Although our fete was for my daughter's fifth birthday party, it would work brilliantly as a family day-at-home project. Preparing for it was such fun - the birthday girl gave me all the ideas - and as children's parties go, it was pretty much stress-free. We had about fourteen guests ranging in age from under 2 to over 10 years and everyone found plenty of things to do and enjoy. My helpers (thank you, all) gave out stickers to all who took part in activities, then small prizes were given out to everyone at the end.
Games in the garden:
1. Hook-a-duck - the classic fete game. Of course some guests had a paddle in the pool too.
2. Bite a biscuit - ring-biscuits were bitten off rather faster than we could tie them on their strings. There must have been some cheating going on - you weren't supposed to use your hands.
3. Lucky rainbows - colourful beanbags were thrown into or rather aimed at the pot of gold (the basket). It's trickier than it looks.
4. Make a mural - I attached a huge piece of paper to the garden wall and set out chalks and crayons for free-for-all drawing.
5. Lucky dip - our stash of shredded paper provided an inviting texture for small hands to dive into and search for treasure.
6. Apple bobbing - another classic outside party game that's definitely harder than it looks.
And the fun continued inside...
1. Make a fancy party bag - plain white paper bags were decorated with stickers and doilies. Our youngest party guest particularly enjoyed getting creative alongside the big children.
2. Decorate a cupcake - this was predictably popular. Thanks to my chief icing-maker who made a big batch before our guests arrived, we could just stand back and let the children transform their plain sponges into bejewelled masterpieces all by themselves.
3. Make nibbly necklaces - made by threading ring-shaped snacks onto colourful cord. The finished necklaces looked great and it was interesting to see how many different patterns were made from the edible beads.
4. Dressing up - always a popular activity at our house.
5. Do-it-yourself puppet theatre - several guests sorted themselves into audience and puppeteers and took it in turns to put on their shows.
6. Lego workshop - my son was in charge of offering help and ideas - and was in Lego heaven.
7. Food and drink - tea with jam and cream scones for the grown-ups and finger food for the younger guests. Easy peasy - and no time-consuming sandwich making.
And finally... the birthday cake. Desperate for one that was chocolate and had a TinkerBell theme, my daughter happily helped with its decoration - sugar daisies and white chocolate stars. The TinkerBell image was cut out from one of her magazines, backed in card and jazzed up with a little glitter.
Happy Birthday, Daisy!