My eldest daughter celebrated her tenth birthday on Monday. My, ten years old!! Where does the time go?! She is a Hallowe’en baby. I still remember her birth as clear as if it were yesterday: we were on the thirteenth floor of the hospital ( we had planned a homebirth, but it was thought safer to have her in hospital at the last minute, although there were no complications and it all went really well…I have been lucky to have been blessed with two relatively easy births), the room was dark as the sun was just setting outside and all was quiet and peaceful as our baby angel was born onto the earth. As we held her for the first time, we looked outside to see fireworks lighting up the sky. A real celebration of this little miracle. It still feels like such a special day, like there is magic in the air and we still do a small firework display to celebrate each year.
My daughter was quite concerned about getting into double digits, but now she is there, she is o.k with it 🙂 It doesn’t feel any different after all. ( it is always the same at the threshold of a new decade I find). I thought as it was her 10th birthday, we should do something really special to mark this milestone, so I commissioned a poster for her from here.
I think you can create ‘word clouds’ yourself, but I didn’t have the time, so I just provided the words and the experts did the work. My daughter was so amazed that it was a poster all about her. I would highly recommend doing something similar to mark a special occasion. She gazes at it often and I know she is delighted to read all the great things that we know and love about her. As she is in a Steiner (Waldorf) school, reading is introduced late, so it will be good reading practise! I hope it will make her feel good for many years to come and it will be interesting to look back on when she is older to see what still applies.
I wrote about our birthday traditions here. Here are a few glimpses of the decorations we use for this autumn birthday. I always try to make sure the decor reflects the feel of the season. This includes a darker birthday crown, a darker tablecloth, autumn coloured streamers and a star path (rather than the path of flowers I lay for my spring born daughter).
The autumn nature table with some birthday additions on the right hand side
Another nature table over the mantelpiece
The streamers that I always hang from the birthday girl’s door. Ten – it’s getting busy!
The star path to the birthday table. My daughter picked up the stars on her way down.
The birthday chair covered in a gauzy rainbow cloth over a dark pink silk and Rachel with her matching birthday crown.
The birthday table with our lovely birthday ring with all its seasonal wooden ornaments and a vase of flowers I picked from our garden. The cosmos are still going strong!
And a photo of the birthday child at a few days old
We had a lovely birthday breakfast with presents. Here are the presents we gave her:
She is so happy with her new sewing machine. I also booked her on a weekly dressmaking course for children until Christmas, as she doesn’t like me to teach her anything! She just made a pair of shorts of Tuesday and will be making a skirt next time! Exciting new possibilities…
Her younger sister made her this Jack O Lantern bag and bought her a little Sylvanian out of her own money (for playing the violin, I give her 20p per session for effort and 20p for keeping quiet when her sister does reading practise! It all adds up! )
I love it that my daughters like to make each other presents and also that they want to save up to buy the other a present. It’s very touching.
After breakfast, we went for a wonderful autumn walk at a National Trust Property famed for its autumn colour.
The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed collecting lots of different leaves. I feel some more beeswax leaf dipping coming on! It was lovely to get out of the house and into nature. The children were happy and all was well with the world in those moments 🙂
We returned home in the early afternoon so we had an hour and a half to set the party up. The party was Hallowe’en themed at my daughter’s request. We usually do craft parties, but to make life easier, we just did games this time.
Here are some of the decorations:
Bats in the hallway – made many years ago, but still going strong!
A cobweb curtain cut into strips up to three quarters of the way up, hanging between the kitchen and the party room and below another one on one of the big doors and more Bats!
We love fairy lights to create a special atmosphere.
The party went really well. Once all the guests had arrived (there were six special friends), my daughter unwrapped her gifts. The children loved to see what each other had given the birthday girl. As I have written before, I really belive in opening presents on the party day. It gives the children a chance to say thank you in person to their friends and children often feel dissatisfied if they haven’t seen their friend open the present they have carefully chosen or made. One school friend made my daughter the most amazing slippers! That’s one of the things I love about Steiner Waldorf-schooled children – apart from being creative thinkers, they are always making things.
Aren’t they adorable!
Then we played some party games. The children were divided into two teams for each game (with different teams being formed every game to keep it fair – so each child could be with the birthday girl and their other friends at several points in the evening). The team who won the game were allowed to do a lucky dip for a ‘treat’ ( party poppers, glow sticks, bubbles, stickers, healthier ‘sweets’ etc) and the team who lost had to do a trick that the other team decided e.g: stand on one leg and sing an embarassing song.
The games we played were:
- apple and orange bobbing – oranges are more challenging for the older child.
- wrapping mummies with toilet roll – I gave a roll of toilet roll to each child and one team member voluteered to be the ‘mummy’and be wrapped up. The fastest team to wrap the ‘mummy’ wins.It was a real giggle and quite a challenge. I recommend a good quality toilet roll as one team had a better effect than the other due to the quality of the toilet roll!
As you can see below, we have a mountain of toilet roll to use up! ( I am not one to waste things, so I spent a fair bit of time folding it into useful pieces to reuse!! )
- blindfolded tasting game – we used jelly (vampire flesh), cottage cheese (zombie brain), peeled grapes (witches eyeball), spaghetti (worms) and passion fruit (frog spawn). Some children were much braver than others with the tasting.
- treasure hunt in the garden – I hung 15 pieces of hallowe’en themed paraphenalia around the garden and the children went out with torches to find them and had to write down what they had found. We were going to use a spooky-sound gadget, but my youngest would have burst into tears ( she finds Hallowe’en too scary at the best of times…)
- the detective game – one child goes out of the room (the detective). Meanwhile, the others sit in a circle and decide who the murderer is. When the detective comes back, the murderer winks at three of the children and they fall down dead. The detective has to keep an eye on everyone and guess who the murderer is after the three fall down.
- throwing spiders at some cobwebby sticky material from a good distance.
- trick or treating – of course 🙂
I struggled to get any photos in focus that night. I like this one anyway!
The games went down really well and there was a lot of fun and laughter. After trick or treating we came back for a dinner of potato ‘ghosts’ and sausage ‘mummies’ as mentioned here.
Followed by cake and fireworks.
It was really a lovely party and the children all had a fantastic time which really is the most important thing. My daughter was really pleased with how the day turned out. Hurrah!
My children don’t eat sweets, so they left their bounty next to the back door with their fairy doors for the ‘sugar fairy’ to collect. We found this lovely story here some years ago and it has been such a gift to us: it allows the children to go trick or treating purposefully with their friends and enjoy the sense of occasion. ( I keep the sweets for next years trick or treaters as they seem to last forever!).
The next morning they were richly rewarded with crystals and the makings of a crystal necklace 🙂
I hope you all had a happy Hallowe’en too!
Now for a nice rest….before I set my mind to something else 🙂