We threw a soccer party in celebration of Sean’s 8th birthday last weekend. I can’t believe my little Sean is 8!
We settled on a soccer theme quite easiy. Sean loves soccer – he trains in school twice a week playing the defender role and he cannot get enough of the game!
I only started prepping for the party less than a fortnight before the party. Having been through a few parties, I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t by now! I generally kept the party quite simple, retaining the good bits that the children like and weeded out the rest which no one ever really cared about! HAHA
I thought the soccer theme would be quite a hard theme to adapt to a mixed group of kids (with many girls) of varying ages but surprisingly it came together quite nicely. And I have to admit it is actually a super fun party theme – there’s just so much you can do!
On the morning of the party, I blew up a small bunch of white, black and green helium balloons and put up the birthday banner. My friend Meiru was kind enough to pass on her son Ryan’s banner from two weeks earlier – and all I had to do was replace 2 letters and ta-da, it was perfect for our party!
It was pouring all afternoon so I was really grateful for cool, slightly overcast weather tjust before for the party. I think we have been very lucky for all our parties so far, phew!
How cute did the boys look decked out in their soccer togs! They just wore their training jerseys (Jo wore Sean’s extra set) and I only bought new socks for all of them coz theirs were getting quite ratty. Yay!
My mum and helper helped to prepare the party food since morning. The usual fried beehoon, oven-roasted chicken wings, fruit satay and lots of finger food for the kids – seaweed chicken, fish balls, chicken nuggets. I made mashed potato and a big salad.
Instead of my usual craft table, we set up a table of Magnatiles, kiddy rides and a goalpost (from Decathlon) for the kids to play.
The younger kids busied themselves with Magnatiles while the older kids tried their skills/luck at penalty shoot-outs. Even the girls who have never kicked a soccer ball before really got into it. Super fun! Erm yes, the ball ended up into the pool at one point!
(Yes I did remind everyone beforehand to come dressed in comfy clothes and shoes!)
As always, we started with Pass the Parcel. It’s a great warm-up game for kids – everyone can join in regardless of age!
The forfeits for this party were largely soccer-themed, like ‘Balance a soccer ball on your head’, ‘Dribble a ball around the circle’ and ‘Shout Ole Ole Ole!’ but I also snuck in a few silly ones like ‘Touch your tongue to your nose’ (very funny to watch everyone attempt this at the same time!) or ‘Do a silly dance’ 🙂
Most of the kids have been playing this game since they were babies – I have a feeling they will probably not want to join in soon, Sean included! SOBS!Next came the Soccer Drills.
Foops came up with simple challenges for the children – dribble a ball through the cones, overhead throw, toe taps on a ball and a final kick into the goal. All the children were encouraged to complete the stations and they did at their own pace. Big thanks to all the daddies for gamely stepping up to help man the stations!
On hindsight, I think we could have easily incorporated at least 2 more stations especially for the older kids who whizzed through the whole thing in minutes! Ah well, maybe next time.
For completing the Soccer Drills challenge, the children were presented with a medal, or to be more specific, an edible ‘number 8’ medal. HAHAHA, I was so proud of myself for coming up with the idea! So easy to execute, I got to use my recycled ribbons stash and the children loved it! 🙂
Next up, pinata time. I made a soccer ball pinata, of course. I was so proud of it – it was HUGE and perfectly ROUND because I used a inflatable beach ball instead of a balloon!
Alas, it broke during the party!!! Not sure why – maybe because it was too big and heavy or I didn’t make it thick enough this time. Sigh, first time it has ever happened!
Anyway the show had to go on because the children were all looking forward to bashing the pinata! (Not only my children have come to expect a pinata at our parties, our little guests have similarly high expectations now!)
The poor, ailing pinata had to be put on ‘chair support’ but really, the children couldn’t care any less. They really gave it a good bashing – look at their gleeful little faces! So funny.
Our final game was Treasure Hunt (which all the children have come to expect of our parties as well). I gave out a list of items for the children to find so that the younger children who were given a big headstart had a chance to collect everything too.
Hee, how serious do the children look hunting for ‘treasure’! This is also another really easy game to execute – if you have the space – and it is very popular with the children!
Oh, for the goodie bags, I just printed soccer balls with the kids’ names and fill them with age-appropriate colouring and craft kits (like DIY card sets for the girls that I got on sale from Cotton On Kids).
Last but not least, the birthday cake, or cakes in our case!
This year, I ordered a jelly cake from a home baker (search for ‘Aunty Yochana Jelly Cake’ on Facebook) as a few of our guests have diary allergies. I only saw the cake when we opened it in front of the children so I was just as enamoured by the cake as they were! It was an elaborate Pikachu jelly cake surrounded with a lot of soccer balls – I can’t imagine how much work went into it!
I was a bit worried the jelly cake may not be enough to go round so I decided to bake another cake. I baked a lemon sponge cake with cream cheese swiss meringue buttercream and kept the design very simple with a number 8 in sprinkles. The boys helped me add the sprinkles that morning and you can bet my entire kitchen floor was covered with sprinkles after that!
The children gathered to sing the birthday song and cut the cake. Thank goodness we had two cakes because they were just enough for our guests! I was very flattered when a few kids came to ask me for my cake instead of the jelly cake and said it was very yummy! (I thought it was very well-done this time too!)
I hope everyone had a good time at the party. I know my boys and I did! Till the next party – Jo and Ryan are already telling me what they want for their party in Jan/Feb next year (likely a Trolls party)!
For Sean’s birthday this year, we asked everyone not to bring presents because our boys are very blessed and the really do have a lot of toys already! Instead, we asked our guests to donate to their favourite charity in Sean’s name if they so wished.
Everyone was more than forthcoming with their donations and we are very grateful.
Gugu was nice enough to go through the World Vision website with Sean and after much contemplation, he chose to give books and educational materials to a child in China and 6 chickens to a family in Philippines. Such a great experience for Sean to be on the giving end to bless others!
Don’t worry I did set aside a few birthday presents for Sean – I am not that selfless or heartless! HAHAAfter the party, Sean actually fell quite ill on his actual birthday (Aug 15)! He had a raging fever and a bad throat which took a few days for him to recover from. We got him a cake and icecream on his actual birthday but he was in no mood for them.
When he was finally well enough two days later, he finally allowed us to sing the birthday song for him (again) and blow out the cake!
If you are keen, you can check out the rest of our parties:
Ryan and Jo’s Pokemon party
Sean turns 7 (with a kampung-themed party)!
Yoho, Ryan and Jo! (pirate theme)
Sean turns 6! (superhero theme) (preparations)
Happy birthday to my two little turtles! (Ninja Turtle theme)
A Mr Men and Little Miss party for a special 5 year old
Lala lala It’s Ryan’s second birthday (Elmo theme)
Robot Sean turns 4!
Ryan turns 1! (vintage circus/funfair theme)
Sean turns 3: Dinosaur birthday bash! (preparations)
Sean turns 2!
Turning one (The Hungry Caterpillar theme)
Happy 8th birthday to my sweetheart Sean. You are a very sweet, good-natured and thoughtful boy. You are dorky as can be and we can always count on you to come up with the silliest games with your brothers. You love nothing more than soccer, having Pokemon battles with your brothers, reading comics and playing Plants vs Zombies on the phone (which you know Mama is not too happy about). I know school and the monotony of weekday routines (like piano practice) are sometimes a bit hard on you – some days we get frustrated and lose our patience with you but you always take it all in stride and never hold it against us. I pray that you will always have a good heart and that Mama and Papa will have the patience and wisdom to bring you up to be smart and kind. Please know that you (and your brothers) bring us so much joy we can’t imagine our lives without you. We love you.