20 February 2012

Theme Parties for Kids

Reprint of an article by Sinea Pies 
By Sinea Pies
Look Whose Cookin'! Throw a Chef Party for Your Kids

Theme parties have become the rage for families with young children.  Princesses, pirates, sports themes, cartoon characters, luaus, western theme…the list of possibilities goes on and on

I am kind of partial to cooking parties!  Your child and his/her guests can play chef, restaurateur and restaurant diner all at the same time.

Children love to help in the kitchen. What fun it would be to pretend to be real chefs! You can put on a super Chef Party for your kids and make the refreshments also be the entertainment!

Things you will need:
  • Invitations
  • Favors:  chefs hats, aprons, bandanas scarves, goodie bags
  • Utensils
  • Menu
  • Ingredients and other refreshments
  • Birthday candles
  • Recipes
  • Table cloths
  • Plates, napkins, cups
  • Centerpieces
  • Games
  • Movie:  Disney’s Ratatouille
  • Prizes: Ratatouille coloring books
  • Helpers:
    • Photographer
    • Assistants (adults or older children)
  • Thank you notes
    • Pens (Have parents address one to themselves. Also ask them to write their email addresses on a card.  You will email photos of the party to them soon as they are ready.)

Invites: Buy or make invitations that look like chefs hats, cooking utensils or even the finished product: pizza, cake, cupcakes. Entice the guests with the description of elegant dining in a warm, friendly atmosphere where THEY will be the cooks.  

Invite them to come learn the art of pizza and cake baking and give the essentials:  day, date, time and, of course, the event.  Your child’s birthday.  Be sure to enlist the help of other adults, perhaps even a local expert who can teach the finer techniques.

Shopping and Setup: Set up your house with an eating area bedecked with cloth covered tables and floral centerpieces, just like in a real restaurant.  
Plan the time to include: 
  • pizza making
  • cake or cupcake baking
  • cake or cupcake decorating  
You will need to incorporate some time-fillers to keep your party goers occupied while the baking is taking place. If you have two ovens to use, that is ideal. If not, to save time you may want to have cooled cakes that you pre-baked in advance for your little guests to decorate. 

Party Timeline:

• Guests arrive and are given their chef apparel.

• Play a short game or do a craft while waiting for others to arrive.

• Junior chefs wash their hands and make PIZZA!

• Play a game or two while the pizza bakes.

• Take the pizza out of the oven and slice.

• Escort your cooks (now diners) to the restaurant.

• The maĆ®tre d' (namely you) will check each guest's name on the list and a waiter or waitress will bring them to their table.

• After lunch, return to the kitchen to experience baking a cake.

• While the cake is in the oven, the birthday girl or boy opens gifts.

• Cake decorating lessons begin. To save time, prebake some cakes or cupcakes to use for decorating. Teach the children how to adorn the cakes with frosting and decorations.

• Light the candles, serve the cake with ice cream, and watch Ratatouille on DVD until the other parents arrive.

• Pack up leftovers in doggy bags for party guests to take with them.

Find Help: As you can see, parties of this kind will needs some assistance.  Needs might be: a photographer, pizza baking help, cake baking help, game playing help, set up, clean up. Enlist the help of other adults to keep the party moving along.

Supplies: Children’s chefs hats, aprons and baking paraphernalia can be purchased from Growing Cooks.com or kidsfoods.com  . Disney’s official Ratatouille website includes downloadable coloring pages and activities to go with the movie. 

Make your own chef hats! Yes, you can make them even cuter than the ones in the stores. Check out this tutorial by Busy Mom's Helper: Kids Chef Hats

Genesee Valley Parent Magazine:  How to Host a Chef-Themed Party  by Sinea Pies

Disney Movie: Ratatouille
Cooking Costumes and supplies:
Other Great Posts:
Cupcake Photo credit: by Digitalart on freedigitalphotos.net

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