If you’ve got a pre-schooler with a birthday on the horizon and you’re looking for a theme that’s a little bit different from the ubiquitous pirates ‘n’ princesses, you might like to check out our range inspired by a children’s bookshelf classic. Few parents of kids in the 0-4 age range will be unfamiliar with Dear Zoo, Rod Campell’s internationally best selling story. With this impressive heritage, we were delighted to be able to see the story come to life in our party range, which features original illustrations by the author himself. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a colourful alternative to standard party ware, and includes pieces to dress your table as well as decorative accessories and stationery.
When it comes to ticking off the essentials, you’ll find everything you need to create a party table popping with colour. Bold paper plates, cups, bowls and napkins come in shades of green, red and yellow and feature instantly recognisable Dear Zoo characters; the too tall giraffe, the too naughty monkey and the too big elephant, for example. Serve the classic jelly and ice cream in a co-ordinating treat tub, illustrated with a leaping frog. On the subject of jelly you could stick with your theme and look for some animal-shaped moulds to make your desserts extra special – retailers such as Etsy and eBay are good for sourcing unusual party food supplies.
If you fancy doing things a bit differently you could dispense with the traditional table-top spread and make up individual lunch boxes – particularly good if you’re hosting a picnic or are holding your party at a venue rather than home. They have plenty of room for sandwiches, cocktail sausages, crisps and cakes, as well as a carton of drink. Keep to your theme with some animal-shaped biscuits, such as Cadbury’s Animals, or have a go at making your own iced biccies.
No party is complete without a cake…and lots of it! If you want to create something really lavish a quick Google search of ‘Dear Zoo’ cakes brings up a dazzling array of real show-stoppers. If you’re not sure that your cake decorating skills are up to the job, check out your local parenting website for details of local cake makers – most big parenting sites have areas dedicated to children’s parties where you can find details of party suppliers where you live. Add in some quick-to-make, universally loved fairy cakes, embellished with a co-ordinating animal cake case and character cake pick. Displayed on a matching cake stand, you can create a really tempting show piece with minimal fuss.
When it comes to decoration, you could include some colourful bunting and perhaps some animal-shaped balloons – there are some lovely options available to buy online. If you’re feeling extra clever you could take on the role of party entertainer and invest in some modelling balloons and make animal shapes to order for your young guests (you may need to look up a YouTube tutorial to ensure your skills are up to the job!)
You can create a lovely parting gift for your invitees with the beautifully designed bag in the collection, perfect for holding a co-ordinating bubble pot and animal-shaped mask. Look for small animal-themed toys in your local toy shop – pocket money items such as animal erasers, notepads or pencils make ideal small gifts. Take the strain out of writing thank you notes by doing this in advance using the cards in the range, and pop one into each of your bags. See if you can source some animal-shaped sweets to add (Haribo does some ‘fruity frogs’ that fit the theme perfectly!) and then all you need to finish off is a slice of birthday cake.
There are lots of games you can play with an animal theme – sleeping lions (a great one to play if you need to calm excitement levels) is an obvious one, or how about having an animal treasure hunt where you hide soft toys or plastic animals around the house (the person with the most animals at the end wins a prize.) Or how about ‘hippos in the mud’, an adaption of the classic musical chairs, but using ‘muddy puddles’ (made from cardboard that you can attach to your flooring) – remove a puddle each time until only one ‘hippo’ is left.
To see all the pieces in the range, visit our retail site at www.neviti.com