Nov 14, 2010

How to make Ice cream Cone Cupcakes

Ice cream Cone Cupcakes...yum

These Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are a great idea for birthday parties and are as easy to make as normal cupcakes.

Oreo Ice cream Cone Cupcake
Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Recipe:

Vanilla cupcake

90g butter softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (110g) Caster sugar
2 eggs room temp
1 cup (150g) Self Raising flour
2 tablespoons milk

12 party ice cream cones (flat bottom)

Cream Topping
Whipping Cream

Preheat oven to moderate 180degrees.

Beat butter, extract, sugar, eggs, flour and milk in small bowl with electric mixer until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium, beat until mixture has changed to a paler colour.

Place flat-bottomed ice cream cones in the cups of a regular muffin pan. Pour enough batter into each cone to fill from 1/2 to 2/3 full.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool.

We use a stabilised whipped cream recipe so that our ice cream tops don't "melt". Instructions to make this is as follows:

Soak plain gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes.

Dissolve by placing it in a container over a small pot of simmering water.

Whip the cream until barely stiff.

Add melted gelatin all at once to cream during whipping.

Stop whipping when cream forms soft peaks.

Handy Tips when making stabilised whipped cream:
For 1 cup of cream use 1/2 teaspoon gelatin soaked in 1 tablespoon cold water.
For 2 cups of cream use 1 teaspoon gelatin soaked in 2 tablespoons cold water.
For 6 cups of cream use 1 tablespoon soaked in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon cold water.

Then finally decorate with your favourite sprinkles, chocolate, flakes, oreo, whatever tickles your fancy!

Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cupcakes by Bakerella
Looking to impress all of your Christmas party guests? Have a go at baking these wonderful Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cupcakes. Full instructions on how to bake these can be found at the best ever baking site Bakerella.

Nov 12, 2010

How to host a Christmas Holiday Party

Dust off the Christmas Tutu......
Christmas party games are a must for any Christmas Holiday celebration. Here are a few of my favourite games and activities for any Christmas gathering.

Christmas Memory Tree
The cheeky elves have stolen items that were hanging on the magical Christmas tree. This is played like a memory tray game. Have children look at the tree and items hanging on it, place a cover over the tree and remove one item, children must correctly guess what the missing item is.
Christmas Memory Tree is a great warm up game for party arrival
Magical Reindeer Food
Secret Ingredients:
  • Oats (reindeer love oats!)
  • Glitter moonlight dust (silver glitter)
  • Giggle dust (Red/Green or Gold dust)
Magical Reindeer Dust. Source: Listen In Georgina Hall Blog
The special poem you could print out onto small card and attach to either an organza bag or simply a zip-lock bag could read:

Expecting a visit from Santa?
Here is a recipe I have found
It is a special reindeer food
to  sprinkle on the ground
The oatmeal is for energy
The sparkles are for flight.
So sprinkle the reindeer food
on Christmas night!
All of Santa's reindeer
will love this healthy snack
and next year Santa and his reindeer
surely will be back!!!

You could make the ingredients in the children's hands explaining each of the ingredients and the magical properties of each. Each child gets a pinch, then stir once to the left, twice to the right (using your magical pinkie of course), then all skip outside to sprinkle in the garden and make a magical wish. Alternatively, why not create a Christmas treasure hunt with the clues. Each clue could contain one  magical ingredient at a time. Then mix, stir and sprinkle.

Reindeer Poop and Snowman's Poop

Pin the Nose on the Rudolph
An oldie but a goodie. Blindfold one child at a time and have them pin the red nose on Rudolph.

I love the pin the nose on Rudolph that Fiona Carter from Living on the Crafty Side of Life  played
Reindeer Candy Canes
 These are simple for any age to make. Set up a craft station which displays:
  • Candy Canes
  • Googly Eyes
  • Red pipe cleaners cut to a 2 inch length
  • red and green fabric balls
  • craft glue bottles

Reindeer Candy Canes easy party craft
Reindeer Hokey Pokey
Little kids will love singing along with the actions. Get kids in a circle and sing loud and strong!

You put your antlers in,

You put your antlers out.
You put your antlers in,

And you shake them all about.
You do the reindeer pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!

  • You put your right hoof (hand) in
  • You put your left hoof (hand) in
  • You put your hind legs in
  • You put your tail in

My Jodie loved playing Reindeer Hokey Pokey at playgroup!
Reindeer Antler Game

Make 2-4 teams.  Hand each team one pair of pantyhose and 1 balloon to each player. Each team should have about 8 balloons.

On the word "go", the teams race to make reindeer antlers, by blowing up the balloons and stuffing them into the pantyhose. Then one team member wears the antlers and sings the first verse of Jingle Bells.
The first one to do so wins for the team.

Santa Relays
Here are a few relay ideas for teams. Mix the adults and children together to make the teams even.
  • Santa Flag Race: Paint tins (4 per team) red and have plastic toy candy cane decorations to use as the flags. Play in the same way as a school carnival flag race is run.  
  • Ride the reindeer: You will need one toy reindeer horse on a stick (find them at Kmart, Target, novelty stores), jar of Vaseline, red fluffy balls and one reindeer antler headband for each team. Have teams line up and one at a time they must place a red nose (red fluffy ball dipped in Vaseline) on their nose, don the reindeer antlers and then ride the reindeer around a marker located 20 metres away and back. They then tag the next team member. The team who completes the course first wins.
  • Santa Sack Race this simply is a sack race using red sacks
  • Santa Pop Place a chair for each team approx 20 metres in front of the start line. Each team member must one at a time, put on a Santa beard, Santa hat and blow up a balloon. They run with the balloon to the chair and must pop the balloon by sitting on it. They run back and tag the next team member. First team who completes the relay first wins.
  • Christmas Dress up relay Make two piles of Christmas clothing (hats, boots, red shirt, beard etc... and divide the group into teams. First players race to the dress up clothes from their team's pile. When finished, the player must take off the clothes run back and tag next player. The team that dresses and undressed first wins

Christmas Wreath Relays

Santa Says
This is a great game to use at the beginning of the party to ensure all kids are listening and following instructions. Play the game like Simon says. Santa will give orders but only those instructions which are proceeded with "Santa Says", should be followed by the players. Any player who follows instructions without "Santa Says" are out.

Pass the Present  Play like pass the parcel. Simple and kids love it.

Giant Christmas Cracker Pop game - just think Pinata Christmas style!

Wrap the Present Challenge
Each team is given their own present wrapping supplies of equal numbers of wrapping paper, sticky tape, ribbon, five different sized boxes, scissors, pen and 5 cards.
On the word 'go" teams must race against the clock to see which team completes the wrapping presents challenge the fastest. The first team to wrap all of their boxes completely with wrapping paper and ribbon are the winners.

Christmas Draw on your head:

Everyone places a large book on their head with a piece of blank paper on it. They each have a pen. The host then gives a series of instructions. Without looking, the players draw onto their page, which is over their head. Here are the instructions:

1. Draw a line for a floor
2. Draw a Christmas Tree.
3. Draw a star on top of your tree.
4. Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
5. Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace."
6. Draw a present below the tree.

Have everyone remove their pictures from their heads. It can be pretty funny to see what you have drawn.

The host now offers points for random hits.
1. 2 points if the tree touches the floor.
2. 2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel
3. 1 point if your star touches your tree.
4. 1 point if your star is above your tree
5. 1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
6. 1 point if your fireplace doesn't touch the tree (it's a fire hazard!)
7. 1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking.
8. 2 point if your present if under your tree.

The winner is then the person with the most points.

Christmas Face Painting
Christmas Face Painting  Kids love to get their face painted.
Water Games  For a warm Christmas party, why not try cooling down with these water games
Christmas Candy Kebabs. Sourced from : Sweets Indeed

Christmas Candy Kebabs  I blogged earlier this week about the amazing Sweets Indeed Candy Kebabs. Why not trying to make these at your party as a craft/take home activity. A helpful hint is to place a hard candy on the bottom of the kebab stick so your lollies do not slide down and also to spray with cooking oil the stick so lollies slide on easily.

What's in Santa's stocking game
What's in the Christmas Stocking
Divide players into teams of 3-5 people per team. Give each team a Christmas stocking full of items that has been tied shut with a ribbon.  Set a timer and give each team 3 minutes to feel the stocking and write down all the objects that they can identify by feeling them through the stocking. The team with the most correct items wins.
Christmas Tree Lottery

Your guests will love this idea! Tie onto a small christmas tree various Lottery Scratch n' Win tickets for guests to choose and scratch. This is a family tradition for us. One year, one lucky relative won $200.
Have Fun and Happy Holidays!!

Ollie our very own Christmas Pug

Nov 8, 2010

Candy Sensation

Candy Kebab. Source: Sweets Indeed
I'm loving the sweet surprises offered by Sweets Indeed. The creative talent genius at Sweets Indeed specialise in Candy Kebabs, Dessert and Candy Stations.  Take a look at how special these are. You can purchase the Candy Kebabs from their etsy store or have Sweets Indeed tailor design your very own station.

Butterfly Candy Kebab. Source: Sweets Indeed

Green Star Candy Surprise. Great for lolly bag fillers. Source: Sweets Indeed

These would be great for a fairy or princess party. Source: Sweets Indeed

Fairy Party Dessert Station designed by Sweets Indeed

Princess Party Dessert Table. Beautiful! Source: Sweets Indeed
Dessert Stations provide an amazing visual impression for your guests.  Source: Sweets Indeed

Christmas Candy Kebabs. Sensational Fete stall item. Source Sweets Indeed

Tea Party Centrepiece

Vintage Bird Cage Centrepiece. Sourced: CountryLiving
I love the elegance of this Vintage Bird Cage filled with garden flowers. Simply Divine.

Coloured pencil vase. Sourced from CountryLiving
This would look great at a young girl's birthday tea party table. Easy to make using similar colour palette pencils, ribbon, glue gun and spring flowers.

Pink and Purple tea party candelabra
Pinkilicious Tea Parties for girls aged between 8 - 14yrs was a party plan designed by me! Pink and Purple hews are the order of the day, coupled with craft activities, handwriting analysis, personality decoding, origami, jewellery making, chocolate fondue, friendship quizzes. Best friends have the best fun!
Oriental table centrepiece

Oriental material covers canvas boards to provide colour to the table setting

Christmas Tree Lottery Table Centrepieces. Guests could win millions!

Nov 4, 2010

How to host a Pool Party

Pool Party Games

Pool Toy Toss
Divide your pool in half using a rope or ideally with a volleyball net. Have even team player numbers on each side of the net (make sure the better swimmers are on deep end side of pool).  Have two baskets full of pool toys like noodles, blow up balls, Splash Water Bombs, blow up sharks etc. With same number of toys in each basket, dump them in the water on each side of the line. On go, all players will try to throw the items to the other side of the line and try to keep their side of the pool free of items. You can give them 5 – 10 minutes to do so. When the whistle blows they are to stop immediately. The team with the least amount of items is the winner.

Pool Volleyball
This is a favourite at our family gatherings. Set up your volleyball net across the middle of the pool and start playing. Easy, simple and fun.
Water balloon Catch. Boys love this game!

Pool Water polo
Set up two goals (use the portable soccer goals), at either end of the pool. Divide players into two even teams. Throw the volleyball into the middle and start the water polo game. Make sure you penalise rough play. Team with most goals wins.

Shark Tag

One person is chosen to be the shark (in our house it's Dad), and the others are fish. The Shark starts on the side of the pool close to the middle while the fish start at one end of the pool. When the shark says go, the fish must try to make it across the pool and back. Meanwhile the shark jumps in and starts to try and tag the fish. If a fish is tagged, they are frozen and it is up to another fish to unfreeze them. The fish win if they each make it across the pool and back and are all touching the end of the pool. The Shark wins if everyone is tagged and frozen.

Water Bombs Away!
This game you can play two players against each other or alternatively have two players per team compete. You need to first set up a hula hoop for each team at opposite ends of the pool and give each team at least 5 super soaker water balls. The object of the game is to get your water balls (bombs) into the other team's hula hoop. This game works best if one team member guards their own team's hula hoop whilst the other team member tries to get his ball into the other team's hula hoop. Teams are awarded 1 point for each successful target. Players must not touch the hula hoop but can block and catch the bombs.

Riding the Whale
So we all have one of those blow up toys that look like a shark or a whale and are almost impossible to stay on for long! Have competitions where players are timed with an aim to "ride" the whale the longest.

Marco Polo An oldie but a goodie! One player is "Marco". Marco needs to close their eyes and count to 10 and then yells Marco. He/she then listens for the other players to call back "Polo!" Marco swims toward the sounds of the other players, and tries to tag another player with his hand. When Marco is called, all players above water level must answer Polo. Players must not get out of the pool unless they are tagged by Marco.

Diving Games
Everyone loves the pool diving games. Have competitions to retrieve a set of keys or diving sticks. This can be a timed activity or a race between 2 players.
Races where players need to swim under water through hula hoops or weighted down hoops.

Stuck in the Mud

This is essentially a game of tag, with one or two players being nominated to capture the others. Once a player is caught they have to go to the shallow end then stay there until they are set free by a player who has not been caught swimming through their legs.

Bombie Contest
The player who makes the biggest splash wins!

Long Jump the Noodle

One person (Dad or Mum: Someone responsible), holds a noodle at a predetermined distance from the side of the deep end of the pool. One by one, each player jumps over the noodle into the water. After each round the noodle is moved out further (say at least 30 cms) making it more and more difficult to clear the noodle. Longest jump wins.

Crocodile, Crocodile
Choose someone to be the crocodile. Everyone else lines up along 1 side of the pool. You all chant "Crocodile, crocodile, can we cross your blue,  blue river". Crocodile responds with: "Not unless you have brown eyes" (choices could be various other traits such as hair colour, name starting with...). Those who have what it is asked for, get to swim across the river safely. Those that don't must wait until the crocodile says "Go!". They all must then cross the river as quickly as possible before Crocodile tags them. Whoever is tagged becomes Crocodile. If no one is tagged, Crocodile remains the Crocodile.

Water Games

Over/Under Game  Each team forms a single file line facing the persons head next to them. At the head of each line put a bucket of water. At the other end put a pitcher with a line drawn on it. Give a sponge to the person at the head of the line where the water bucket is. That person has to dip the sponge in the water to soak in as much water as they can. They then have to then pass the soaking wet sponge over their head to the person behind who then passes the sponge to the person behind them through their legs.

The sponge makes its way back over the head of one person and between the legs of the next till it gets to the person standing next to the pitcher. That person must squeeze whatever water is left into the pitcher and run the sponge back up to the head of the line. When this occurs, everybody moves back one position and the person who was at the back of the line now is at the head of the line.
Continue process till the pitcher is filled to line.

Catch the Water Bombs
Attach a colander to a bike helmet using string and have one helmet per team. Have team members stand behind a throwing line and see how many successful catches are made by the "team catcher"

Fill the Bottle
On each team, one person lays on the ground while holding a plastic bottle on their forehead. Team mates run to the bucket to fill up their cup then they attempt to pour it into their team mate’s bottle while standing over head. Then the next team mate will do the same until the 2 Litre bottle is filled. Once the 2 Litre bottle is filled, the bottle person should run to the finish line without spilling.

Skipping Rope
Give each child a plastic cup full of water. While two players twirl a large jump rope, jumpers one by one are to attempt three consecutive jumps. They are to do this whilst holding onto their cup of water and trying to not let any water spill. The child that has the most water left is the winner. You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup.

Watermelon eating competition - it does have "water" in the word...

Sponge Toss Contest
Each team forms a line with teammates a little more than an arms length away from each other. At one end of the line is a large container of water with large sponges in it. The other end has a small bucket, which you could mark with a fill line where you want the finish point to be or just fill to the top. When signaled to start, teams are to race. The person at the large container is to throw a sponge to next teammate and that person to the next until it reaches the end of the line. The last person is to squeeze the sponge out and then run to the start of the line, dip the sponge in the large container and pass to next person. If sponge is dropped while being passed, it is to be thrown back to the start of the line and you are to continue again. After full rotation of line, meaning everyone has taken sponge out of large container and passed, the team with the most collected water is the winner.

Water Balloon Relay Race
Set up a chair for each team with a water balloon in the seat. Each player must run to the chair, sit on the balloon till it pops, then run and tag the next player. You will need to put a new balloon in after each one is popped. First team to pop all balloons and cross the finish line wins.

Water Balloon Toss
In pairs they start in close and each throw back and forward. Back and forth is counted as 1, and then they have to take a step back. They keep going till it drops or pops. The team that has the pair with the highest number wins.

Alternatively you could  throw the water balloons up; if they catch one, put it back in the bucket and the successful catcher is awarded a point for their team. Make sure there is no rough play or "up the Cazaly" marks. Again the team that catches the most wins.

Drip, drip, dunk
Play like duck, duck, goose, however one child walks around the circle with a cup of water, dripping on all in the circle (saying drip, drip, drip), then the chosen person has it poured over their head (dunk). They must then chase this person around the circle, trying to tag them. Handy to have a bucket of water next to the circle so children can fill up the cup when it’s their turn.

There's a Hole in my Bucket!
Drill holes in the bottom of 2 household buckets. Have teams line up single file behind the start line and have an empty bin for each team located approximately 20 metres from start line. At the start line, there is another large bin full of water. On the word go, each team member must fill the bucket with water from the start line bin and place it on their head. They run down to the empty bin in front of them and tip what remaining water is left in their bucket into the collection bin. They run quickly back to their next team member and hand them the bucket to repeat the process. The first team to fill their collection bin wins.

Water Relay Race

Water Balloon Dodge
Have at least 8 water balloons per player. Divide into 2 groups on opposite sides of a line with each side having their balloons in a plastic tub. If you are hit with a water balloon you are out (like dodge ball). Last one standing wins for their team.

Water Gun Battle. Each player is given a super soaker water gun.....the rest is history!

Water Gun Game

Towel Balloons  You will need: A minimum of 4 people, 1 towel between 2 and water filled balloons

Get into groups of 2. Each person holds an end of the towel. Place a water filled balloon in the middle of each towel. Each team must toss the balloon into the air and catch it on their towel. The last team to with an unburst balloon is the winner.

Have fun keeping cool!