We celebrated Ryan and Jo’s 5th and 3rd birthdays with a small party at home last weekend. We chose to do it after CNY so it was a good 2-3 weeks after their actual birthdays!
They initially chose a Paw Patrol theme which would have been very age-appropriate but later, Ryan changed his mind and decided to have a Pokemon party instead (much to Sean’s delight) because that was cooler. Poor Jo had no say in it; he went along with whatever his brothers wanted! #lifeofathirdchild
I threw the entire party together in about a week, haha. Coz I am kinda an old hand at throwing last-minute parties by now, haha! I kept the theme quite simple and relatable, since I didn’t want to spend too much money and most of our little guests were not really Pokémon fans 😉
The weather has been a bit unpredictable lately so I was very relieved to see that it was nice and cool on the day of the party. I think we have been very lucky in this regard for all our parties so far!!!
I could have gotten Pokemon costumes for the boys but I really didn’t think the older boys would agree to wear them so I settled on Pokemon t-shirts (from Qoo10). I also got Pikachu rompers for Jo and my 1yo nephew – they looked super cute in them though Jo’s was a tad too small for him.
Before the party though, Ryan (who is in a very fussy stage where he only wants to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants with no pockets) decided to ditch his t-shirt and wear the new Pokemon pajamas from Yiyi. So if he ever asks me why he was in pajamas at his birthday party, I will tell him this story.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, I set up a small craft station for the children to make their own Pikachu ears. I wore mine (just stapler-ed the yellow ears to my hairband) proudly but sadly, the children were not so keen to sit down to do any craft because there were far better things to do and play with. Thank goodness I didn’t spend too much time on this!
We didn’t do a barbeque this time round (which actually made things less stressful during the party).
My mum and helper spent the entire day preparing a few dishes for the party – vegetarian beehoon, fried fish/sotong balls, oven-baked chicken wings, seaweed chicken, mashed potato, baked cheese + broccoli, a salad, bubor chacha and freshly squeezed orange juice. I think I prefer homemade fare over catered food any day!
To warm the kids up, we started with a simple game – Pin the tail on Pikachu! Lots of giggles as we blindfolded the children one by one and spun them dizzy to pin the tails. I rewarded the kids who pinned the three closest tails with small presents. (Our dear perfectionist Ryan refused to join in the game. He said he wouldn’t be able to see and he didn’t want to pin the tail out of place. Ah, this kid of mine!)
We played Pass the Parcel next. All the kids love this game because both the older and younger children can play the game and it is not competitive in any way.
Every time the music stopped, the child holding the parcel would do a Pokemon-themed forfeit. Sean helped me come up with most of them: for example, ‘Shake your bum like Ditto’, ‘Rub your tummy like Snorlax’, ‘Give a kungfu kick like Hitmonlee’ or ‘Flap your wings like Zubat’. The children were all very sporting, even the shy ones 🙂
Once again, the birthday cake was the most stressful part of the party preparations. I really wanted to outsource the cake for this party as I cannot handle the stress that comes with baking/frosting a big cake on top of many other things for the party but almost all the bakers that I contacted said they were full. Sigh, serves me right for being so last minute.
So I googled ‘Pokemon cake’ and came up with this lemon sponge cake with cream cheese buttercream frosting in the shape of Pikachu. I thought it turned out quite well! If you look closely, you will also notice Pikachu’s dislocated ear, haha. I fixed it in place with satay sticks later.
It was not my best cake though – I actually sliced my finger while leveling the cake and I did not realize I had forgotten to add cooking oil to the cake mix until I was almost done, argh (see how it stresses me out?!).
Thankfully, the cake still tasted alright and some of the children/grown-ups actually liked it enough to come back for seconds. After this cake though, I have firmly established that I hate working with fondant. I only used it for the eyes and the letters, and I spent a ridiculous amount of time on them – the fondant was so fiddly to work with!
But ah well, the children were in awe of the completed cake and their happy faces made all the hard work worth it!
Next, we moved on to the Pokehunt (treasure hunt)!
We gave out the goodie bags which my sis helped to draw and Sean helped to colour them in and write the name of the Pokemons. I filled them with storybooks and notebooks for the kids.
My sis also drew a treasure hunt map to guide the kids along. Almost all our little friends have been doing this treasure hunt at our parties since they were 2 or 3 – and they are still not tired of it. I made sure to remind the children of the items they had to collect, including a special Poke-egg that looked like poop. Haha!
A little more about the curious-looking Poke-eggs: My mum helped me make them using flour, coffee powder, soil/sand and salt (you can google ‘dinosaur eggs’ for the recipe). We stuffed small Pokemon figurines into each egg and baked them in the oven at the lowest setting.
The kids had a fun time tearing through the garden searching for treasure (snacks) and looking for Poke-eggs. Lots of fun!
And finally, no party of mine is ever complete without a homemade piñata. How do you like my 10km Poke-egg? I had to make it extra thick and sturdy because the kids are so big and strong now. Still, it took them many rounds of bashing to break the piñata. Ryan was smart enough to realize that he wasn’t going to break it so he just waited next to the piñata with his goodie bag in hand ready to pounce on the candies 😉
The boys had fun – Sean said he wants the same Pokemon theme for his birthday in August so I guess the party was a success!
These birthday parties are my little labour of love for my boys – and they are really not that hard/costly to put together with a bit of planning and creativity. I hope my boys will always remember their nutty childhood parties when they are older.
If you are keen, you can check out the rest of our parties:
Happy 5th birthday to my dear Ryan. You are, without a doubt, quite a character. You are boisterous, smart and sensitive. You are sharp as a tack. Nothing escapes you. You are quite the perfectionist and have exasperating non-negotiable preferences like choosing to wear only long-sleeved shirts and pants with no pockets. You get very frustrated when things do not go your way. We are still working on you on how to manage your explosive temper. You have many nervous habits like biting your nails (something I have been trying to stop for the longest time!) and twisting your fingers. You are very cautious by nature. You would rather stand on the side to observe an activity before joining in. You don’t like to try anything where you may not do so well or lose. I think it is good that you have your brothers so you learn how to get along with others that are different from you. In a way, you are a lot like Mama when I was young. So I understand your daily struggles even though others may not. Mama will always love and support you and walk this journey with you. We love you!
Happy 3rd birthday to my little Joey! You are the clown of the family. Everyone loves you. You still have your baby chubs which makes you very huggable. Your favourite game is Daddy and Baby, which you always play with your brothers. You also have a baby doll called Wawa whom you like to carrying in your sling. You say the funniest things. You like to say/do outrageous things (like ‘I have energy coming from buttocks!’) just to get a laugh from us. You have been pushing boundaries a lot lately. Purposely doing things like crushing biscuits and scattering them, pouring juice on the floor, destroying your brothers’ creations, etc. You are very manja when I am around. Whenever you want me to sayang you (sometimes when I am in the midst of scolding you), you will say, ‘Mama, I am Baby Boat.’ And that is my cue to give in and give you a cuddle 🙂 You are closest to Ryan now that you are going to school together. The two of you play together and also fight a lot. Sometimes your brothers like to tease you coz you are the youngest but you are learning to ignore them and become more thick-skinned. I guess that’s what third children do! You are slowly becoming more independent and starting to sleep with Sean and Ryan, instead of on Mama’s bed. I kinda miss your foot in my face sometimes. You will always be my baby. Mama loves you so very much.