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Is your little one celebrating their first birthday this summer? Turning one is a special milestone – so much happens in that first year of life that it’s nice to take a breath and celebrate your journey through 12 months that are like no other! While your baby will no doubt be non-plussed by all the excitement, this special day is about you and your partner, too. Give yourselves a pat on the back and toast your whirlwind year with a glass of bubbly or two!
First birthday celebrations are best kept small in scale and summer birthdays don’t even have to be held at home if you’re worried about space. Keep your party limited to just close family and friends – this keeps the organisation and costs down for you and things manageable for your baby. Babies and a lot of fuss and noise don’t really mix! If you’re celebrating in the next few months and the weather holds, you could suggest meeting in a local park where your baby can have lots of room to crawl and play, and you can relax in the sun. Make up some picnic basics and ask your guests to each bring something delicious and portable to eat. You then just need to supply some picnic ware which is light and practical but looks a bit more special than the average plain white stuff. Our Baby Miffy range includes some lovely pieces designed especially with first birthdays in mind and features the enduringly popular rabbit character that generations of children have grown up with, adding a nostalgic touch to your celebrations. Stock up on essentials such as plates, cups and napkins which combine pretty illustrations with a delicate colour palette of pastel blues, greens and yellows.
You don’t need to go to town on an expensive celebration cake –save that outlay for the birthdays your child will remember! A simple Victoria Sponge, iced with buttercream and adorned with some colourful sprinkles and that all-important number 1 candle is perfect, or you could make individual cupcakes using the Miffy cake cases. Mix a delicate pastel coloured icing sugar in light blue or yellow to co-ordinate with the colour scheme of the Miffy tableware and top with a cupcake pick, featuring one of Miffy’s animal friends. If you’re celebrating away from home, the co-ordinating Miffy cake stand is perfect – it packs flat so is easy to transport and then assemble when you arrive at your destination.
When it comes to activities, again less is more – your child and their baby friends don’t need extravagant entertainment options! If you’re at home simply opening the toy box will be enough to keep them happy, and if you’re having a picnic taking along an Ikea bag of lightweight, bright things to play with is all you need. Include things like a ball, some plastic building blocks and some board books. If you have time and you want to do something a little different you could make up some ‘treasure boxes’, collections of items that aren’t strictly toys but which provide a different, sensory experience for your little one. Nature baskets are great if you’re outdoors – make up a collection of shells, pebbles, logs, leaves and other bits and bobs from the natural world and let your baby experience the world around them through sight, touch, and smell. Have a look at parenting website Netmums. com for more ideas for treasure baskets. Remember to bring along plenty of picnic rugs for your little guests to play on.
Babies love balloons, too, so don’t forget to include plenty for them to play with (but do be careful to keep little ones away from broken and unfilled balloons.) Co-ordinate your party with the Baby Miffy 1st birthday balloons which feature the Miffy design and are perfect for playing with and decorating your birthday venue. Make sure you tie your balloons with some coloured strings so your guests can keep their balloons under control, thus avoiding the tears that signal a balloon has flown off into the sky! Include some Miffy bubbles, as well – while your little one might struggle to blow out a successful bubble themselves, they’ll be fascinated as you create ‘magic’ bubbles from your pot.
The Baby Miffy range also includes other items you might like to include in your celebration, such as glass decorations (perfect for adding a flourish to flutes for that must-do champagne toast), bunting (a simple way to decorate indoor and outdoor venues), invitations and thank you cards. If you do decide to celebrate on a grander scale, you can add items such as a guest book to your special day (a lovely way to collect special messages from friends and family) and unusual extras to your party table, such as confetti and scratch cards.
However you celebrate your child’s special day, remember to enjoy it! It’s easy to spend the day running around but it’s your special day, too. So, here’s to you and your baby – well done, you’ve done a great job!
To see all the products in the Baby Miffy range, visit www.neviti.com
Summer in the UK has become synonymous with festivals. From large scale events such as Glastonbury to smaller, boutique-style gatherings, the months between June and September offer a veritable feast of musical excitement, with more and more festivals catering to a wide age group and those with children in tow. Of course, as their popularity has grown you really do need to book your tickets in good time so if you’re desperate to take in a festival you might have to wait until next summer now, though there is still limited availability for events taking place towards the end of the season. Furthermore, several festivals also offer day tickets so if the idea of setting up home in a muddy field fills you with dread you can still dip into the festival vibe but escape the sometimes unpredictable UK weather for the comfort of your own bed at the end of the day.
If you’re desperate to do a festival this year you might like to consider Noztock which retains a real festival vibe and isn’t as commercial as some of the bigger names on the circuit. Names such as Roots Manuva and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals are confirmed music acts, plus there’s comedy and a dedicated kids area where little ones can get stuck into a diverse range of activities, from cave painting to treasure hunts. It all takes place on 1st-3rd August in a tranquil corner of Herefordshire. Other festivals with ticket availability in August include Lounge on Farm (Canterbury, 2nd August – a one-day event so ideal for festival virgins), Standon Calling (Hertfordshire, 1-3 August) and the Green Man, which resides in a stunning corner of Wales’ Brecon Beacons and takes place on 14th-17th August.
When it comes to packing your festival essentials, common sense prevails – whatever the forecast says you’d be ill advised to leave home without packing your waterproofs and wellies! Other things to remember include ear defenders for little ones, anti-bacterial hand-wash for those moments when everyone starts to feel a little grubby and plenty of wet wipes for keeping fresh in the event of an impossibly long shower queue. Getting into the festival spirit involves a bit of decoration and a bit of dressing up. Some festivals, such as Camp Bestival, have a theme and they encourage visitors to wear clothing that mirrors said theme, and at many other festivals you’ll see all sorts of extravagant costumes, head-wear and make-up on show. A sprinkling of glittery face paint on kids (and adults!) is an easy way to tap into the festival dress code.
Making your surroundings look lovely is another tradition amongst seasoned festival goers
– think fairy lights and bunting – so even though you might be camping, adding a bit of style to your pitch makes all the difference (and can help you find your tent quickly amongst a sea of canvas!) Take along some of our bunting as an easy, low-cost way to decorate your tent. Create a retro vibe with our pastel-coloured Vintage Rose bunting or go for something a bit brighter with the bold Keep Calm and Party option. The message couldn’t be more apt for a weekend of camping and music!
If you’re festival-ing with kids in tow, it’s important to choose a festival that is family-friendly. Not only does this mean there will be all the facilities families need on site (family-only ‘quiet’ camping fields and baby changing facilities, for example) but plenty of activities to keep little ones occupied. The bigger festivals feature a really diverse programme of events, including appearances from popular TV presents – you might bump into Mr Tumble, for example, or catch Dick and Dom DJing. It still makes sense to pack some additional items to keep kids happy, particularly when the excitement all gets too much and they need a little quiet time back at the tent. Some lightweight colouring books and pencils are worth packing, and perhaps some fun bubbles. Our Dear Zoo range (based on the much-loved book of the same name) includes a pack of colourful bubbles featuring the book’s instantly recognisable animal characters. You could also include some animal face masks from the same range, a great way for your little one to get into the festival dressing-up tradition.
When it comes to festival food, most of the more established festivals have plenty of choices on offer, albeit it a price. You may want to keep costs down by taking along your own essentials (some cereal, bread and long-life milk for the morning, perhaps) and plenty of non-perishable snacks to keep energy levels topped up. Keep things easy by packing some disposable tableware and napkins so you can spend more time watching the music acts and less time washing up. We’ve lots of ranges to choose from; if camping brings out your nostalgic side the table ware in the Vintage Rose collection is perfect, with its pastel hues and delicate rose design, or if you’re after something cute and kid-pleasing – but also appealing for grown-ups – our new Treetop Friends is a nice option. You could also pack a few disposable lunch-boxes for kids, an easy way to transport snacks and lunch across the festival site. Take a look at the options in the Dear Zoo, Robot Heroes and Treetop Friends ranges.
On the subject of food, if you’re looking for one last option that ticks the boxes for both music and eating, don’t miss the Big Feastival, Jamie Oliver’s very own festival that combines big-name music acts (Kelis, Norman Cook, Jamie Cullum and De La Soul) with food from highly-regarded chefs such as Gizzi Erskine, Monica Galetti and Mark Hix (as well as Jamie himself.) It all takes place on Alex James’(ex-Blur member and cheese maker) farm in Oxfordshire from the 29th-31st August.
To see all our products visit www.neviti.com
It’s been a busy few months behind the scenes at Neviti. We’ve been beavering away to bring you some exciting new ranges so you have even more choice next time you’re planning a special celebration. First up, we’re excited to share a beautiful new children’s party range with you called Treetop Friends which we think offers something a bit different to the ubiquitous fairies and Disney ranges that populate the high street. Our aim was to not only come up with something original but to also design a range that has appeal for a broad age range – we wanted to create something that could be enjoyed by younger children as well as a more mature, ‘tween’ age group too. As you’ll probably agree, girls of a certain age can be a bit picky when it comes to the decorative look of their birthday celebration, and anything too young or twee is a big ‘no no’ for this discerning age group! With its bright, funky colours, fun typeface and retro-style illustrations, Treetop Friends makes a great option for girls who are ‘over’ the more traditional party ranges out there.
So, what does the range include? You’ll find all the standard party pieces you’d expect, including paper plates, cups, bowls and napkins, all featuring a cute owl and cupcake design. If you’re catering for younger children you might like to opt for a lunchboxes which you can pre-fill with tasty treats – young children love the idea of having their very own, individual box to delve into and you can tailor each box to a particular child’s needs or preferences (particularly useful if any of your guests have allergies.)
Older girls will prefer a traditional laid-out tea, but why not add an interactive element by inviting guests to decorate their own cupcakes? Keep one end of your party table clear and leave out some ready-made cupcakes (encased in a co-ordinating Treetop Friends case), a big bowl of icing (make your own or for added convenience use ready-made butter icing – Betty Crocker ready-made icing comes in a variety of flavours and colours and is readily available at supermarkets) and bowls of different toppings, from mini sweets (iced gems or smarties, for example) to edible glitter; take a look at Lakeland for an imaginative range of pretty decorations. Leave out another bowl or tub filled with Treetop Friends cake toppers so your guests can add an extra decorative flourish to their unique creations.
If you’re looking for an alternative to cakes, how about adding some interest to the proceedings by making Knickerbocker glories? This can be a bit of a messy activity for younger kids but makes for a great finale to your birthday tea. You’ll need some long glasses, preferably in plastic (take a look online for some cheap options) or you could make mini versions of the classic American dessert by using the Treetop Friends treat tubs. Then, you need some straight-out-of-the-freezer ice cream, a selection of chopped fruit, canned whipped cream and some chocolate or strawberry sauce. Then it’s simply a case of letting your guests load their glasses or tubs with a bottom layer of fruit, a layer of ice-cream, and a good squirt of cream, topped with some delicious sauce.
When it comes to decorating your room, Treetop Friends has some lovely pieces that can really transform your party setting, whether you’re at home, outdoors or having your party at another venue. You’ll find super-cute bunting that can be utilised in a variety of ways, and the prerequisite balloons, in hot pink and bold blue, a simple way to add a pop of colour to your party room. We particularly love the table decorations included in this range – they’re a really unique way to make your table stand out from the crowd and will look lovely dotted amongst co-ordinating table ware. Invites and party bags are also included, so you can create a cohesive theme across all elements of your child’s celebration – an important consideration for any discerning party hostess! When it comes to filling those all-important goodie bags, it can be hard to find unusual, wallet-friendly gifts to include, that are also useful rather than immediately disposable. So how about including a loom band kit and a small bag of sweets? Mini sets are cost-effective and are sure to be a hit while the loom band craze remains in fashion!
To take a look at the full Treetop Friends range, visit our main website here: www.neviti.com