This year, I chose the the princess theme because A. there were princess-themed party supplies in the stores during my travels to the USA and B. Ailin has recently become interested in fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty & Cinderella. One of the BKC members lent me a book that hashes out various party themes and we found a Cinderella one that we altered for 3 year olds.
The theme colors were pink and blue as those colors often show up in the dresses of various Disney princesses, and pink and blue are both easy frosting colors for the cake. As I was printing off Disney princess clip art in order to make posters for the decorations, Yusuke commented on how adamant I was to NOT expose Ailin to all characters & character-related toys when she was born. Why did I change my mind? Well, for one thing, Disney characters are different from Japanese manga characters. And, for another thing, it can't be avoided. She found out about Anpanman but not because I taught her about him. She was bound to find out about Disney sooner or later. Better get it over with now. She is already asking for a cake shaped like a purple purse for next year!
The menu included roast beef, Island Garden salad, my own special pasta recipe & taco dip. Yoko was nice enough to make the taco dip for the party so that I could concentrate on the rest of the menu.
The guests were our BKC members. Only 2 members could not come because one is out of the country for a while and the other just had a baby. We had 6 members, including me, join the party, so it was a nice comfortable atmosphere. The kids are used to playing together and they are used to the activities we usually do.
First, Anna, who was in charge of the craft activity, had the kids decorate their own crowns. I used a template that I saw on the internet, and it worked well. I found these jewel stickers at a 100 yen shop. Each child chose her color and went to town on decorating the crowns.
Here is Ailin and Papa with her finished crown.
Some may wonder what Papa was doing during the party. He wanted to make a quick exit, but he stayed in the morning to help with cleaning, then he took Max out for a long walk, then put Luka down for a nap and left about 1/2 way through the party. He was a big help.
Next on our agenda was to teach the kids some vocabulary words. Mariko was in charge of making the flash cards and leading this activity.
Meanwhile, Ailin, being her typical self, was attacking the taco dip.
Unfortunately, I have no photos of the next activity. Yoko read the Cinderella story to the kids. This was the Usborne version from a book of several fairy tale stories. Great book!
Yusuke came back from his walk with Max, and we tied Max up to the table so he could join the party but not be a danger to the toddlers.
At some point, the fairy godmother (Grace) came out with a box of dress up clothes and invited the kids to a ball. She helped them choose their dresses for the ball. The boys were already dressed up, but they found some accessories to go with their outfits.
Then, the music started and the kids danced around the room. We played a compilation CD I found on iTunes called "Disney Princesses." Ailin loves the theme song from Sleeping Beauty because I often sing it to her as we pretend to waltz around the room. Other songs on this CD are good too, so we played a few, letting the kids have fun showing off their pretty gowns.
Here, Ailin is dancing with Yako (Yoko's daughter).
Before leaving for the day, Yusuke was nice enough to snap this awesome photo of all of us. Look at all that pink!
Then, I brought out the cake along with several small bowls of sprinkle decorations and we let the kids decorate the ball gown.
Here she is ... Miss America, again. This time, she is a bit taller as I added a fake cardboard layer to the bottom. The 2nd batch of ganache topping did not turn out as well - it was too runny and shiny because I didn't whip it enough. I had to hurry when I decorated the cake because it was running down the sides and I needed to get it into the fridge ASAP. Other than that, the decoration turned out okay and the taste was great.
How many times did I yell at Ailin for sneaking tastes of the cake frosting? I hope she remembers some of the other details of the day and not my monster face when I yelled and chased after her! But, just before cutting the cake, I let her sneak this taste so I could get a photo of it for my scrapbook.
I just included this photo so you could see the fake cardboard layer. If I had had more cake mix, I would have made a 3rd real layer. I'll know that for next time. I also should have carved the top of her ball gown a bit to make it look more realistic. I'll probably never have a need to create a princess cake again, but it sure was a fun experience.
Amy D. was a huge help and I seriously could not have done it without her input and advice. Thanks so much, Amy!