by Polly McCourt of Sage Cosmetic Coaching
My toddler, Alfie, is absolutely obsessed with Koalas. Whenever he sees them pictured in a book, he gushes and kisses the page. So come Alfie’s 3rd Birthday, throwing him a Koala themed party seemed a no brainer. I don’t profess to be in any way a fancy party planner, but I did create a special day that he loved. If you’ve got a koala lover like mine on your hands, I hope these ideas help you out.
The Set Up
We’re quite lucky that Alfie’s Birthday is in May, when the weather is not too hot or too cold for an outdoor party. So far we’ve been lucky with the weather each year and have not had any rain (Oh no! I may have jinxed it for next year!). I set up some trestle tables and created a banner for over the top wishing Alfie a Happy Birthday. I simply printed the message on normal paper, folded and stapled it to string. I used some gum leaf images to fit the theme. We used 2 long pieces of dowel hammered into the ground to hang the banner nicely over the spread of food. It would have worked just as well to hang it at the front of the tables. We put some coloured sheets down on the ground for a hang out area in lieu of actually providing seating. It worked for us! My mum brought along a beautiful big bunch of gumleaves and gumnuts, so we positioned them around to add to the Australiana feel.
The Dress Ups
Because I’m not the most organized of people, I wanted to make sure our guests could fit into our Koala theme, without having to dress up or be organized themselves. I made some Koala Ears out of cardboard and stapled them to some very cheap headbands. We invited guests to grab a pair when they arrived and a use some face paint to draw on a nose if they would like. One friend showed up in a full Koala onesie, which he already owned! So that added an extra element to the party. Alfie wore a gorgeous, and perfectly fitting, green Tshirt from Fox and Beau that says “Little Gumnut” on the front. The air was a little brisk, so he wore a jumper over it for most of the time, but I tried to keep it unzipped so everyone could see.
3 is an akward age for party games, so I wanted to have just a few little activities around for the children to do with their parents. We set up a simple craft activity for the kids to glue pre-cut ears, eyes and nose to a Koala picture. We had an example set up for them to copy. We also had a leaf threading activity, where they created a leafy garland to wear around their neck. I collected a whole basket of leaves from the ground the day before, cut lengths of string, and had some chunky plastic needles for them to thread onto.
The most important part of any birthday party is OBVIOUSLY the cake. I made it a goal of mine to make Alfie’s birthday cake every year, despite my quite novice baking skills. I am very proud this year to have made a cake that very much resembled a Koala! I searched a very basic koala image online to base it on. I think watching Netflix’s Nailed It actually helped me to figure out how to cut the cake into the basic shape, then some grey icing, a nose and eyes were all I needed to get the look right. I was stoked, and so we he. It was the icing on the cake (pun intended) to simple spread of food that included bags of popcorn, Anzac Cookies that Alfie and I made together for the guests, some fruit, muffins, finger sandwiches and store bought sausage rolls and sushi platter.
We had a fantastic day. We sent the guests home with a little Koala toy and a Caramello Koala. He got a lifetime’s worth of Koala themed presents and I got those “I’m a great Mum” feels- so WIN WIN!
Polly is a qualified Naturopath and one half of Sage Cosmetic Coaching, teaching you how to make professional style natural cosmetics at home. Her most important role is as Mum to Alfie and brings her love of all things natural, homemade and crafty to both her home and professional life.