Daughter turned six last year (yeah, I know, the post is ONE year late in coming. Her 7th birthday is over too!)
India has limited options for ‘themed’ birthday parties and the options available are either too expensive or too unimaginative. So we decided on Minnie Mouse. Her initial choices were Wizard of Oz and Doc McStuffins, but her friends hadn’t heard of either. (I know, right? Cue the eye roll). So we settled on a more relatable theme and here we are.
I created my own invitation card using canva.com. The ready made ones were tacky, impersonal, not eco friendly and too much trouble (imagine actually going to each invitee personally to give an invitation which would eventually be thrown in the bin!) I simply forwarded the said e-card on whatsapp. I could send it multiple times and even to people who live at a distance.
For the food. I don’t think its NECESSARY to have one big cake. I am not into the whole candle blowing ritual anyway. I figured cupcakes would do just as well. However, it’s not easy to find cupcake toppers in India. I scoured the net to find ‘bow’ shaped sprinkles or the likes for the Minnie Mouse cupcakes to no avail. Finally my niece asked me to just scrape out the ‘cream’ between Oreo biscuits and cut them diagonally to shape them into ‘bows’. Best advice EVER; considering how I was gonna use the Oreos for the ‘ears’ ANYWAY!
I did end up spending a ‘Minnie’ fortune on online bought party supplies eventually, namely the polka dotted paper ware. For the rest, I just stuck to good old imagination to bring it all together. The parents who came to drop off their kids seemed more excited to see the table than the kids themselves!
I used my stopper lid storage jars as beakers to store/display the candy and snacks (dark pink ‘HALAL’ gummy candy and strawberry wafer biscuits) . I simply removed the lids and taped cheap polka dot ribbon around it. I placed them on a cake stand for instant chic.
My friend Janina, who helped me with the setting, got my daughter a toy Minnie to go with the theme. She came in early and I incorporated the gift as a decor element. My mom had some cheap plastic plate holders she bought as a souvenir to hold her photo embossed plates from her Malaysia trip. I used them to hold up the pretty paper plates. Though in retrospect, I doubt if I would be spending on decor based plates again. They’re needlessly expensive and are eventually covered totally with the food so lose their relevance too.
As for the backdrop, I simply pinned polka dot wrapping paper on cheap cork boards with tacks and took Minnie mouse print outs, cut them out and glued them on the boards. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! To think I would have spent a proper bomb if I had gone for store bought display options! I did the same for the foreground. I had two IKEA stand frames. I simply inserted some patterned paper that I had with a Minnie cut out pasted on each. Voila!
For the activities, I took black and white prints of bow templates and asked each girl to color/decorate their bow. That took up some sizable amount of quiet time and it was a good starting point for the party as we waited for all the kids to arrive. Next, we played ‘pin the bow on Minnie’s head’ which is just a variant of pin the donkey’s tail, only the donkey we replaced with a black chart paper silhouette of Minnie’s head and the tail was replaced with the said self decorated bows. For the rest we stuck to the regular parry games.
The return gift/party favor was easy to decide on: Minnie Mouse bow hairbands! Those were instant hits!