Sara loves being outdoors. She is always picking up dry leaves, hunting for fallen flowers and branches and turning them into “magic potions” and art for her room. She loves to walk around and hunt for “fairies”, can spend hours with a book under a tree, likes to have impromptu picnics after school or just go cycling with her friends. I remember this one time last year when they had a race at school and I asked her how it went. “It went off well. Oh, also I finished last”, she said. That’s alright but how come you finished last, didn’t you run fast enough, you like running, don’t you? What came next was the cutest explanation ever.
Mamma, I forgot to run because I was enjoying the breeze, feeling the grass beneath my feet and was looking at the clouds above. I wanted to both hug her tight (for it was just like Sara to come up with something like this) and also give her one of my “looks” for there was no way she could have been feeling the grass beneath her feet while running on a tarmac race track wearing her PE shoes ( yes, only Sara can come up with something like this to fool her mum!)
Since this little girl LOVES being outdoors so so much when she turned seven we decided to celebrate her special day outdoors. A pretty little picnic for my little chefling.
This is going to be a long post so I suggest you sit down with a cup of coffee (also grab some cookies while you are it :)).
Teeny tiny picnic baskets were the invitations. To each of the baskets I added a pop of bright pink and green (our colour theme was going to be pink, green and brown), a brown paper scroll that had the party details and a green and pink rubber band around it (her huge collection of loom bands came in handy:))
The invitations read; Join us at the park, we’ll run, explore and play. To celebrate Sara’s 7th birthday!
We selected a pretty spot in the park and put up this poster to direct our tiny guests and their parents. For the poster, Sara helped me find two long branches and I painted the words, “Sara’s picnic party this way” on it. Then I used pieces of green string to tie the two branches; one at the top and one at the bottom and some jute twine to make a hanger so we could tie it to a tree.
Since the party was going to be outdoors amidst the tall trees and the green grass I really didn’t have to try hard to make it look all pretty. I bought this chevron bunting and several green paper balls and hung them all around. I also made this happy flowery bunting from her origami paper and some flags that we used both for decor and for one of our party games.
I came across a free alphabet bunting printable which I used to make a third bunting that read, “Happy Birthday Sara”. I printed it on brown paper and used some jute twine and brown pegs to bring it all together.
It was a really windy day and we had to use a lot of twine and bamboo sticks to secure each of the buntings.
After the kids had a little time to settle down we played three picnic games. The invitation card read we’ll run, explore and play and that is exactly what we did. For the first game the children were divided into two teams and we had a relay. I used the triangular flags you saw above to mark the beginning and the end of each activity. The kids had to balance a lemon on a badminton racket followed by maneuvering a ball between some obstacles with their feet and finally balance plates on their head to reach the finishing line. For the second game, we explored. Each child was given this Let’s go exploring card that didn’t take very long for me to make and print. They were also given bags to collect leaves, rocks, branches, etc before they set out for exploration. For the third game, the kids stood in a circle and had to name animals and birds found on earth, in air and in water. The catch was that category was given by the child before them in the circle and they had to be super fast. Also you couldn’t repeat answer. There was obviously a lot of screaming and jumping 🙂
Since the party was outdoors I wanted to keep food that fit our picnic theme, was easy to carry from home and would not get spoilt sitting out in the sun. I printed these menus for the kids and the adults.
The menu for the children was carrot, cucumber and cheese sandwiches, butter and oregano corn, juicy green grapes, potato crisps, dried rose cookies and lemonade.
For the adults I made falafel, hummus and garlic yoghurt baguettes, a carrot, cucumber, mint and bulghar wheat tabbouleh along with green and black grapes, potato crisps, dried rose cookies and lemonade. There was also coconut water and sparkling water for everyone.
We also had some popcorn, peanuts, salted nuts and pumpkin seeds to munch on.
I packed individual portions in these picnicky green bags complete with a straw, a spoon and a napkin with a napkin ring around it that I made with origami paper and a “table mat” to place there food on (I used a large doilies and made a brown paper ring to hold it together). To the green “picnic basket” I added a Let’s Picnic tag.
We carried furniture from Sara’s room to the park. This rack for the food bags, her table for the cake and our step ladder for the return gifts. We also took all the rugs from her room for the stuff we wanted to keep on the ground. Since the whole feel of the party was very idyllic, very casual we used rugs and mats to sit on and everyone could grab their “picnic basket” and relax and enjoy the evening and the food.
These frames that you see are also from her room. These were old broken frames that I distressed years back and we used them for both decor and to “frame” the little guests for the birthday pictures. Photo booth of sorts.
I used my wicker laundry basket to keep the water bottles and borrowed two ice boxes from friends to keep the drinks. I also had wet wipes, sanitizers, paper towels in that green basket that I am not sure you can see in this picture. Its behind that little easel on which you see the menu. We also got a large dustbin and numerous garbage bags that we kept emptying through out the party.
I asked Sara what kind of a cake would she like for her picnic birthday party and she drew me this 🙂 Remember to add a picnic mat and some stuff to eat to this.
And so it was. That is my little girl sitting on a picnic mat under the tree. Complete with the details that she wanted. Aya from Aya cupcakes has been doing all her birthday cakes and she turned my little girl’s design into reality. Thanks Aya! Isn’t this adorable?
We used candles of the same colour theme for the cake and these bamboo plates to serve the cake.
A picnic birthday party cannot be complete without a picnic basket party favor. I got these adorable picnic baskets for the little ones and made a tag to go along. It read: Fly a kite, hunt for fallen flowers, collect a few pebbles, run around, eat a snack, plant a tree and blow some bubbles. Go on a picnic.
I filled up the picnic baskets with edible pebbles, umbrella shaped bottles of bubbles and a tiny flower pot. The children also got these colourful kites and wind streamers both of which they opened right there and trust me it was beautiful watching them fly kites with their parents and running around with these long strands of ribbons.
I took a rug from Sara’s room to put them all the picnic baskets on.
We also took a step stool to add some height and used her green wicker toy basket to put in the kites and the wind streamers that you see in the background. That pin wheel has been with her for over three years and I just had to put it there. In short, the contents of her entire room were there for her picnic party and it took me only a week to set it all back 🙂
The pleasant weather, the greens, little ones running around the park and Sara surrounded by the people she loves and those who love her like crazy was what her 7th birthday was all about.
It was a super happy and a super fun Friday. I loved putting all the little details together and DIYing like crazy. On our way back home, after wrapping up her picnic birthday party she asked, how many days left until my next birthday, mamma? 366, I answered and smiled.
Happy Birthday My Little Girl!
Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if use those without my permission. Just ask! Some of the pictures have also been taken by a dear friend. Thanks P.