Thursday 24 April 2014

Birthday party planning

Considering that if you add up the ages of my kids they've had 22 birthdays between them, then it's perhaps surprising to learn that I've not thrown many birthday parties for them. There has been maybe five in total and a couple of those only involved 6 or so kids, so maybe they don't even count!

It's not that I'm Scrooge, we have celebrated their birthdays, there has been holidays, family days out and family tea parties but just not many of the big, scary invite the whole class kind of party. Well, I've decided this year will be different, the kids all joined a new school last September and I think it is important that I do all I can to help them bed in, so come July I'll be throwing a party for the 30 or so kids from Miss M and Miss E's class. Thirty 5, 6 and 7 year olds - you can imagine my joy!

I've decided that if I'm going to have this party I might as well do it right and give them a real good one but not one that costs hundreds of pounds I hasten to add. I hate spending money for the sake of it and extravagant shows of how much money I can spend on a cake etc just do not appeal. So the party will very much be old school and the girls are in agreement about this. There will be a bouncy castle, craft table, traditional party food such as little sandwiches, cheese on sticks and jelly and ice cream and there will be face painting, all at our local church hall.

Oh yes, when I let myself in for it, I really go for it. I'm not one of those super talented artist types, I'm just an average mum who can just about manage a butterfly or a camouflage face but some how or the other I found myself telling my daughters I would happily paint faces at their party and I'm hoping to recruit a couple of friends to help me!

I'm kidding myself that because my kids are happy with my rubbish face painting efforts that others will be too but don't you just know there will be at least one little madam there who will tell me how bad my tiger is? So in order to try and ease the public embarrassment of my newly turned 7 year olds I have started to practise the face painting already and the girls have got in on the act too and have been practising on me and themselves as well.

I was very pleased that the premier suppliers of face paints, Snazaroo sent me through one of their party boxes, worth £44.99. The sturdy yellow box contains 20 small palettes of 3 face paints for me to use as party bag favours (I mean really, how much are the kids going to love these and just add some sweets and the bags are done, result!) as well as 10 sponges, 4 brushes, 8 x 18ml face paints, 2 x 12ml glitter and 20 invitations. There is also a clear instruction booklet included with some step by step ideas for painting faces. All that face paint will keep us going for a very long time after the party too.

We have used Snazaroo face paints before as they are water based, skin friendly and non-toxic and even my Miss E who often suffers with sensitive skin is fine with them. The only niggle I have is with the turquoise coloured face paint always seems to stain and does not wash off as easily as the other colours. Nothing too major as it will come off but more soap is required or an extra scrub the next day. Most just come off with a baby wipe which is super.

The girls and I had lots of fun over Easter painting each others faces, it is good to have a product that you can let the kids loose with and allow them to be creative. I bought some stencils and we used these too and they were great, look at the picture of the flowers on Miss E's arm. It took just moments and is really effective and the Snazaroo stencil only cost me £3.50 at the Range. I loved the high density sponges, a friend of mine recommended I cut them in half and I did this and I could hardly believe how well they hold the colour. See that rainbow I did, that was by painting it on to the sponge and pulling it across Miss M's face - clever stuff!

The brushes supplied are also really nice and don't have any shedding, they seem to keep their nice clean point and the small one works well for precision work, although I really need to practise at this and improve my steady hand!

I'm really pleased with the products I have been sent and I'd happily buy Snazaroo or recommend them as a brand as we have now been having fun with their products for at least five years.

Take a peek what you get in the party box (they offer a boy, girl and unisex box) -

Disclosure: We were sent the party box from Snazaroo for the purpose of this review but I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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