Great expectations - FamilyEducation

Great expectations

January 15,2010
Several months ago, when T. was already laying down plans for her sixth birthday party, she announced that she wanted the theme to be "snow animals". I didn't put much stock into that at the time because surely, I thought, she would change her mind between then and January. After all, last year she flip-flopped between fairies and mermaids for several months before settling on a dragon/princess theme. But the snow animals persisted, all through November, and December, and now much of January. I like planning parties and my kids, perhaps sensing this, like to throw a challenge my way. Last summer L. decided he wanted a Hardy Boys themed party, which was a challenge to say the least. I spent an inordinate amount of time last summer looking for two plastic figurines who could pass for Joe and Frank Hardy and had to settle instead for some plastic soldier-type fellow who, when the hat was pried off, at least sort of looked like Frank Hardy. I can do snow animals, I thought to myself back in December. But now it's January 15th and at the time I wrote this post, yesterday in-between classes in my office--I had none of the legwork done. Oh, I had googled penguin cakes (Look! A whole website devoted to penguins!) and snow-themed crafts and polar bear party favors. I had ideas swirling around in my head, visions of sugar cube igloo cake toppers and fondant penguins, or even a diving whale on T.'s cake (is that a snow animal?). Part of the fun of an out-of-the-ordinary theme is that it IS out of the ordinary. Free from the constraints of traditional party themes, your imagination can soar--anything is possible, if you have the time, that is. T. and I researched snow themed crafts and came up with an idea we both love: making snow globes! I bought a supply of baby food jars at the grocery store for a mere .40 cents each (stay tuned next week for a post on what to do with the contents), and found several tubes of plastic arctic animals at the craft store. I'm planning on doing a trial run and making a snow globe with the kids tomorrow, mainly to iron out any bumps in the road before we turn a dozen kids loose with glitter and water and high expectations. My dreamy plans of making T.'s cake have evaporated, and instead we'll buy a plain sheet cake, and decorate it with the snow animals T. loves--polar bears, penguins, and a white wolf. ...And maybe I'll have time to make a sugar cube igloo to put on top. Just a tiny one. Maybe. Happy Weekend!