So how did the above Turtle Cake come to exist? It took shopping at two different places, Toys R Us for the turtle and Costco for the cake. For under $20 total, enough cake to feed a bunch of people and a turtle to make Alex happy.
Turtle Party Bags!
We managed to assemble some Party Bags full of turtle goodies. We make it a habit to purchase our party bag supplies from Oriental Trading as they have fun activities at bulk prices. The bags themselves? We have tried Oriental Trading and Party City in the past, but the best deal is to buy either white or colored paper lunch bags from Target. They are super cheap and don't suffer from defects like the others seem to. Probably because they have to hold up to carrying a lunch for a kid. Add in a roll of stickers from Oriental Trading and you have nifty party bags. What kind of turtle goodies? Mostly art activities. While it is easy to fill the bags with candy, as a parent, I really appreciate it when there isn't candy in a party bag.
We only had one turtle activity which was a turtle craft where you use stickers as a mosaic to decorate a picture of a turtle shell. So far, at the age the kids are currently, they don't need organized activities. Sure, we had the trains out and the toy cars with the rug that has roads on it, but we were depending on the novelty of the merry-go-round and the fact that kids can make their own fun. Then, a couple of weeks before the party, the merry-go-round met its demise after 2 and a half years of happy spinning. So we got a bouncy house.
A bouncy house!?
I am anti-bouncy house. Not that I have anything against them in terms of kids using them and having fun. Rather, that they are a big to-do and they are part of the cause of kids' inflated expectations of birthday parties.
This inflated expectation of birthday parties leads to kids thinking that they need a bouncy house, a person dressed up as a super hero or princess, an ice cream truck, a balloon artist, a pony, a petting zoo, or other crazy stuff in order to have fun with their friends. So I told myself that I would never get a bouncy house for a party. But, we ended up with a bouncy house. It was the perfect size for the party, we got to borrow it from friends, and the kids loved it.
All in all, Alex's birthday party was quite successful. Except for the part where I don't have very many pictures of it. Poor second child!
So, here is a picture from around the time of his birthday party to document his appearance as a three year old. :)