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 Post subject: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:52 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I couldn't find a thread on planning a vegan children's party, so I figured maybe we could share our ideas for vegan things to serve at parties that go over well with kiddos, are easy to prepare in advance and come across as cute, decadent and yummy, perfect for a small person celebration.

I am the worst person at planning parties ever, so if there are good internet resources, especially on how to do something fun for little kiddos, please share them as well.

We are having a tiny playdate for L's birthday, because we are so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives and L is a social butterfly and this is probably her idea of heaven. My thought was to do a potluck, and just let people grab food as they wanted, cut a small cake, and play a few games - Pass the Parcel (with a little gift for each kiddo), and maybe decorating a big cookie with their choice of frosting and sparkles to take home. I honestly am not very good at knowing what 2 year olds can do!

Thanks in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:24 am 
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Aha! I am planning a third birthday party.

For food, we'll have cake (I'll make it) and vegan ice cream, pretzels, popcorn, and cut up fruit and veggies. Our party will be 3-5pm, so I'm only putting out snacks. In terms of activities, simple is best with kids this young. And once you factor in eating and cake and opening presents (if you opt to do that), there's not a whole lot of time to fill.

Activities:

I'm going to make a bunch of paper hats ahead of time and set them up at a table with washable markers, stickers, and stamps, so that kids can decorate their own party hats when they come in. I'm putting this stuff on a coffee table that's covered in plastic, just inside the front door.

Bean bag toss: get a big box, cover it with paper, cut out a big hole on one side and make that a monster's mouth. Draw or paint monster around the hole. I'm going to have my mother sew some beanbags, but if you don't have a sewing machine you can make beanbags out of baby socks (you just have to sew one end closed by hand).

Play dough table: I'm making a few big batches of play dough (there are lots of recipes online). I'm going to cover another coffee table with a plastic tablecloth and set out dough, rollers, and cookie cutters.

Other: bin of blocks and duplos on the floor in the playroom.

For favors, I'm going to send each kid home with a baggie of play dough, roller, and cookie cutter.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:53 am 
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I think for 2 years olds just let them play. Toss out some toys and let them at it. They aren't going to want to sit in a circle playing a game. It will be more work for the parents then for the kids I think. Frosting/decorating cookies or their own cupcakes would be cute but be prepared to clean up frosting all over your walls, floors and furniture. It will get everywhere and if it gets on the kid it will get on all your stuff.

We did a playdate w 3 friends for Reno's 6th birthday and I set the dining room table up with all sorts of art materials and crafts...all they wanted to do was be in her bedroom screaming with joy listening to One Direction. It was insane. Us parents played with the crafts. I made pizza's and cupcakes and had a bowl of pretzels out. It was perfect especially since the Moms are friends of our as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:32 am 
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We just had E's 4th so a slightly different set. We took them to the park by our house, laid a picnic table with assorted foods small people like (hummus and crackers and cut veggies, a bowl of raisins, grapes, strawberries and a couple other little things I'm forgetting) and let them run free. They hit the hummus assortment surprisingly hard and the strawberries were demolished. And we did cupcakes rather than a big cake to minimize fuss.

I think a small group of 2 year olds might be able to get through a party game but it would really depend on the group!

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:22 pm 
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I don't have kids but I made little tortilla roll-ups/pinwheels for my friend's two and four year old and they loved them! They aren't vegan kids but their dad is vegan so they're used to stuff like vegan deli slices. I used veganaise, tofurky oven-roasted slices, thinly-sliced cukes and bell peppers, spinach (but lettuce would be fine). I also made a really dead simple vegan ranch dressing for dipping raw veggies and the roll-ups in. Which was messy, but popular. The four year old is obsessed with olives so I put out a bowl of pitted kalamatas, and I made the chewy chocolate chip cookies from VCIYCJ. Fruit is good too even though there isn't much in season. Grapes?

I put on an event at my work for "Apple Day" where we had a kid's station with frosting/sparkles etc to decorate apples. It was a disaster.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Our group is mostly under two still (the parties are all coming this winter!) so I haven't been to that many 2nd birthdays yet, but all the ones I've been to have basically been like play dates, which has been awesome. I can't even imagine trying to orchestrate any kind of activity, especially one where there could be mess involved! I tend to limit the amount of mess that can be made when I host toddlers to save my sanity (no sand table, no crayons, etc.).

For food people tend to do easy finger foods. I agree with doing cupcakes vs. cake! A rainbow fruit tray with the coconut whipped cream from VPITS for dipping always goes over well, if there's enough decent fruit available. Veggies/apple slices/crackers and hummus. Mini muffins. Veggie puffs (toddler crack!). Tortilla roll-ups are great too. You can also take crescent roll dough and roll it up with all sorts of stuff (nut butter/jelly, jam/cream cheese, 'chicken' salad, spanakopita filling, Tofurkey slices and cheese...just do a search on Pinterest!).


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:47 pm 
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We haven't done a real party so far, just family and one close friend with a kid three years older. But I agree with all the food suggestions that have been made. For her 2nd, I made mac & cheese baked in muffin cups, a rainbow fruit tray and a rainbow salad. And an ice cream cake, but I definitely would have gone the cupcake route if I'd had a bunch of other toddlers there.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:57 pm 
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BabyEnchilada just had his 2 year party a few weeks ago. We had it at the local park (backup plan at our house if the weather was bad) and the only "activity" I did was filling the wading pool up with balloons. They LOVED that! Even the big kids and a few adults were having a ton of fun with it. I got a couple boxes of Voodoo Doughnuts and asked everyone to bring a favorite fruit. It was at 10:30 am to avoid nap time, so an actual meal didn't seem necessary. Happy Birthday, Leela!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:26 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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i agree with everyone who has said don't do games. even at e's 4th b'day there were kids who wouldn't play! at 2 they just love lots of balloons, chasing bubbles and those silly noisemaking party favours.

as for food, my kids party faves are nori rolls (although after fukushima i'm in two minds about seaweed), popcorn, mini "sausage"rolls, fruit, blissballs (just any old dried fruits and nuts with tahini/coconut oil/agave/cocoa powder etc blended up and rolled into balls) mini "quiches" (made with pastry baked in cupcake tins and filled with socca batter and a few tasty vegies) and mini tarts (pastry baked in cupcake tins again filled with whipped coconut cream and topped with some fruit).


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Wrote Dissertation on Vegans, Meat, and the Deserted Island Question
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ugh super-last minute but: any idea how I can cute-ify some cookies I'm making for D's school tomorrow? they are super-basic pumpkin cookies consisting of mainly almond butter and pumpkin and they're a not-very-festive brown. I have no time to really make H run to Michael's for any decorative things and I was thinking of just putting a light orange glaze on them but alas the only food coloring I have is blue and yellow. Shoulda thought ahead and gotten some cute cookie cutters! I'm happy to be making something though because D's little friend is allergic to dairy, eggs, gluten and raisins and is always excluded too.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Can you drizzle a plain, white glaze on them? I think that would kick them up a notch!

Otherwise, would it work to melt some chocolate and just dip part of each one into it?

They sound yummy, and how nice of you to make them! Is there another baking place close to you/on your way home that might have cute cookie cutters? I saw some nice ones at Williams & Sonoma today. They had superspooky skulls for $4 that look really nice in brown... http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/bak ... _type=gnav

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Wrote Dissertation on Vegans, Meat, and the Deserted Island Question
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thanks Tlish - those cutters ARE cute! but I just realized that I seriously doubt this particular recipe will be possible to use cutters on anyway, they're gonna be real sticky I bet. Perhaps a white glaze, ooh or maybe I can kinda carve lines into the flat circles to make em look more pumpkin-like.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Semen Strong
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They sound superyummy! And isn't that the most important part?

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:00 pm 
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I'm too lazy to glaze anything, so I vote sticking 4 pretzel stick halves out of each side and calling them spiders.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Semen Strong
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That is forking genius. Pinterest will out!

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I really love this thread for helping keep me sane! I appreciate the reminder that 2 year olds really just want to play randomly and have fun, and that they probably won't even eat much, because today my husband decided to get really nervous about what the kiddos are going to do, and decided he wants an art table with a thousand markers :) I was able to remind him that small children, high on sugar, armed with markers means he is going to be repainting our living room (which is cool with me!).

We aren't doing gift bags or gifts, just a simple potluck, but I've still managed to spend $200 on random stuff. Some of it is reusable (cupcake trees!) but its kind of crazy how deeply I got into my shopping frenzy. Without this thread, it would be way more :)

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:24 am 
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Some little kids love games at parties! Really depends on the group. I had to throw games together on the fly at one of Silas' parties because one of the kids asked about games and suddenly they were all staring at me expectantly. Luckily, throwing a stuffed toy into a basket qualifies as a game with kids.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:26 am 
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Knowing this group, I think random play with your living room full of toys will be pretty exciting. I think Malka knows the word "game," but she wouldn't engage in one for longer than 10 seconds.

Ooh. Cupcake tree.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
Knowing this group, I think random play with your living room full of toys will be pretty exciting. I think Malka knows the word "game," but she wouldn't engage in one for longer than 10 seconds.

Ooh. Cupcake tree.


Knowing the group also I agree with Ariann.

edited to add...Miles and lots of other kids would probably be up to doing a round or two of ring around the rosie. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Parties: Food/Snacks and Other Ideas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Oh yeah, ring around the Rosie, a hundred times.


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