Nina’s Birthday Party/新菜のお誕生日会

I’m not a big birthday party person.  I know, I have two toddlers, but I am just not a big birthday party girl.  That’s always the difficult thing with kids.  How to make it THEIR day, but a day where the parents don’t go completely insane.  At Nina’s day care, it seems like most parents just do a small party at the school, then one later with just family. Since most of Nina’s close friends are from her school, I decided to make her school party THE party.  I asked her teachers if they could set aside an hour or so for Nina’s birthday party.  Nina is currently in N1 (she’s moving up to N2 after her birthday) but a lot of her friends are in N2, so I requested to do her party with both classes.  That’s about 24 kids.

I picked a gender neutral theme, Dragons, so all the kids could have fun.  One of Nina’s favorite movies is “How to Train Your Dragon” and she has a “Dragonology” bestiary that she enjoys, which ‘details’ the nature of dragons around the world. First, I had to decide on an activity that made sense with 24 two to four year olds.  I figured a simple arts and crafts activity that they could take home as a favor would work.

Dragons -> Time of Kings and Queens -> Crown -> Kids make their own crowns!

There was an idea.  So I went to my FAVORITE store, Daiso.  The best import from Japan.  For $2, (think it should really be $1), you can get everything under the sun.  Need a bento box? Done.  Need an LED light? Done. Mini-security alarm to walk at night? Done. Those corner thingies to keep your children from whacking their heads on tables? Done. Belt, slippers, most kitchen thingies, kids’ toys, gift wrapping, anything you need, Daiso’s got it.  For my purposes, I raided the arts and crafts section for shiny stickers, felt stickers, the cell phone decorating sticker jewels and more shiny lace stickers at the gift wrapping section. I never thought I would spend more than $100 at Daiso, but I did.  Afterwards, I dropped by Spotlight, a significantly more expensive crafts store to get some bigger jewel pieces.  I then happened to look in SKP on the way home and they had pre-cut crown cutouts in red, gold, silver, blue and pink.  Good to have the color variations so the boys could have fun too.  So my crafts shopping was done and I was pretty happy with the selection I picked up.  I then prepped the items in advance, cutting out all the jewels and the stickers into manageable pieces for the kids.

Now for the main attraction, the Dragon. I found Sinsations by Radhika on Facebook and, since her cakes looked fabulous, decided to order from her.  I sent her several images of our desired Dragon cake and we chatted on the phone about the color and the decorations. I wanted a treasure chest with gold coins and jewels with a dragon on top.  And look at the cute dragon she made for us!  Radhika managed to make rice krispy treats since they don’t sell them in Singapore to make this adorable plump dragon.  Marc kept saying the dragon looks like Mila, and it kind of did. Nina screamed when she saw her cake and screeched, “DRAGON CAKE! MY DRAGON CAKE!  SO CUUUTE!“ That’s always a good sign.  I did notice a lot of the kids said “Dinosaur cake!” and when I tried to say, “No no, dinosaurs aren’t purple, this is a DRAGON cake.” They calmly responded with, “Dragons don’t exist.” Well, there’s your realist Singapore education for ya.  I’d like to think it’s because it wasn’t the skinny Chinese dragon they’re used to. I had originally planned to explain the dragon on the Dragonology book to introduce the dragon cake to the kids, but since I arrived late, I didn’t get the chance.  The kids were already jumping up and down in excitement screaming “Dinosaur cake!” so I let it go. Such a klutz…  I had picked up a pink crown candle at Spotlight and it was perfect for the dragon’s head.  Nina loved her dragon and all the kids wanted to have its head, but we had to take the dragon home whole for our birthday girl. Nina happily devoured the head as an after dinner dessert.  Check out Radhika’s blog if you are looking for a person to make a special cake! http://sinsationscakes.wordpress.com/

After the cake, everyone went to wash their hands and face and we set up for arts and crafts time.  Nina had a special pink crown cutout with fancy decorations, so she got a bit of a head start. Small cheat for our birthday girl.  I had a whole speil about the dragon coming to visit the class and sharing the jewels, and that each crown color stood for a different virtue….but I don’t think anyone heard that bit, so I quickly gave up and just went into distributing the cutouts. The kids did get to choose which color they got.  As the kids received their crowns, we asked the teachers to put their names on the back so they could take the right one home.  Since the cutouts were clearly too big for kids that age, I also brought a stapler with me and I would measure the child’s head when he/she was finished and staple the crown so it fit them perfectly.  I was pretty impressed by how the children sat down, focused on their project and laid out their stones and stickers.  Some connected similar pieces and others laid out different ones in order. It was such chaos when we were dealing with the cake, I was starting to think this arts and crafts may have been a bad idea.  Thanks to the teachers who sat at each table and helped the children, once they started, they were perfect little productive kids.  Loved the creativity in each one.

I think everyone had a great time, and they were so cute with their completed crowns. Most of all, Nina was having a blast with her friends, laughing and making her special crown.  She sang about her really cool dragon cake and was thrilled to be the center of attention.  Such a change from a year ago when she cried at her own birthday party.

We all had to laugh when one boy kept saying, “I’m a Queen! I’m a Queen!” Maybe in 20 years, kiddo, if you so choose.  I love that kid, too cute.

Overall a successful birthday celebration.  Now, time to brain storm for next year!

A BIG Thank You to Nina’s teachers and Radhika for being flexible and supporting a couple of klutzy parents trying to make our little girl’s birthday a special one.

新菜さん、三歳になりました!前々から大きな誕生日会はまだ早いかな~、と思っていたのとパパの休みがとれたので、新菜のお世話になっているデイケアにお願いして、特別パーティーをして貰う事にしました。新菜の学校は結構融通が利くので、そういうわがままも聞いてれて、ありがたいです。新菜はN1なんですが(誕生日の後N2に行く予定)仲の良いお友達がN2にたくさんいるので一緒にやらせていただくようにお願いしました。テーマは男の子でも女の子でも楽しめるようにドラゴンで決定。新菜の好きな映画とドラゴン学の本をインスピレーションにして、簡単に出来る工作を考えてみました。何しろ2クラスで総勢24名の2歳から4歳の子供達が一時間以内で集中できて、片付けも余りてのかからないクラフトを考えるのが結構大変で。少し考えた後、ドラゴンといえば、王様と女王様の時代、といえばやっぱ王冠だな、と思い込みだけで決定しました。こちらではパーティーの時にFavor、おみやげ?みたいなものを用意するんですが、それを省いて作った冠を持って帰ってもらう事にしました。冠の切り抜きを全員分作るのが大変かな、と思っていたんですが、SKPで既に切ってある冠セット、しかも青、金色、銀色、赤、ピンクがあって、男の子でも楽しめそうなものを運よく見つけたのでラッキー。イメージ通りのものが見つかるのって嬉しいですね~。

次はケーキ。ドラゴンの演出はケーキでやるしかないな、と思ったんですが、やっぱり難しいドラゴンケーキ。作れそうな人を探していたらSinsations by Radhikaというサイトを見つけて、見てみると、フリーでケーキを作っている方で、色々素敵なデザインのケーキをつくっていらっしゃるようで、お願いしてみたら、丁度空いてるので出来るとの事で、お願いました。電話で、宝箱に大きなドラゴンが宝石とコインを守ってる感じ、とか相当わけの分からない説明と写真をいくつか送っておねがいしたんですが、さすがです~。とってもかわいいパープルドラゴンが見事宝箱の上でチョコンと座ってるじゃないですか~。しかもこのドラゴン、ライスクリスピーで作ってあるんですが、このライスクリスピーはシンガポールでは売っていないのでそこから作られたそうです。マークいわく実良に似てないか?少し似てる。いや~、かわいいケーキ、大満足でした~。Radhikaさんのブログはこちらですので、お子様に特別なケーキを準備してあげたいけど、自分では難しい、と思う方、必見ですよ~!http://sinsationscakes.wordpress.com/

後は親愛なるDaisoでキラキラシート、フェルトシート、キラキラレーステープにデコストーンを大量に買い込み(Daisoで100ドル以上って凄い!)それとPlaza Singapura のSpotlight(高い…)で少し補充して、飾りの用意完璧。のりやテープを使うには大人の手が足りないの全てシール。全部台紙を切ってばらばらにした状態で持って行って、テーブルに分けて置けばいい状態にしておく。当日は早めに行って準備するはずが、ケーキをとりにいくのに迷子になりまして、(バカ)肝心の親が遅れて到着(泣)。着いた途端に新菜と子供さ3人程が走って来てケーキを覗いちゃったので、びっくり、の顔を取れませんでした。でも子供達が集まってくると、新菜も大興奮でDRAGON CAKE! MY DRAGON CAKE! SO CUUUTEと大騒ぎ。他の子もキャーキャー喜んでいました。でも皆恐竜ケーキって言ってたんだよな~、中華系の竜(細長いやつ)じゃないからかな~。”恐竜じゃないよ、ドラゴンよ“って言っても、”ドラゴンなんていないよ~(笑)“って返ってくる。さすがシビアな現実主義、シンガポールの子供達…最初にドラゴン学の本を紹介して、ケーキの出して、このドラゴンが貯めた宝石を皆に特別に分けてくれるんだよ、とか冠の色は金色が勇気で、銀は賢さ…とこまこまバックストーリーを考えてあったんですが、遅れて来たので披露する暇もなし、ああ、ま、いっか、皆聞いてないっぽいし。orzまずは回りのKit Katをはがして配り、コインを配り、それからケーキを切って(削って?)配りました。子供達、大喜び。でも頭を食べたがる子多数。その場で解体する勇気がなかったのでうちに持って帰って新菜の晩御飯の後のデザートに頭は頂きました。Spotlightでたまたま買った王冠ロウソク。ドラゴンの頭にピッタリ。今回はいい買い物したわ~。歌も2回歌って貰って、新菜もご満悦。

ケーキの後は一旦片づけて、手を洗って貰ったら、工作タイム。ケーキの時は大騒ぎでどうなるもんかと相当不安になりましたが、意外と工作が始まると皆落ち着いて集中してやってくれました。配る時、王冠の裏に先生に名前を書いてもらいました。切り抜きは大人やもう少し大きい子供むけなので、ホッチキスを持って行って、終わった子からサイズチェックして留めていきます。新菜の王冠には最初からちょっと派手なストーンを付けておいたので、皆がほめてくれたりして、嬉しそうでした。先生も私もつくっていいですか~、って聞いてくれて、ご自分のを子供と一緒に作っていたり、皆が楽しめて良かったです。ぴったりあった王冠を被って皆大喜び。一人かぶりたがらない子もいましたが、それでも工作は楽しそうにやっていたので、ほっとしました。もう3歳になると、みんな楽しいデザインを作っていくのが、見ていてもとっても楽しかったです。レースをちゃんと並べたり、デコストーンで模様を作ったり、皆工夫して自分の特別な王冠を作っていました。取り合いになったりしないかな、と思っていたのですっが、それぞれ一生懸命で、心配いりませんでした。

完成した冠を被って“I’m a Queen! I’m a Queen!” と叫ぶ男の子が一人。いいよ、それが君の望む未来なら、ガンバレ。全員爆笑。いや~、子供ってかわいいなあ。

子供も大人も楽しい誕生日でした。さ、来年はどうしようかな。

新菜の先生たちとRadhikaさん、不器用な遅刻魔の親でも娘の誕生日を素敵な思いでに出来るように手伝って下さって、ありがとうございました!

Arts and Crafts, Ready!

Arts and Crafts, Ready!

The cutest dragon cake ever!

The cutest dragon cake ever!

Nina in awe

Nina in awe

Awesome cake!

Awesome cake!

Kids working on their special crown

Kids working on their special crown

Arts and crafts fun

Arts and crafts fun

The group shot outside

The group shot outside

Nina and Mila's crowns

Nina and Mila’s crowns

Nina and her dragon head

Nina and her dragon head

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6 thoughts on “Nina’s Birthday Party/新菜のお誕生日会

  1. radhika25

    Thank you M for the shout out.
    The kids must have loved the jewelled crowns! Your post made such exciting reading, as Spotlight and Daiso are my favourite stores too 🙂
    R

    Reply
  2. Deepa

    What a cute dragon! I can imagine how Radhika must have enjoyed creating this cute monster. 🙂
    Also It was so much fun reading the blog in 日本語 (Japanese ). I remembered my trips to Tokyo-hands,100 yen shops and similar art and craft places when my son was growing up.
    So well written Miyuki. I am glad you found Radhika for this difficult Job.
    お誕生日 おめでとうございます Nina.

    Reply
  3. duellanguages Post author

    Thank you Deepa! Yes, I’m so glad we found Radhika to make this awesome cake.
    I’m glad you enjoyed reading the Japanese post, were you living in Japan for a long time? Please come visit my blog again if you are looking for a quick Japanese read!

    Reply
  4. laurasmess

    Naw, how cute! What a gorgeous, gorgeous cake and a lovely birthday celebration for Nina! I hadn’t discovered ‘Dual languages’ before so it was nice becoming acquainted with another talented blogger too. Great job with the cake Radhika! xx

    Reply
    1. duellanguages Post author

      Thank you Laura, love the Prosciutto and Roast Sweetcorn Muffins on your blog! It’s 11PM and I’m getting hungry!

      Reply

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