Celebrate our national heritage with a Kiwiana kids' birthday party theme featuring no-fuss food classics, super casual party dress and some really choice games.
Kiwiana is an easy party theme that will have you ransacking your hall closet and local op shops for décor and decorations. Think fantails, pohutakawa, flax, sheep... Children will love to see our national treasures on display and city kids will revel in the down-home party games - gumboot-throwing anyone? Costumes can be as easy as a soft hat and black singlet or go for gold in an All-Blacks outfit or traditional Maori dress.
Here's your chance to do something beautiful with flax. If you can source a flax bush cut out squares and fold the corners into the centre. Slip a paper invitation inside and fasten with a piece of paua and glue, or tie with strips of flax. Alternatively, tuck a plain paper invitation into a mini kete. However, we've made it easy for you. Simply download the template of a tomato sauce bottle from www.ohbaby.co.nz/lifestyle/birthday-parties. Cut out in red paper with green for the top and voilà - a stand-out invite.
The Garden Party (www.thegardenparty.co.nz) has a range of beautiful New Zealand-inspired teatowels - deck the walls for a colourful display. Festoon the table with cuddly kiwis, ferns, plastic kowhai and home-made poi (plastic bags stuffed with cushion fill and tied up with plaited ties of red, black and white wool).
Kiwi kids have developed a strong culture of games that celebrate our cherished outdoor living. Many, such as the much-loved Bullrush, have been banned in many schools. But there are still lots of family favourites that make fun party games.
Pin The Tail On The Sheep is an easy one to start with, and gumboot-throwing should need no explanation, though it might be easier to do it outside.
Pass the Kete is a Kiwi twist on Pass the Parcel with the prize wrapped in layers of paper and popped in a large kete. The prize could be a chocolate fish and a small packet of chips.
Another popular game is Statues. Haul out your Kiwi hit discs and crank up the stereo for this game, where the idea is for the children to dance around the lounge until the music stops when they must freeze mid-movement. Again, the last one out is the winner.
So many delicious Kiwi treats to choose! There's pavlova, chocolate fish, L&P, cheerios, fish and chips and tomato sauce, pavlova, hokey-pokey ice cream, Afghans, lamingtons, cheese rolls - the list is endless.
We kept our party food simple but had a beautiful Buzzy Bee cake from the City Cake Company. Our table décor was simple and bold with red plastic plates, red napkins and black cups on a table laid with white.
For party favours our guests were given small kete bags packed with kiwifruit lollipops and pineapple lumps, with a mini Buzzy Bee each and a little thank-you note from the birthday girl.
* Shorts and hat from Nature Baby, www.naturebaby.co.nz.
* Shirt from Pumpkin Patch, www.pumpkinpatch.co.nz.
* Traditional Maori dress from the Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre.
* All Black costume from the Rugby World Cup 2011 official superstore.
* Singlet and hat from Nature Baby, www.naturebaby.co.nz.
* Shoes from Eden Shoes.
* Pois: home-made, stylist's own.
* Teatowels, tiki cushion, tomato sauce bottle, and boys' gumboots from the Garden Party, www.gardenparty.co.nz.
* Cups, plates and napkins from Poppyseed, www.poppyseed.co.nz.
* Rugby ball from Champions of the World.
* Fish 'n' Chips from Mt Eden Village Fish Shop.
* Lollies from Sweet Indulgence, Mt Eden.
* Kiwi toy from the Auckland Zoo.
* Rocking lamb from Offspring Lane.
* Buzzy Bee cake from the City Cake Company, www.citycake.com .
Styling: Angela Pedersen and Lucretia Kemp
Photography: Fiona Tomlinson www.fionatomlinson.co.nz