Hi peeps. Apologies if I’ve been AWOL this past week, but my pride and joy finally turned the big 4 on Saturday and I’ve been somewhat distracted putting the finishing touches to his beast of a birthday party. In fact I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if i said that planning my wedding was easier.
So cast your minds back a few months when I appealed on bended knee for some inspiration to create my demanding little dude a birthday to remember. Well you lovely folks put forward your ideas, and the lightbulb in my cavernous brain finally lit up. I was going to plan a Fireman Sam themed party for my fire engine mad monster.
So off I scurried trawling t’internet (god bless Netmums, Google and Pinterest) for venues, suppliers, materials and tips to create a party befitting of a boy who for many reasons has had a less than perfect year.
Well, it’s been two months in the making and I’ve shed more than the odd bead of sweat, but here’s how it went down:
My first and most important aim for this Fireman Sam party was to have a real fire engine. At first I didn’t know such a thing was possible, after all one might assume that fireman are a tad busy fighting fires and rescuing cats from trees to be entertaining children at parties. Well I was right, they are! But but but, my resourceful mother tipped me off that it was possible to hire a non active fire engine for parties.
I found two companies based in Essex but serving London who catered for children’s parties. They were both difficult to contact, but by now you know I’m a persistent little devil and eventually my efforts paid off and the fire engine was booked. So from now on, the rest of the party would revolve around this not insignificant centre piece.
Next came venue. Finding a location that would host a real fire engine with REAL water squirting hoses, wasn’t easy. I searched community centres, scout huts, sports clubs and purpose built party venues. Some were discounted due to lack of parking for the fire engine and some were downright overpriced! After an exasperating search I resigned myself to hosting at home AGAIN, but was nervous about the reliability of the British “summer” weather. So imagine my delight when I found a sports hall called The Centre in South Oxhey, who not only had availability, they were cheap, had a big car park and two free bouncy castles! Hell it would cost me more to hold it at home!
So that was the venue and main attractions booked. Now let’s get to the day itself.
When all the guests arrived, they had 1 hour on the impressive bouncy castles.
I also booked a face painter who offered the children Fireman Sam themed faces as well as the usual ones. Oscar went for Radar, Fireman Sam’s rescue dog.
I also bought some themed metallic balloons for decoration (a fire engine, Fireman Sam and a giant “4”) which we filled with helium and tied to some balloon weights in a cascade which could be moved easily from room to room.
For fun I also blew up some normal balloons and scattered them on the floor, which of course the kids enjoyed throwing and kicking.
Once the first hour was over, the castles were deflated and we moved into the second hall for food.
We decorated the food table in red covers, added some Fireman Sam themed stickers I made via MOO print, some Fire engine confetti and Fireman Sam themed napkins, cups and plates.
I bought red and orange “Fruit Shoot” drinks to look like fire, and made “Fireman’s Food” which consisted of a strawberry, grape and blueberry fruit salad, sandwiches for the kids, wraps for the adults, crisps, muffins, and pastries. I completed the display with the Fireman Sam cake and matching cupcakes.
Once the children had devoured the food, we sang the obligatory “Happy Birthday” to the boy while he blew the candle out on his cake.
Now the kids were full, out came a fire engine piñata and the Fireman’s hoses (made from long modelling balloons). The kids whacked the hell out of the piñata (and my dad’s hands a fair few times), and waved the hoses about like heros.
While they were distracted the fireman sneaked in.
Once the piñata was destroyed, the sweets fell to the floor and the children swarmed like a pack of vultures.
The fireman crept up to Oscar and introduced himself.
A few children (and yet more adults) chose to go out in the fire engine for a second time. While they were away, the remaining children were occupied by a game of “Pin the tail on Radar the fire dog” kindly made by my brilliant friend, but anyone with a steady hand could recreate this by drawing free hand.
Finally, just as the children were ready to leave, I handed out “Fireman’s Water Buckets” instead of party bags. I made these using some cheap red buckets, blue tissue paper for water, and some more Fireman Sam stickers made via MOO print. I thought these were a different idea and gave the kids something to use after the contents were all used.
So how did it go? I can honestly say I haven’t a clue as, much like my wedding, I spent the entire event running around like a blue arsed fly trying to ensure everyone else was entertained. So much so I couldn’t stand up by the end of it. In fact I needed that lovely fireman to carry me to the car.
I think the children had fun, I hope so. And I hope the parents had just a smidgen of fun also.
As for Oscar, I think he was overawed. So overawed he literally weed himself. I’ll take that as a compliment.
Just hoping he doesn’t expect another one until he’s 21.