a long way.

  5. Sounds like the parties we had growing up, before they became "events". I think you're right, so long as there is cake and a colourful drink, the kids are fine.
    Ps, you'll need up update your header, now he's 6 :)

  6. Happy Birthday Cherub!

    What a wonderful idea! I'm currently imbroiled in my own party madness over here - next year I think might be the end of parties, but we'll see....You have lovely, lovely boys. Climber has Barbie hair in that last photo, did you notice? (It's all glinty and shiny)

    Sounds like a great day!

  7. I had that moment with a party guest or two. They always stay the longest, the worst behaved ones.

    If you wanna organize J.T.'s party in January, I'm sure I can talk (con) Rob into paying you for a ticket over? You could bring the lolly-bags with you?

    Happy Celebration for the Cherub! What a lovely time for everyone.

  8. Looks like a great party! We're just entering the party-festival season in our household. I'll definitely be taking on your cordial and popcorn tips.

  9. He does have Barbie hair in that last shot, wow!

    Warty Mammal's comment made me laugh about Fixit. February is the birthday month around here. Exhausting.

  10. Oh yes, I agree - give young kids yummy food and somewhere to run around and yell and play, and that's the party sewn up.

    It sounds like the Festival of Cherub (love that moniker BTW!) was a resounding success.

  11. Looks like the whole party, biting aside, was a success.

    Love the Festival of the Cherub. Hope there's a corresponding Festival of the Stomper.

  12. I agree. Spending huge amounts on parties is a waste of money. What beautiful boys!

    (What's that brown hairy stuff on the ground, by the way? It's surely not grass?)

  13. Wow! You really know how to celebrate!! The more simple the kids party the outrageous the fun, I think :)

  14. Happy Birthday to both your guys.

    I believe strongly in the give them friends, food and room to play philosophy... works well for us!

    And is that a little miss scatterbrain t-shirt you're wearing? Cracked me up. Good thing those kids weren't missing when the parents came back or it would no longer just be a cute silly shirt!

    (I'm smiling because I have the houdini child and I'm actually impressed that you managed to keep that many kids contained without parental chaperones!)


Don't let the cat get your tongue.