Isn’t it great when two of your children’s birthdays are separated by a matter of days? It makes throwing a party sweeter because it means double the joy! A birthday bash for a pair of siblings also means that mum and dad’s meticulous efforts and expenses are halved. Big sister and little brother duo, Kaitlyn and Alexander, had a smashing animal safari themed double birthday celebration at Singapore Island Country Club on 21 February 2016.
Mark, 44, and Wendy, 40, say that their second child, three-year-old Kaitlyn, is an easy going little girl who is not afraid of new situations. And what about one-year-old Alexander? He’s quite a charmer with the ladies already, and he’s a whiz with gadgets as well, says mum. Kaitlyn was born on 14 February 2013, (a Valentine’s baby!), with Alexander arriving two years later on 27 February 2015. They have an elder sister, Rebecca, who is five.
What’s your favourite parenting moment with Kaitlyn and Alexander?
I am a working mother, so I am usually not around during the day. My favourite parenting moments with the kids are during bedtime. Every night, I spend about twenty to 30 minutes playing with Alex, before spending another 30 minutes putting both my girls to bed. During this time, we talk about our day, read, sing, pray, and give each other hugs.
Why did you choose Singapore Island Country Club as the venue for your party?
The country club has a very large ballroom with lots of natural light coming in. The service rendered by the staff is exceptional, and the food is also great!
What was the set-up for this party?
The bouncy castles were a crowd pleaser during Kaitlyn’s first birthday party, so I wanted to have them again for this animal safari themed party! Bouncy castles, ZooMoov animal rides, ball pits, inflatable slides and animal walker balloons were strategically placed within the vast space of the ballroom. SG Super Bouncing Club assisted with the set-up and they did a really good job of displaying everything. Their services are reasonably priced too. I would highly recommend them!
Did you have the entire space to yourself?
Yes, we had the space to ourselves for about three hours. The staff also gave us additional time to set up – they were very accommodating!
How many children were there?
There were around forty children, ranging from babies to 12-year-olds. The majority of the kids were between three and six years old.
What was the theme for this party?
It was an animal safari themed party. I wanted a gender-neutral theme since the party was being thrown for both Kaitlyn and Alex. Prior to deciding on the theme, I already had ideas for the party such as ZooMoov animal rides and animal walker balloons. They all eventually tied in with the chosen theme. It was also easy to find jungle-themed party accessories.
What types of games and activities did the children take part in?
There were bouncy castles for the children to jump on and to go up and down the inflatable slides as many times as they wished! We had also brought in ZooMoov animal rides (in line with the animal safari theme!) for the younger kids. These were just like the ones you might have seen at malls. They were the biggest hit with the kids at the party because it is rather rare to find ZooMoov rides at birthday parties.
My only concern was that there were only four of these rides and there were so many kids. I had to make sure that they took turns. I hired someone to manage this for me and to my surprise, the kids were really cool about it and realised on their own that if they rode in pairs or in threes even, they got to go for more rides!
For the babies, I felt that ball pits and slides would be great as their parents could also play with them and they would be relatively safe away from the older kids. Some of them even had a ride on the ZooMoov animals with their parents!
There were also two separate areas where the children could do some colouring or get a temporary cartoon tattoo. I saw some kids with five tattoos on their arms! The kids truly had a blast at the party. Some of them didn’t want to leave the place!
Tell us about the cake!
There were two cakes. A moist chocolate cake with dark cherries and dark chocolate cream for Alex and a two-tiered strawberry shortcake comprising soft vanilla sponge filled with custard and fresh strawberries for Kaitlyn. Each cake was about two kilogrammes. They were both animal themed, but Kaitlyn’s was pink and Alex’s was blue. After several years of having ordered very beautiful and expensive 3D fondant cakes, I decided to go to a baker whom I knew delivered really great tasting cream cakes while not compromising on creative design. The cakes were such a hit!
What made this party memorable?
For me, seeing the joy on my children’s faces as well as the smiles and laughter from the adults and other kids made this party a very memorable one. All the hard work and planning that went into this was totally worth it!
Derrick Choo’s photography preserved the precious moments at the party so wonderfully. He has been my family photographer since the birth of my first child. Derrick has done a fantastic job capturing my children’s progress over the years as we have done regular photoshoots with him. I like his style and my kids are very familiar with “Uncle Derrick”. He always manages to capture the beautiful fleeting moments because he is so fast! This party was naturally his to photograph.
What was the funniest incident at this party?
There was a group of children who were riding on the ZooMoov animals, and one of them wanted to visit the bathroom. So they rode on their animals to the washrooms and waited for that child outside before riding back together. It was also a sweet display of companionship and patience!
Were there goody bags given out?
For the three to six-year-olds: Smiggle gel pen sets, animal-shaped stampers, animal-shaped water pumps, hand sanitisers, Disney colouring and sticker books, assorted cookies and sweets, Hello Kitty wet wipes for the girls, light wands, mini torches, and puffy stickers from Smiggle
For the six to twelve-year-olds: Smiggle stationary, cookies, and sweets
For the babies: Animal stuffed toys that double up as handbags, organic baby snacks, baby socks, bibs, and animal-shaped door stoppers
Each child also went home with an animal walker balloon! (there were eight animal designs to choose from) Babies got their very own bouquet of metallic foil balloons.
What’s your top birthday party planning tip for other parents?
Plan well ahead! I started planning this party about six months ahead. You will find that you get much better deals and feel less stressed!
Venue: Singapore Island Country Club, ballroom 2/3
Food: catered by Singapore Island Country Club
Cake: Michael Lee (Finally Enterprises)
Decor: SG Super Bouncing Club
Planning: Kaitlyn & Alexander’s mummy, Ms. Wendy
Invitations: animal themed Whatsapp invitations by Ms. Wendy
Goody bags/Party favours: Smiggle and assorted stores
Photography: Derrick Choo (Perfect Light Photography)
Birthday children’s outfits: Blumarine for Kaitlyn, Andy & Evan for Alexander
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