This isn't my tip but I thought it was clever. Instead of cake at a kid's birthday party, make cupcakes. You can push them together if you want and ice the whole lot to look like one cake or do what my daughter did. She saw in a magazine a barnyard cake and the cupcakes were decorated like different animals. It was so cute. Each kid chose an animal to eat and the adults ate the barnyard.
By Sharon from Bonita Springs, FL
I like the idea of cupcakes. I made Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes for my son's second birthday. Very cute and easy! Plus, there's no fighting over whose piece of cake is bigger. :-)
My sons are in the late 20's and early 30's now, but I would make a small cake that would get decorated with the theme and then I would put the cupcakes to match around. I remember a center one with a race track and the cupcakes had plastic cars. I made one for a friend's daughter and the center had many flowers and the cupcakes each had a big flower. We had a Starwars cake with a cardboard intergalactic plane that Luke flew and the cupcakes had plastic Starwar figures on them. You can use your imagination. Cupcakes make it easier for children to eat and also we could keep the small center (6"cake, single layer, for supper when dad was home and relight the candles to have a family celebration. I like the idea of barnyard animals. I probably would have made a square cake and iced it to look like a barn in the middle:)
When my kids were small we did the same. For example, one year my son was all about Barney, we had a small cake with a Barney picture on it for the adults and green and purple cupcakes for the kids. We let the birthday boy blow out the candles on his cake and gave each child a candle in their cupcake(with adult supervision) so they could "help" blow out the candles. No more tears from the birthday boy that someone else blew out his candles and everyone enjoyed having their own candle to blow out.
I did this with the center decorated to look like a smiley face and the surounding cupcakes had party hat decorations on them.
I even did this for my 15 years old's birthday. It had a driver's license theme. His friends thought it rocked.
I did this for my daughter's 8th birthday. Her friends thought it was cheap and chintzy. Even though each cupcake was homemade, they thought it was merely 3 boxes of Entemann's from the supermarket. They missed the layers of frosting in a cake, as well as the pieces of fruit. And of course, the honor of slicing the first slice.
Some kids even told their parents, and I got some feedback a the next PTA meeting. No one complained to my face but a few moms, for example, sympathetically told me that I shouldn't by shy about asking other moms to contribute, or to have the kids bring drinks, etc.
My daughter said that she got teased for several years and was even called "Cupcakes." She said that she secretly resented me but never told me because she didn't want to hurt my feelings. Now at 18, we can finally laugh at that birthday disaster. Kids can be so cruel at that age, so make sure you do things right!
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