Pip turned 3 this week. We celebrated with her nursery friends last weekend and then had a family lunch this weekend, which we actually found to be a reasonably stress free way to spilt out the entertaining.
We wanted a fairly low key party for her pre-school friends, but still wanted to let her have a party, so we opted not to hire a venue, or have entertainment for the children, but have them over to our flat instead. We love cooking as a family, so we thought a pizza party would be perfect. In the event, we ended up splurging on a new kitchen table that we’d been umming and ahhing about for several months, having it delivered the day before the party, so we didn’t actually save money as such, but we’re very pleased with it. We went for this one, and I am so pleased with it. (We even seated 16 comfortably for the lunch yesterday).
Neither M nor I are big fans of party bags; we spend our lives (somewhat fruitlessly) trying to reduce the crap we acquire and we didn’t want to add to it for someone else. So, we got the kids mini rolling pins to use for their pizza making which they could take home afterwards. We added labels written by Pip to act both as place settings and to indicate that they were for each child to keep.
We basically just whizzed up a load of pizza dough in the morning and then gave each kid a lump to roll out. We set out a choice of toppings down the middle of the table and gave them each a saucer to collate them in, hotted up the “pizza” stone (a paving slab which lives in our oven) as well as a cast iron pan, and then put on the grill which cooked the pizzas in a couple of moments. We made up a couple before hand which we started cooking as the kids started rolling, so there was a constant supply of pizza for both kids and adults and that was it. We gave the kids juice and the parents some fizz and everyone was happy.
Once all the pizzas had been eaten, we handed out plain cupcakes that I’d made that morning, and little individual tubs of icing which I’d prepared beforehand (just a simple vanilla frosting I zapped up) and a small child’s knife. I then put out some mini marshmallows, fruit and little cake toppings and each child created their own pudding. They loved it, especially having their own little tub of icing for their own cake, and it was far less work for me…!
Her little face when we presented her with a second cake with a candle in and sang to her was absolutely priceless. She has several friends with slightly earlier birthdays and it seems she has been practising playing birthday cake/singing for months. She could hardly believe it was finally her turn!
The kids then all played for a bit with some of Pip’s toys and we hung out with the parents for a while and then everyone departed for their Sunday afternoon. Whilst there was a little bit of organising to do, it didn’t feel overly onerous and everyone, especially Pip, seemed to have a great time.