My daughter Bhavya was turning 5 and it’s a curious age when kids start enjoying their birthday parties and also appreciate the work behind them. This year I wanted Bhavya to play a role in organizing her party and yet keep some things a surprise for her. Since her birthday falls in winter & vacation time, we planned a lunch and decided to use an outdoor space to host children; and an empty plot which we look after just outside our house was the perfect choice. We thought of concepts which fit well with the outdoors and shortlisted a winter picnic theme with an added element of a tent party just reliving something I always wanted as a child – my very own tent.
We scanned Pinterest for inspiration and implemented the tent by heading to Nehru place, Delhi for the canvas fabric, our old carpenter came to our rescue for the frames and a masterji in our market to convert the fabric into the tent. It was a simple execution but took time as it was a first for everyone – us, the tailor and the carpenter. To add some color and excitement for the kids we added wool pomp poms and dream catchers which we made at home on top of the tents. We also made some paper origami birds which hung from the tress and gigantic red paper flowers to give a fantasy land kind of vibe. We hung a swing from one of the trees – a simple block of wood with thick ropes from a local market as an additional element of fun.
The birthday games included a sack race and lemon and egg race – typical picnic games and some finger foods such as pasta, butterfly shaped sandwiches and some aloo poori completed the set up! For the mommies we had a ‘guess the weight of the cake’ game and the mommy who gave a right answer got the cake as a gift. This cake and Bhavyas birthday cake were made by my mom – the latter one by recycling Bhavyas Barbie doll. All of Bhavya’ s friends received a brown paper bag kit with a petunia potted plant and another empty vase with some spinach seeds and decorative gardening items for a DIY activity along with a children’s book on seeds by Tulika Publishers. Bhavya went to the nursery to personally select the plant and the vases and had a great time potting them up! It was an eco-friendly party with minimal wastage and practically no plastic.
The kids had blast in their ‘very own’ tents and loved the whole running in and out of them and the sack race and lemon and spoon entailed much laughter! The mommies were delighted to soak up some fresh air and use the swings with their kids. Bhavya was of course thrilled to have all her friends around her and loved the fact that she got to keep the tents and the innumerable gifts she received. She personally handed over her ‘return gifts’ and told her friends that they must plant the spinach and eat the ‘greens’ to become healthy and strong!
That night she slept in her tent