June 5, 2010
Zander is not 9 yet, he doesn’t turn 9 until July 19th, as a matter of fact, but since everyone disappears off the face of the earth in the summer in France, we decided to have his birthday party a bit early this year. He decided, since he was inviting kids who like to make a ruckus, it was best to have the party in the Foret de Chailluz – and have it be a bike party.
We worked together to make an awesome bike cake….
Zander planned everything for his party and even had me help him make an agenda:
1. 2pm to 2:15 People get there – Activity: collect leaves/flowers, then squish them into paint
2. 2:15 to 2:45 Bike Ride
3. 2:45 to 3pm Water, watermelon and chips
4. 3 to 3:15 Scavenger Hunt
5. 3:15 to 3:30pm - Following Rope/Blind games
6. 3:30 to 3:45pm - cake and presents
7. 3:45 to 4:30 - cabane building
8. Give out goodbye gifts!
He invited 8 people, but only Jolan, Benjamin, Arnaud and Elie could come – and they had a hard time finding where to meet us in the forest! But finally, everyone arrived, turned out that Benjamin didn’t know how to ride a bike at all. Thinking ahead, I had brought Callie’s bike and helmet and I taught him. He is a bit of a tough kid, but very physically gifted and was riding around on his own amazingly fast. It was a total thrill to teach him – it’s like giving a kid wings….
Then it was snack time… It was a hot day; so very nice to hang out in the forest…
After the ride, they did a scavenger hunt – looking for things like rocks, leaves, sticks etc….
Then a crazy game we found in a book Aunt Melodie gave us where you blindfold the kids and they have to follow a rope that is wandering through the woods – it would have been better if we had a longer rope – but it was still fun!
Finally time for cake and presents, Zander is proud to be able to light the candles himself.
He got some fun toys and movies but my favorite was the picture Benjamin drew for him… It said: To Zander I love Zander and his mom (and his sister and brother). He also gave Zander some of his own marbles – it was a gift made out of love… the best kind!
The last thing we did was try to build a cabane (little shelter) out of wood – unfortunately the area was pretty picked over since there were lots of picnickers in the area… so we didn’t finish. Poor Andre had only returned from Norway the night before and crashed before the end of the festivities – as you can see! Luckily Augustin was there to help out.
The party was fabulous, and the least stressful one I’ve run yet – getting them out in the forest is a great way to help diffuse energy and, when they get bored, they just run around behind some trees. I am definitely picturing more forest parties in our future. Most important, Zander had a great time. Happy early birthday buddy!