I had a blast planning Ivelina's 9th birthday party. It dawned on us that even though she turned nine, this was probably her first birthday party. SO many friends and family came to join us. I told Ivelina that this party was full of people who loved her and cared for her.
I originally wanted to have the party at a picnic shelter at our local park, but the Saturdays in May were all booked up. I was disappointed at first, but it turned out to be way more fun and less stressful to have her party at home. It was sweet day!
I have to admit that I was a little worried over how she would handle the whole experience. To prepare her we did several things. We have pretended birthday party before with her stuffed animals to learn about all the things that typically happen at a party. Ya know...opening gifts, eating cake, singing "Happy Birthday." It also helped that we brought her home right after her birthday last year, and she experienced a whole year of family members' birthdays this past year. She has also attended one of her friend's (kids) party as well. A few days before her birthday, I did some modeling practicing with her about how to open gifts and receive them graciously. I tried to teach her to go slowly, and take everything out of the box to examine it. Don't rush! I taught her the phrase "I like it" and "I love it." Additionally, I emphasized to her that she should pay attention to who gave her the gift and go thank them for it immediately after opening.
Once the gift opening began, she got a little excited and tried to rush through the packages, but with a little guidance, she did okay. I am very proud of her.
Ivelina loves all things ocean lately, so her party had an ocean theme.
We had a beautiful scuba diver ocean cake made by my friend's mom.
I was very proud of my shark fruit bowl creation. That sculpting class from college came in handy!
My hubby handled most of the outdoor decorations by hanging streamers, curling ribbon, and balloons all over our house. He really did a great job!
Ivelina is not really interested in games with parameters and rules, so I steered clear of those. The only game I really had planned was a pinata. This clown fish pinata was one of the priciest items I purchased for the party and, ironically, this was the only let-down of the party. Go figure! With the second blow, the little hook detached from the fish's back. So, we quickly made a new hole for it in the tail fin, and with another blow, it broke again. I finally just ripped the thing open and slung candy and treats all around the yard. The kids got candy. They were happy. I learned that next time, I will make my own instead of wasting twenty bucks.
For activities, we stuck to simple, open-ended games like
a sand box dig for buried treasure. I hid some dollar store finds in there.
Balloons and beach balls on the trampoline. Don't underestimate the fun of balloons. I blew up around 35 balloons for this party, and almost all of them got played with and popped by the end of the night.
The swing set provided some fun as well!
Her birthday was so much fun. I can't wait to do it all again next year.