As everyone knows, Tia and her soon to be baby brother (then) share the same birthday month. On Tia's birthday, mommy is also celebrating little RJ's full term in the tummy. Alhamdulillah. However, we feel that it's important to celebrate our kakak tia's birthday because she's still our number one girl and we shouldnt put it on hold just because RJ is coming very soon.
Hence why we celebrated at Gymboree with only 11 other toddlers and with our close friends and family. A Gymboree birthday party consists of a 1 hour hosted playtime by their bubbly teachers and half an hour of snack time. simple, short and the children get to have fun.
This time around a lot of our guests are hubby's colleagues...i could only invite a few selected close friends as i wont be able to entertain everyone properly due to this heavy tummy.
We put it as a rabbit theme because Tia was in a phase of hopping everywhere. she hops when she wakes from her sleep, she hops around in the kitchen, she loves the trampoline. so yeah. she's in a rabbit phase. so we had all our food coordinated to the theme. and we gave out rabbit ear headbands for our little guests (or parents) to wear during playtime.
Gymboree only allows fingerfood. no meehoon goreng, no pasta to be served in the snack room. At the Publika branch, the snack room is a combination of 2 classrooms and there were two available long tables of which we put together and laid our all our fingerfoods on.
We felt bad that the snacktime is only half an hour. the last time we attended a party there we were rushing to feed our kids when the teachers came in saying that its time for closing. So what we did was put simple foods on the table such as the birthday cake and cupcakes (by Ayesha of BiteMe), apams (by Nur eimi as always!), Garrett popcorn in cones, bunny cookies (by Balqis of qis & cakes and mineral water. everything is wrapped individually so there werent any spills, convenient and grab-able. on top of that, because our party was from 5-7pm, we ordered finger food in a box from Tasty Touch Fingerfood catering for each adult guests and my mom cooked bolognese pasta, something homemade for the toddlers since it was dinnertime by the end of the party. These boxes are given as a takeaway meal. apologies for the short rushed snacktime!
Because our guests are not as many as her 1st birthday, we have extra budget to give something better than last time. in a pouch, we put in a customised toddler colouring book which i printed on my own, colour pencils, bubble bottle, and a spiky ball. oh and also, rabbit ears headbands for girls and little ties for the little guys:) the kids love the blingy squeaky spiky ball so we were happy:)
I no longer order printables from the designer companies. attempted them myself. last year i had help from my dear designer firend, this time i did it all on my own. hehe. just some tweaks on adobe photoshop since i dont know how to use illustrator. its not really copyright lah, a lot of cut and paste. Now i know how useful those free digital papers are! theyre all downloadable online. I designed mineral water bottle labels, food labels, birthday banner, posters, takeaway meal stickers and colouring books. macam mahal sikit printing kali ni cuz i sent them all to printshop2u.com but their service is masyaAllah so good and satisfying!
We did not have much time to chat around and take pics in the snack room so we tried to use every oppurtunity we can find. The whole mini photobooth was Daddy Radzli's idea..and I helped out with some pasting. We had the banner hung and some posters, and he printed out Tia's instagram pics from 12-24months onto cards and arranged them into a pixellated heart shape on a mounting board.
Our verdict on having a children's birthday party at Gymboree is:
Fun and educational, the whole hour of hosted play by the teachers were entertaining for the kids and pretty much covers up the dullness of a party. As parents though, of course we have preference on which teacher is better at hosting the show but of course we didnt get to choose. nanti cakap macam2 pulak. haha.
Snack time is too short, and u have to work ur way around it. make it up by providing the takeway meals or whatever. otherwise, ngamngam half an hour the teachers will come and inform u times up a few times and ull be in a rush to kind of like 'shoo' ur invites and clear up the place. so far...tu je yang slek.
We'll probably try to have a combo birthday party next year, insyaAllah kalau panjang umur sihat tubuh badan. hehe. no use planning a seperate one since kakak's birthday is on 02/11 and adik on 20/11 (p/s pandai adik pilih tarikh keluar sama dgn kakak, terbalikkan aja 02 tu haha)
Here are some other pics from the party...some of the pics are courtesy of my friend Sharizal Azam Wong and Ng Angeline:)
Til then, have a great day:)