Isabella turned 10 over the weekend. She is so excited to be in the double digits. I'm not sure why but she thinks that double digits makes her a bit more grown up. I am encouraging her to not grow up so fast--wish me luck!
Isabella loves Japan. I am not surprised. Her dad speaks Japanese because he lived there as a kid and again as a young man. She is currently learning to speak Japanese herself. She wants to go to school in Japan.
Her theme this year is centered around the cherry blossoms that Japan is so popular for. We have seen the cherry blossoms bloom in Washington DC that were gifted to US on March 12, 1912. We are going to Portland in March to see the Japanese Gardens and waterfront trees, and hopefully, view the cherry blossoms during their blooming season.
The party was easy to plan. The things I did to decorate were fairly easy to assemble at home or purchase from your local craft store.
To get the party started, I used a free online evite to send the parents emails. This allowed the parents to RSVP, ask me questions, and I was able to send out thank you cards after the party. This is a simple and efficient way to handle the invites.
1. A center piece of Cherry Blossom sprigs. I bought these from two different stores. I used a glass vase that I purchased on clearance at a local store in town. Inside the vase I added beach glass and shells because our home is a beach themed home. I bundled the sprigs together and placed them in the center of the vase and poured the class and placed the shells around it to hold it up. I separated the sprigs so that the fanned out and made a beautiful focal point for our table.
2. I made origami (paper toys) to scatter at the base. We are working on our 1000 crane project and this was perfect for the party.
3. I made the gift bags. I bought plain white bags (10/1.00) and cherry blossom stickers. Each bag had a few on the outside. We bought Japanese themed goodies to go inside: chopsticks, ramen, candy, and a panda rice paper balloon.
4. I made cupcakes. I bought the pink flowers at a local craft store. This was a project that we did together so that Isabella felt a part of the party plans.
The things I bought:
1. I bought a Japanese curtain with cherry blossoms and puppies. I cut this in half and used it to decorate the tables as a table runner.
2. I bought Japanese sodas from our local Asian market (gotta support local businesses).
3. I bought a dozen hot pink lanterns. These were much cheaper than buying balloons. I used fishing line to attach them to my ceiling fans and lights.
4. We bought chalk, origami paper for a craft project, and the goodie bag items mentioned above.
What we did to entertain the girls:
1. I taught the girls to make some origami toys: a piano, kimono, and the crane.
2. Cory taught the girls to speak to ten in Japanese.
3. We let the girls play outside and ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, and use chalk in our driveway.
4. They sampled a few foods from Japan.
5. They watched Kiki's Delivery Service. A cute film about a young girl becoming a witch and setting off on her first big adventure.
The party was simple. Several of the girls stated,"this was the best birthday party ever".
Now that feels good as a parent when you can provide a wonderful experience for your child's friends.