The weather dawned lovely on the morning of Scraggy's 1st birthday party. Up went the metres and metres of bunting made by my friend Gail (which she kindly lent us for the party); this gave it such a festive feel.
Out came all the toys, borrowed and rediscovered for this special occasion - a wee slide perfect for littlies (hired for $12/week), an old pirate ship ball pit (from Dash's first birthday), giant balls ($3.90 each from our local dollar store), ride-ons and cars borrowed from friends (plus one for Scrag's birthday pressie)... the play house, the swings, the trampoline...
...it wouldn't be a picnic without a few wasps buzzing around (or "wops" as Dash calls them so cutely); thankfully they didn't bother us.
Dash was a great Winnie the Pooh - I actually bought the costume for Scrag ($20 brand-new off TradeMe), but then couldn't find a Teddy Bear costume for Dash to wear. Since he is built like a racehorse we tried it on (it's size 3) and whaddya know, it fit - just!
Everyone was instructed on the invitation to bring their favourite furry friend; we stuck name tags on the bears as they arrived and the teddies had their picnic while we had ours. There was a prize for the oldest teddy (there were a few 30-year olds, but the winner was over 60 years old!)
There was a prize for "best costume", a special Teddy Bears Picnic CD I made for the party with lots of Kids Favourites on it. The winners were the Cat in the Hat, Incey Wincey Spider and Little Red Riding Hood.
The birthday boy had a lovely time, the timing worked well for him between sleeps so he was rested and full of beans, enjoying the freedom of exploring the garden and everything that was going on now that he is a walking boy!
As it was a first birthday party and Scrag is yet to make his own "friends" we invited family friends with kids of similar ages to our lot, plus a few others Scrag will likely be friends with in the future
Altogether there were about 30 people, including 6 littlies around Scrag's age, three 2-year-old boys and a bunch of 4-7 year old big brothers and sisters.
With this wide age range, we had lots of free play; the girls did facepainting (kindly helped by my talented friend Justine), the big boys swung each other on the hammock and created general mayhem, the littlies wandered around playing on the toys and ride-ons.
After the picnic lunch (for adults too), we sang Happy Birthday to Scraggy and he blew out his candles (helped by mummy and daddy) and then we had a couple of very simple dancing games on the lawn (the Chicken Dance and Hokey Pokey)- great fun.
Dash had hidden our collection of bears all around the garden and the children had to go and find them; the older kids were asked to help the littlies and everyone got a prize when they found one. Mr G made sure no-one missed out.
One of the very helpful mums had seen a teddy hiding under the stairs when she arrived and thought someone had dropped their Ted... she wriggled in under the deck to rescue it and popped it down on the blanket with the guests' teddies. When the Teddy Hunt started she realised the teddy wasn't lost after all - just hiding!
We finished off with the kids hunting for Winnie the Pooh, who had hidden himself in the front garden with the party bags. Mr G led them on the hunt, very exciting.
Afterwards it was lovely to hear one of the 2-year-olds return to specially thank Pooh Bear for his party bag. And then I overheard one little kiddie saying to another, "What a lovely party!"
Click here for my FREE Printable Teddy Bears Picnic Invitation
Teddy Bear Cake
My friend Justine happened to have a Teddy shaped cake tin - so I borrowed it. So easy! I used a triple mixture of my One Egg Chocolate Cake recipe. After some issues with the Great Icing Debacle we eventually got it looking right; simple chocolate buttercream icing, with white piped around the edges.
The eyes are a marshmallow split in half, sticky side up, with half a brown Smartie on each. The tongue is half a red Smartie, the nose, a brown Smartie.
1 Tablespoon Golden Syrup
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa powder
1 Cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
METHOD: Melt the butter and syrup in a microwaveable bowl. Add egg and sugar and beat well. Sift cocoa, flour and baking powder together and add into egg mixture. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk. Fold gradually into the mixture. Pour into a lined (or greased) baking tin. Bake at 190oC for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
Allow longer cooking times if you have doubled or tripled the mixture! Don't use the Fan setting as this will cause the cake to rise unevenly (something I only realised recently!)