Miss N has never been a fan of TV or movies until she was introduced to Disney’s “Frozen“. Since then she has become obsessed with Elsa and Anna. She hums Let it go and Do you want to build a snowman whilst doing her homework. She steals my washing up gloves to parade around the house with them on her hands as she twirls, refusing to take them off in case she accidentally freezes me in the process. This year she asked if she could have a Frozen party for her birthday.
Today’s post takes you behind the scenes of our Frozen party which cost us under $200 to host. Everything was easily procured locally, through Etsy or made quickly with the aid of my computer and some items around the house. I work full time, so everything had to be easy peasy.
A Frozen party calls for a costume. Miss N was adamant that she was going to dress as Elsa for her special day. I searched and searched for a Licensed dress here in Australia and was unsuccessful. Sure, there are plenty of counterfeit varieties which are cheap, or alternatively handcrafted delights that are actually quite expensive (and so they should be – they often take hours to make and are stunning), but I wanted to stay in budget. A quick search of Amazon and I found a Disney Elsa Costume which was only US$19.99 and had a reasonable shipping fee. I ordered it late Sunday night and had it at my front door by the end of the week.
When the dress arrived we discovered that it is around knee length. Miss N had visions of an ankle length dress which she could twirl in. A satin blue cape from our dress up box was tied around her waist to provide an extra skirt and lengthen the dress. I had a few metres of material in the cupboard which I made into a cape. Voila! Costume made.
Invitations can be easily made on photoshop or even powerpoint if you have the patience. This year I decided to test out Etsy and went searching for an invitation that captured exactly what we wanted. It didn’t take us long to find Sequins and Spaceships and her amazing invitations. Amanda personalises the invitation and forwards you the pdf in your desired size quickly. I printed this on card stock with a laser printer and it looked professional. Winner!
On the lead up to the party I searched for Frozen themed decorations but decided that I wasn’t really that impressed with what I could find. As an afternoon activity I started creating snowflakes with Miss N and discovered that it’s quite a fun activity to enjoy. With a little practice we became quite good at it so decided that we would decorate the party area with our own creations. For gorgeous snowflakes you will need to learn how to fold them correctly. It’s quite simple and Instructables have a great little tutorial to show you exactly how to do it. Disney has this fantastic template to use so your designs look stunning when unfolded. You will find it here.
I couldn’t procure snow for the event, nor did I really want to as it is both cold and wet. What I decided to do instead was fill a $2.00 packet of balloons with tissue paper squares (well, they weren’t really squares as I ripped them rather than cutting). My idea was to hang them up and pop them later in the day so the tissue paper would flutter down to the ground like snow. T pointed out that balloons would go “bang” as I popped them, scaring little children and even some adults. I decided with fair warning this wouldn’t be a problem. The kids held their ears, my friend popped the balloons (turns out I’m a little scared of them myself) and it snowed. Brilliant! We had snow.
To do this yourself you will need a funnel, ripped or cut up square of tissue paper in your desired colour, large balloons and a long pen or stick. Place the deflated balloon over the funnel end and using your pen/stick, push the paper into the balloon until they are around half full. Inflate the balloon a little and shake the contents to expand them into shape. They are now ready to blow up and hang.
I also created paper bunting on Powerpoint. My Mac has this nifty little app that allows me to colour match, so I filled the triangles with our chosen Frozen colour and then added Miss N’s name in the centre of each triangle. Two triangles per page, not much work and they were customised to her name. Decorations done!
In recent years, the dessert table has become a hugely popular item and parties. I love the look. I don’t really like the price tag. This year I decided to put aside my need to create a visual masterpiece with a huge budget and go simple. Each year T complains that my gorgeous looking cakes don’t actually taste that great so I decided to find out if the place that I purchased the most divine cupcakes from years ago made cakes as well. They did indeed. So with only 3 days to go until our party date, I rang Lushcups – www.lushcups.com.au in Concord and found myself ordering a triple deck (chocolate, caramel and white chocolate mud) 6″ cake in Tiffany blue with dots (thanks to Caprice at Perth Kidz I was able to tell the kids that they were snowballs!). This creation was a mere $60.00. I added a tiara and voila – Frozen cake. It was delicious and Miss N was lost for words on seeing it. The perfect response, right?
I added Reindeer Balls, a pun lost on the kids – but which made very adult laugh, to the table (recipe here); Snowmen on a stick (simply purchase some from ebay. I bought these for under $5.00 delivered), then push two marshmallows down and add an oreo biscuit for the hat. A smart person would invest in an edible pen to draw faces. This little detail escaped me until too late. You will find the Twinkle Sprinkle Cake Decoration Edible Marker at Woolworths for $3.21 or probably anywhere else. Next time. Snowballs (apricot balls) which are so easy to make (recipe here); snowflakes (I purchased Fresh Meringues Vanilla Minis and drizzled white chocolate on top and added some yellow edible glitter I had in the cupboard); blue ice cubes (I used the recipe from Bubbly Nature Creations but it refused to sit nicely in cubes. I filled cupcake wrappers and added mini spoons. It was less messy and the kids loved it!); Chocolate coated marshmallows; freshly baked shortbread and I had myself a dessert table.
I also added a table of goodness for those who love savouries. This was simply Snowman noses (carrots), dips, chips, deli meats, olives – your typical mezzo. It was all eaten and I think everyone was satisfied. A trip to Pizza Hut for 10 pizzas and we had a warm afternoon spread.
I visited a number of free sites for printables. Oh My Fiesta has a plethora of toppers for cupcakes and cakes and water labels; As does Frost Your Party; Delicate Construction and Our Thrifty Ideas. Our Best Bites had my favourite as they lent themselves to the theme without being too over the top Frozen. I used these ones across our tables.
What’s a party without lots of games. I revel in the opportunity to play and my children’s parties never fail to delight. For a fortnight leading up to the party I brainstormed and deliberated on the different games we could play that would engage all participants from the 3 year old to 8 year old. I think we succeeded (although the older group were quite happy to play soccer most of the time). *please note that I could only publish images with my children and a couple of others as I didn’t seek permission from Miss N’s school friends to be included. I know you all have great imaginations – so think of what the best image would look like for the activity in your mind and you’ll get it right 😉
Pass the Parcel
Organising this game freaked me out a little. It is Miss N’s favourite party game but I always have the internal debate “should I include a prize in every wrapper?”. This year I decided I wouldn’t. Instead, each layer included a challenge with a Frozen theme such as “sing a few lines from your favourite Frozen song” or “dance for 10 seconds like a Goblin from Frozen”. There was lots of laughter and not much reaction from not receiving a prize.
Snow Sled Race
After acquiring a cardboard apple crate at work (thank you nameless painter for leaving it behind!), I cut it in half, added ribbon to create two Snow Sled’s. On the Friday night before the party I filled two containers with water and put them in the freezer. On the party day I arranged the kids into two groups and explained that they needed to imagine that they were Kristoff’s reindeer Sven and needed to pull the ice blocks to the far end of the backyard and back again. They could only move when the ice was in their sled, so if it fell out they would need to stop and put it back in before they continued.
The beauty of ice is that it slides. Simply running as fast as you can will result with your ice block sliding off your sled slowing you down as you stop to put it back in. It’s cold and slippery too, so not easy to put back in the self. Our big boys learned this quickly after they were slowed down numerous times after galloping off in a hurry. Our winners took their time walking slowly so the ice stayed in. It was as if the Tortoise and the Hare had come to life in our backyard!
Build a Snowman
With Olaf a central character in the movie Frozen I knew a Snowman game needed to be on the cards. But what to do? Last year at Halloween we created life sized mummies by wrapping ourselves in toilet paper. This game easily transferred across to our Frozen party. I repurchased cheap, white two ply toilet paper ready for this game. I also searched through the house for a couple of beanies and scarves to use. I then divided the team into two (three per team – by this stage the older kids were off playing soccer). Armed with a couple of rolls of toilet paper, a beanie and a scarf, the teams were instructed the choose one member of their group to be the snowman. I quickly showed them how to wrap the toilet paper (start and the head and work down – it is easier) and then instructed them to build their snowman. It was hilarious! As a team they needed to workout how to move roll the toilet paper around their snowman so it didn’t break. On completion they only needed to add a scarf and beanie.
As a secondary game, we had a snowman race – no running allowed. The movement unravelled the paper which resulted in further laughing and shouts of “hurry, hurry. You’re melting!”. I highly recommend this game.
Donut Eating Race
This game has always been a favourite of mine. Prior to our party I tied a piece of a string to the clothes line for every kid coming to the party. I estimated the length I would need to meet their chins. On the day of the party I tied a donut to the end of the string ready for the game. The instructions were for each child to stand in front of their chosen donut, keep their hands behind their back and when I said “GO!” try to eat the donut the fastest without touching it. The boys were victorious, but everyone was rewarded with a full tummy.
Pin the nose on Olaf
Olaf is forever losing his nose. To create a Frozen version of Olaf I simply printed the template from A Thrifty Mom and transferred it to a large poster and then cut out orange triangles from card stock for his nose. A little blue tac and a blindfold and we were ready to go. A simply idea which provided lots of laughter.
Kindy kids often need structure during free play sessions. I was a little worried that they may not know what to do as a group when I was busy
socialising preparing food and I would rather be proactive than tear out my hair afterwards. On a large poster I listed 8 activities they could do together if they were stuck for ideas. I listed: What’s the time Mr Wolf?, Duck Duck Goose, Mountain River Ground and Smelly Socks (we created these games ourselves), Tips, Kicks, Hide & Seek, Statues, and Nursery Rhyme bash. I noted that they did refer to these a number of times across the day, but also occupied themselves with their own imaginative play on occasion.
Is it me or are lolly bags getting more and more over the top? This year I went simple. I ordered chevron bags from eBay ($3.00 for a pack of 10 with free shipping) and filled them with pre wrapped lollies. We also happened on a sticker book sale at Kmart and bought a Frozen or Superhero sticker book for each participant (girls could choose superhero if they liked and vice versa. Tara Moss once won a Barbie because she was a *girl* and I’m reluctant for such a memory to have lasting impression on anyone. Ideally everyone should have received a Frozen book). A few extra trinkets and were complete. We never got around to adding “It was Snow nice of you to come to my party” tags as time ran away from us, but that would have been a nice touch.
As the day turned into evening our party goers slowly made their leave. Both my little ones were exhausted and after a frenzied “open the presents as fast as we can” showered and went to bed without every complaining. I think that’s a successful party. What do you think? And to think in a couple of weeks I am doing it all over again with a much anticipated 8th birthday “Minecraft” get together!!