An around the world party

Boy eats world

My baby boy has just turned five and I’m still trying to work out how that’s even possible, given he was only born about ten seconds ago!

Seriously, it seems like only moments ago that he burst into our lives will all the flamboyance and energy of a chorus dancer in a glitzy Broadway show but five all-singing, all-dancing, all-wonderful years have passed us by since that extraordinary moment when he came and changed my life, and my already questionable sanity, forever.

In five fab years he has grown into the loveliest, most imaginative, funniest and well, hungriest, boy a mum could want. And I am more than happy to take some of the credit for that (though I figure that it’s got more to do with blind luck than great parenting on my part!)

This birthday was serious stuff to Raffles as he perceived five to be entering “big boy” territory. So, just 363 days before his actual birthday, he started planning his party.  And, like most things that my imaginative little monkey comes up with, it was going to require a cast of thousands and unlimited access to Donald Trump’s bank accounts.

So hooked on travel is my son that he nixed his old pal Spiderman and instead asked if, for his birthday, he could fly his friends around the world. Easy peasy!

flag bunting

Initially I just laughed and raised an eyebrow as I figured that, like any other normal child, he’d come up with several hundred new ideas between this bold announcement and his actual birthday. This was my first mistake, given that Raffles and normal behaviour are two subjects rarely used in the same sentence.

As the months passed, his extravagant plan was not forgotten and not even his beloved Ninja Turtles could sway him from his plans of global birthday domination.

Sadly, as our private jet was being washed on the weekend we suggested he improvise and that, if it was what he wanted, he and his friends could instead tour the globe through play at an around the world party.

Thankfully, Raffles was happy to fly “Imagination Air” and so, a year after he first came up with his cunning plan, I found myself playing international tour guide as he took twenty of his favourite friends to seven continents in eighty minutes, all without leaving our suburb.

My little pint-sized party planner and I sat down with his Atlas and, as I explained to him the concept of continents, together (with a little help from Google) we came up economical but fun ideas for each one.

Raffles liked the idea of a pretend passport for his friends to get stamped, or in our case, stickered as they completed each activity.

party passport & boarding pass inviteParty passport stickers

He even asked if I could send the invitations as boarding passes, “like when we go on real holidays, mama!”

Clearly he’d thought this all through. At mind-boggling length!  In fact, I doubt Wills and Catherine put this much thought into their wedding.

Our junior jet-setters started in Australia where, thanks to our utterly awesome neighbour, Tim, they enjoyed a didgeridoo demo.

Kids playing didgeridoo

While Tim was pitch perfect, even the best attempts by the enthralled kids resulted only in reproducing the sounds of chronic flatulence.

From Australia we headed to China to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Snake at a table laden with lolly snakes which the kids had to pick up with chopsticks and cram into Chinese take-away containers!

Chopsticks and snakes game

Many inventive methods were trialed and there was certainly a little cheating going on too as the kids were mostly chopstick challenged but the giggling littlies loved this game as much as they loved their haul of sugary treats.

Raffles and I got a little stuck when it came to South America. Mr Eats World’s suggestion of having the kids recreate a Bolivian Drug Cartel didn’t seem particularly appropriate for a five year-old’s birthday party so we chose instead to head to Peru for a raucous game of ‘Pin the tail on the llama!’ As one does in Peru when one has a spare tailless llama floating about.

pin the tail on the llama

Any party of Raffles is going be about food! So, as well as a table full of healthy international treats from sushi and stuffed vine leaves to homemade guacamole and hummus, we decided to head to Italy for a little pizza.

Making party pizza

Each child got to choose their own toppings and create the DIY pizza of their dreams in our little makeshift pizzeria. While Raffles piled his high with some fiery salami, the less asbestos-tongued of the children went the not-especially-authentic ham and pineapple option.

While the pizzas cooked we took a quick detour to Egypt where, after a demonstration by this yummy mummy mummy, we set the kids on each other with toilet paper!

the mummy mummy

And so we allowed our children mummify each other. As all the best parents do.

kids game toilet paper mummy

Ever seen twenty small children mummified in toilet paper? I highly recommend it – though Zombie Apocalypse skeptics may end up with their beliefs in more tatters than the strips of toilet paper (which was all responsibly collected and recycled!) wrapped around our kids.

kids mummyfied at party

Pizzas consumed, our tiny travellers next mission was to don a sombrero and head down Mexico way to assault a completely innocent piñata!

Mexican party pinata

I don’t know if it’s the downpour of sugary treats at the end or the fact that kids just love bashing the crap out of things with a stick but a piñata never fails to please small people.

kids love a pinata

I always promised my children I’d give them the world but Raffles took that a little literally and requested I cook one for him. It is moments like these when you wonder if it would be okay to swear in front of/at your children… but I did my best!

kids around the world party cake

Though baking this mongrel of a thing nearly killed me, and not a cartographer in the world is feeling remotely threatened by my attempts, the birthday boy was pleased!

One final stop for a refreshing snow cone in Antarctica and the party was over.

Chuffed with his day, the first horrifying words uttered by Raffles as his last guest said good-bye were, “Next year, I want my party to be…”, before I swiftly silenced him with my growls and collapsed exhausted from this one.

Globe cake

*Thanks to Tim for the didge action, Agnes for the invites and to Jill for sharing some of her lovely party pics!

28 Comments on An around the world party

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    March 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm (11 years ago)

    You did an AMAZING job on the cake Aleney! I’m so impressed by it! I have a set of around the world cutters but they’ve missed out parts of Asia and I’m so miffed about that so I don’t use them much. Maybe I should pull them out for this!

      March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks Lorraine. It wasn’t as glamorous as I imagined it would turn out but it certainly met the birthday boy’s approval! 🙂

  2. Talia
    March 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, this is an awesome birthday party!!! I am going to pin the bejezzus out of this so that I don’t forget these ideas!

    Also, THAT CAKE. Amazing! I had actually planned a cake similar to this for Lior’s first birthday party the other month (a globe theme!), but couldn’t work out how i would pull it off. So I settled for something much simpler instead!

    Amazing job!

      March 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks Talia. The cake was six hours of baking hell! I used a half soccer ball cake pan but due to its centre depth the kiddy cake mix I usually use took 2 hours to cook through x 2! Then I had to make another cake to stick in the middle to make it an actual globe shape. Aghhh! By the time I got to icing it I got quite slapdash but the results were certainly met 5 year old standards!

      Hope the other ideas help you with your party. The games were a hoot 🙂

  3. Kim
    March 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm (11 years ago)

    WOW. Just WOW. What a lucky bunch of kids to roll up to your birthday party. And that cake – it’s the bomb. You’d never know there are salty tears of pain concealed within. My kids make their pizzas for dinner all the time – it’s the best way to get them involved in cooking and guaranteed to eat! Genius for a party. You’re one hot mummy! 🙂

      March 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks Kim. the pizzas were indeed a hit and the whole party was heaps of fun, even for me. Well,fun except for baking that bitch of a cake! 😉

  4. Kate
    March 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm (11 years ago)

    The whole event was brilliant!

  5. Karen
    March 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm (11 years ago)

    Problem solved. I’ll just hire you to run my next kids party.

      March 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm (11 years ago)

      Teehee! Maybe not but happy to assist of course lovely!

  6. MrsD
    March 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm (11 years ago)

    THAT looks like the most fabulous birthday party ever!! Well done mum. It’s looks like it was a totally success. I did a big party last year for my little girls 3rd b’day (it was her first party) and it look me a week to recover!!! Oh and that globe cake is awesome too xx

      March 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks Mrs D. My boy loved it so in my books that makes it a huge success. Still in recovery mode though! 🙂

  7. Jase
    March 9, 2013 at 11:07 am (11 years ago)

    Your llama is ok but I think your husband’s idea of a Bolivian Drug Kartel would have had more edge and a better profit margin! 🙂

      March 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm (11 years ago)

      Not to mention twenty to life in prison…

  8. getfitgetfabulous
    March 10, 2013 at 1:00 am (11 years ago)

    I love this idea so much! May have to take inspriation from it for my daughter’s 6th birthday which is in July. I don’t know if I have your skills to make a cake like that though. Maybe a ‘map style’ rectangular cake would be better for me to make! Hope he had a great day 🙂

      March 10, 2013 at 7:49 am (11 years ago)

      Thanks. After making the stress and swearing involved in making the globe I think that a flat map cake is definitely the wise way forward… 🙂

  9. Ateyate
    March 10, 2013 at 8:00 am (11 years ago)

    OMG! What a party. And that cake. Wowsers

  10. Have a laugh on me
    March 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm (11 years ago)

    That is the coolest party EVER!! What an awesome mum you are – wow truly I’m in awe. I also like some of the ideas and might borrow some for my daughter’s 5th birthday in a few weeks 🙂 Emily

      March 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm (11 years ago)

      Borrow away, Emily. And enjoy your daughter’s 5th. It’s such a wonderful milestone 🙂

  11. laurasmess
    March 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm (11 years ago)

    Love, love, love this post Aleney!! I definitely agree that you have very lucky, blessed kids! The photo of the pinata makes me laugh. I just threw my husband a 31st birthday party a fortnight ago and I bought him a pinata for old times sake! We all had a good whack at it in the backyard with cold Coronas and tacos in hand!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful experiences with us. Amazing cake. Happy birthday Raffles!! x

      March 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm (11 years ago)

      Aww thanks so much! Pinatas are the best. A pinata plus beer sounds even better 🙂

  12. Lisa
    March 11, 2013 at 12:46 am (11 years ago)

    Oh wow, what a great party and now I am really, really sorry we couldn’t make it 🙂 So glad he had an awesome day.

      March 11, 2013 at 11:48 am (11 years ago)

      He did Lisa. But we missed you! Next time… 🙂

  13. Elisa {With Grace & Eve}
    March 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh wow! What an amazing party! I love your creativity and your little one’s creative mind too! Amazing cake!! x

      March 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks Elisa, he certainly has a big imagination 🙂

  14. LaVagabonde
    March 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm (11 years ago)

    Looks like great fun!

  15. rhian @melbs
    August 17, 2013 at 10:48 am (11 years ago)

    Wow, that looks like such a great party, I love the passports idea. Your little fella has a great imagination doesn’t he. 🙂


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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