Kate's birthday has come and gone. She is now four! We generally plan the girls' birthdays according to what they want (which explains some of the more wacky themes), but unlike her sisters' birthday celebrations, which were major productions, Kate's was quiet and simple. She asked for
- a princess cake
- her grandparents
- her cousins
- a cardboard Barbie house
- a piñata that was not scary because "I don't like the race (for candy).
So we gave her exactly that.
The Barbie house you've already met,
the cake was a delicious princess thing from the local supermarket bakery,
and this is the piñata that she asked for.
It was extremely fast to make. My mother-in-law helped glue on all the tissue paper (thank you, Karen!). It's a cardboard box, with battlements cut out of the top. We opened out the box, cut out windows and a door, stuck tissue paper on the inside surface to frame the holes, and glued the box up again.
This is the back.
The towers are cardboard sheets rolled out (with windows cut out and tissue-papered first). Why not paper-towel rolls? Answer: too skinny to shove candy in. The pointy roofs are Pac-man shaped circle sections, rolled into cones and glued on.
The top is open.
Lengths of curling ribbon were tied firmly around packets of Kate's favorite candy, and then threaded through tiny slits in each window.
We were expecting more than just the three girls at the celebration, so we made the castle double-storeyed, to ensure there were enough windows for everyone to have at least a second turn. By "double-storeyed", I mean that I inserted a partition floor in each of the four towers, and the main body of the castle, using this method. I could've just dumped all the candy into the ground floor, with their streamers trailing out through the various windows, but was suspicious that there would be an awful lot of tangling. The two-storey thing was to compartmentalize the candy a little better, to minimize streamer mess.
It was not the best day for an outdoor piñata event, so we held it indoors. That's my hand holding it up, but it could just as well have been set on a table.
How it works: the kids take it in turn to pick a streamer and pull candy out through the window, breaking the tissue paper in the process. I personally think anyone over the age of 5 would be bored by the lack of suspense, but for littler kids who feel safer with the predictable, this is a pretty decent tear-free alternative.
Nineteen broken windows later, the castle was effectively plundered.
Kate declared it a success because she got candy in turn, and wasn't scared at all.
And, incidentally, she also loves the hallway house,
but she hasn't played with it at all yet since her birthday, because it's been eclipsed by the cardboard Barbie house. Not surprising, since it's a fact that, as far as toys in our house go, cardboard trumps fabric in almost every way I can think of.