Asher’s Party

Birthday Banner I Sewed Last Year

These are photos leading up to Asher’s birthday party. It was his very first party with friends. He asked for a “Jungle Dragon theme,” after I offered him a choice of “jungle theme” or “dragon theme.” Well, how can you refuse a kid so cute, when he’s so clear about what he wants? I have to admit, Jungle Dragon kind of threw me off for a while. It took a long time to wrap my mind around what we were going to do, and I’ll tell ya, the party stores and dollar stores were no help at all in the theme department.

We had some birthday bunting I sewed last year to use for decorations. Otherwise, we had to get creative. Ultimately, I decided to let the children be the dragons; we just had to create their jungle.

Lucas Making a Jungle

Lucas and I used nearly all of my green file folders to cut out giant and little jungle leaves. We had a light green cardstock on hand, too, so that became leaves as well.

Jungle Decorations

Those Christmas lights are almost always up, so we hung jungle leaves on the wires, and used green crepe paper to create jungle vines with leaves.

Our dear friend Headra offered to stay over and help us get ready for the party. She was awesome and helped with everything from errand running to decorations. Thank you, Headra! With Ian and Headra both working, I was able to focus on the cake, but more about that below.

Jungle Dragon Goodie Bags

Lucas did a marvelous job of drawing dragons on all the goodie bags for our wee dragon guests. I purchased little Aladdin-style dress-up slippers, bubbles, and these Mardi Gras (dragon!) masks for Asher’s friends to take home. Four-year-olds love to dress up.

Jungle Decorations

This is the jungle (like fruits, get it?) decoration above the kitchen table, where the children ate jungle pizza and veggies for lunch.

From play silks, I rigged up dragon wings and tail for Asher, and offered play silks to each kid, in case she or he wanted to be a dragon. Two did, two didn’t.

Jungle Dragon Asher

Asher enjoyed his dragon costume before the party started, which was great because he played dragon while we worked on the last minute touches. The costume came off partway through the party.

Lucas's Dragon "Tattoo"

Ian brought out our Cryolan face paints and painted some dragon tattoos on Lucas and Asher. This was the last thing the three of them did before the guests started arriving, and it was kind of wonderful to see them sit down together to do this quiet activity before all the people came. (Ian, my love, thank you for this little moment you created—all the cleaning and everything!)

Cupcake Decorating

We baked chocolate cupcakes and set out three colors of frosting and a bunch of different sprinkles for the children to decorate their cupcakes. It took a little while for them to realize they could put that gloopy, sugary stuff on themselves, but eventually a couple of them started and the rest followed. Asher kept saying, “Mama, you make me a rainbow one.” Once the other kids were decorating their cupcakes, Asher deigned to frost his own. We stuck four candles in Asher’s cupcake and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. The little rascal blew out his candles before we got to the end of the song!

S Dragon and Asher Dragon

Here’s S Dragon and Asher Dragon. Aren’t they mighty?

Mostly the kiddos wanted to run about and play. So the other activity I had planned (or rather, held in reserve) wasn’t needed after all. Sitting at the table through lunch was hard enough for the children. They needed a run-about break in between lunch and cupcakes, even. So the playdough dragons we were going to make would have meant too, too much sitting.

Jungle Dragon Cake In Progress

After the kid party wrapped up, I was free to finish the dragon cake for that night’s family party. We had the grandparents, aunt, and uncles over for dinner and cake. Asher wanted a blue dragon, so that’s what he got!

Jungle Dragon Cake

I’m really happy with how this cake turned out. I used a bunt pan to bake a ring of chocolate cake, then cut it in half to make the S. I also used the leftover cupcake batter to bake an extra square cake, which I cut into sections to create legs, head, and tail. I used candy from the per-pound bins at the supermarket to decorate. The back ridge and the wings are fruit roll-ups (fruit leather made from almost no fruit). Again, special thanks go to Headra for finding several other awesome fruit roll-up products that didn’t have writing embedded in the candy, as the first ones I bought had.

Asher was thrilled to have his school friends over at his house. He enjoyed telling us he was the Birthday Boy. The most amazing thing about this day was how Asher handled it all. I was sure we would see at least one meltdown. It never happened. He was basically cheerful and good-natured the whole time. He accepted the attention he received joyfully. He was a good friend to his buddies and pretty gracious to his family members. We were so very proud of him … we even gave him the dragon’s head to eat!

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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