Reading the Gruffalo books with Weasel, I couldn’t help but think about how they would make a fantastic theme for a children’s party. With both my kids being late autumn babies and the unpredictable English weather at that time, I knew we were going to just have to have a random party this spring to celebrate these fab books that Weasel (and we) love. It was going to have to be fancy dress, and Weasel much prefers Gruffalo’s Child and had the costume ready and waiting in her ever-expanding dressing up box. One great feature of Gruffalo costumes is their padding, but unexpectedly throwing the party on a day that boiled the thermometers ensured no kids were left in costume after about the first half hour. Oh well. Here’s one we took on another day.
As food is clearly a massive part of the Gruffalo books, we had to think about which ones to make and how to interpret things like owl ice cream. The labels, which are important to help the kids understand the links to the books, were made with some letter stickers, cheap coloured paper and some of that sticky ribbon.
Mouse on a slice of bread (yes, I do realise I’ve misquoted the book on the label. Oops. I always add the word ‘real’ when I read it too.) – Cheese sandwiches, cut into triangles, with a cola lace hanging out of it. This was surprisingly a big hit with the kids, very easy to make and they loved that it flavoured the bread. Should really have remembered to take off the cling film for the photo. Double oops.
Poisonous Warts: Grapes, simple as pie.
Roasted Fox: Cocktail sausages, what could be easier? There were some very reluctant kids who thought it might be the genuine article.
Scrambled Snake: Ok, it doesn’t look a lot like scrambled snake, but I picked up the idea for popcorn from Pinterest. It’s great party food, cheap and everyone eats popcorn. The cones can be placed in a cupcake stand, otherwise I’m not sure how you’d keep them upright. I wouldn’t recommend hand-drawing a snake on each. I never, ever want to draw a snake again.
Gruffalo Crumble: Made with glitter and chopped strawberries, topped with yoghurt placed in clear cups. Husband mixed up some oats, butter and brown sugar in a bowl, baked it for a few minutes, broke it up and placed in the cups onto of the yoghurt. It’s been Gruffalo’ed by adding Silver Spoon orange buttons for eyes, a drop of black icing for the pupil and normal Cadbury buttons make the angry eyebrows.
Owl Ice Cream: This has got to be my favourite, and also awesome to see the confused looks on some toddlers’ faces as they tried to work out if it was ice cream or not.
How to make baked cupcakes in an ice cream cone – first of all I cheated so I didn’t get them too wet and ruin the cone, by buying a cheap box of mix. For the cones Askeys seem to be the only makers of flat bottomed cup cones in the UK, and I picked mine up at Sainsbury’s. Fill your flat-bottomed cones 2/3 of the way full (most sites say this makes sure they cook all the way, but I probably filled mine a bit more and it was fine), and bake. I baked mine longer but at a lower temperature than the instructions for normal cupcakes. Pipe pre-mixed Betty Crocker vanilla icing on like you would pipe soft-serve ice cream for a self-service machine, adding some cocoa powder halfway through the tub to make chocolate ones. Top with milk button eye, a black dot of icing for the pupil and a sideways orange button (left-over from the Gruffalo crumble) for the owl nose. If I must say so myself, I think they look awesome.
We could have done Gruffalo games, but with 2 year olds there didn’t seem much point. Running around the garden and eating all the tasty food seemed enough to keep them happy. I just look forward now to the next books Weasel gets into!