{Outdoor Play Party: We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo!}


I really never appreciated zoos until I had children. They have so much to offer!

The animals...


The learning opportunities....



The family time....


And the playtime!



We went to one of our favourite zoos last week, the Vienna Zoo. It's the world's oldest zoo. We always have a wonderful day there, and they have the most fantastic playground! We go every spring, and have always found something new to see and do (once we even saw a baby giant panda being, er..., "made"! And the following spring we saw the new baby panda!).

What's your favourite zoo?


The last Outdoor Play Party brought us 48 ideas for playing outdoors, including these BEAUTIFUL (really, they were!) mudpies from Mummy's Busy World.






We'd love for you to share your children's outdoor play related posts with us, too!


We'd appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we'll gladly further share your post on Facebook/ Twitter/ PinterestPlease feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.
Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured. (If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the 'featured' button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! The linky goes live every second Friday at 12:01 GMT+1. 




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Shared at: Family Frolics

{Pink and Red Heart Party: Personalized Straw Markers}


Another ridiculously easy party decorating craft - and a practical one, too!

How do you keep kids from mixing up their cups at parties? I usually use paper cups and write their names on them. Even if they can't read them, at least the adults can help them find their cups.

But this year, I came up with an even better way to mark their drinks - personalized straw holders!

The inspiration for this idea came from You Make Do, where you can buy all sorts of fun party accessories!

Being the type that likes to make my own accessories, though, all I did was cut heart shapes (to match the pink and red heart party theme, of course) out of stiff, coloured card stock, then used an exacto knife to cut two parallel slits in each one. I wrote their names on (deleted from the pictures) and decorated each one with different stickers (that way it doesn't matter if they can read or not). Then I just slipped the straws through the slits. That's it! It made it really easy for all the guests to keep track of their cups, and also helped to dress up the table, too.

For more pink and red heart party ideas, check Pink and Red Heart Theme Party page and my Heart Party Pinterest board.

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{Pink and Red Heart Party: Cupcake Liner Rosettes}

Like Mama Pea Pod for birthday party ideas? Please consider throwing a vote our way in the Red Tricycle Most Awesome awards for Birthday Party Ideas! Thanks so much! x





Another craft from Sweet Pea's pink and red heart-themed birthday partyRosettes to wear, made from cupcake liners!

Princess Pea has a store-bought 'Birthday Girl' rosette from a couple of years ago, but I thought it might be fun to make these homemade rosettes for all the guests to wear at the party and to take home afterwards.

I followed the tutorial for making cupcake liner rosettes for cards here*, except that I also hot glued a circular piece of coordinating fabric onto the backs and stuck a safety pin through the fabric, so that we could use them as wearable rosettes for the party guests (and my two girls, too, of course).



I had some plain pink, blue and patterned pink cupcake liners that I used, and I happened to have some sparkly craft foam, so there was no need to do the glitter step in the tutorial (though I think they'd still look sweet without the sparkles). 

For the boy at the party, I used a blue craft foam pre-cut star shape (not glittery, but oh well)**.  The only other patterned cupcake liners I had were all Christmas-themed, but it worked out perfectly as our little boy friend is obsessed with snowmen at the moment, so he got a snowman liner in his. 

And I had some sweet cupcake-patterned ribbon in pink and blue that was perfect for the tails.

For more creations from the party, look here. And for other heart-themed party ideas, check out my Heart Party Ideas Pinterest board.

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* Although the tutorial looks like there's a lot of steps involved, it was actually a really quick and easy craft to do. 
**Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think pink hearts are unsuitable for boys, but rather that I expected that our 5 year old guest would not be very interested in wearing one. Particularly if his 7 year old brother caught sight of him in it.

{More Pink and Red Heart Party Crafts: Fun toothpick toppers!}

Fun Heart Toothpick Toppers

for Parties


Like Mama Pea Pod for birthday party ideas? Please consider throwing a vote our way in the Red Tricycle Most Awesome awards for Birthday Party Ideas! Thanks so much! x




Nothing says 'party' like decorative toothpicks, right? ;-)


So I made these for Sweet Pea's pink and red heart birthday party.
I found some craft foam heart shapes in the kids' craft supplies.
I attached one to the top of a toothpick, using one side of a bit of double-sided tape.
Then I peeled off the backing and attached a matching foam heart onto it, 
on the other side of the toothpick.


Cute and easy and took about 2 minutes to make 8 of them!

What other shapes could I make next?

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{Pink and Red Heart Party: Easy DIY Decorations}

Like Mama Pea Pod for birthday party ideas? Please consider throwing a vote our way in the Red Tricycle Most Awesome awards for Birthday Party Ideas! Thanks so much! x



1. Pink and Red Heart Garland


I made this sweet garland for Sweet Pea's pink and red heart-themed birthday party using bits of paper from the recycling box left over from Valentine decorations at school. These pieces were leftovers from the die cutter (the 'negative space' left over after cutting out the hearts), but you could easily make some by just making a cardboard heart template (or print a template here) and cutting the hearts out of squares of pink and red paper. 
(I'd suggest folding the papers in half and cutting out just half a heart, to get a perfectly symmetrical heart shape.)


I laid them out on the floor, spaced as I wanted them to hang, and stuck little pieces of double-sided tape along the tops.


Then I laid down a piece of pink ribbon over the tape.


I tied bows in the ends and that was it. Easy, pretty heart garland!


2. Hanging heartstring


For this vertical hanging string of hearts, I used heart-shaped pieces of paper (again, leftovers from Valentine decorations, but easy to make - you could use either heart-shaped 'holes' like these, or solid heart shapes). Again, I laid them out on the floor, spaced where I wanted them to be, then cut short pieces of ribbon that fit the spaces between each heart. 



Again, I used double-sided tape to attach the ribbon bits to the backs of the hearts in a string. 





Then I hung up the decorations on the dining room window.

I added a few touches - some pink and red crepe streamers, some hearts drawn on the window with window crayons, and I wrote the birthday girl's name on the window inside the hearts (not shown). I thought they turned out pretty cute!


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{Outdoor Play Party: Bubble Wrap Run}

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So as I mentioned in my last post, we had a pink-and-red-heart themed party last weekend for Sweet Pea's 2nd birthday. Whenever the weather cooperates, we like to hold parties outdoors. Early March is a bit cold to have the whole party outside, but we did make sure to get some outdoor play in. Though the birthday girl was a bit young for structured party games, we had a Bubble Wrap Run that seemed to be quite a hit!

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We taped down a big piece of bubble wrap (salvaged from our new coffee table), and the little peas and their guests ran, danced, and jumped on it!

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Of course I had to try it, and I have to admit that although it does feel great on your feet (a bit like a massage, actually!), I was sort of disappointed that the bubbles didn't pop as easily as I'd thought. I'd envisioned them popping under our feet with each step, but actually you had to push down quite hard and deliberately to pop them. Perhaps if I'd had the big bubble type of bubble wrap? But the kids (2-5 years old) didn't seem to notice that not many bubbles were popping - they had a blast with it!


In the last edition of the Outdoor Play Party, I absolutely adored this Rainbow Tree from Dilly-Dali Art! I haven't been able to rally the peas' interest in doing it yet, but I'm determined to try it - I've already got a tree picked out!


Want to share your outdoor play ideas with us? Here are just a few guidelines for sharing:

- Any kind of children's outdoor play-related posts are welcome!











- We'd love it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we'll gladly further share your post on Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.
- By contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured. (If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the 'featured' button from the sidebar.)

Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! The linky goes live every second Friday at 12:01 GMT+1. 




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{Pink and Red Heart Theme Party!}


Like Mama Pea Pod for birthday party ideas? Please consider throwing a vote our way in the Red Tricycle Most Awesome awards for Birthday Party Ideas! Thanks so much! x




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This past weekend we had a pink-and-red-heart themed birthday party for our Sweet Pea's 2nd birthday! 

She wanted to invite just 4 little friends, ranging in age from 11 months to 8 years old - quite a range! So we tried to have a little something for everyone, keeping in mind that the birthday girl herself was just two.

We served finger foods that they could grab and eat on the run, seeing as toddlers aren't really into sitting down to eat for long, especially when there's a party going on!

I set up play stations that children could choose freely from if they wanted, plus a couple slightly more structured activities that the younger ones could also participate in (I figured the older kids would probably be expecting something more along the lines of party games and activities - so we found a compromise). So we had a train set station, blocks station, Duplo station, making salt dough ornaments station, a rock hunt, and a bubble wrap run. 



And, of course, I had a great time getting crafty with party decorations and favours! 





heart rosette pins for the guests to wear,






woven paper heart favour bags and heart-shaped crayons to go in the favour bags.



And, of course, I also made pink and red heart-themed treats - stained glass heart-shaped cookies, a fun milk jelly, and a pink and red heart cake.


Let's just say we had one happy little birthday girl! 



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{Exploring Our New Garden: Outdoor Play Party}



Unfortunately, we didn't get in much outdoor play lately as we've been stuck inside with the flu for the past week, but we did manage to squeeze in a little time exploring our new garden and making our mark on the garden rocks before the worst of it started.


Looking for spiders in the sand pile
In the last Outdoor Play Party, this Gruffalo Outdoor Play Trail from Sunhats and Wellie Boots really caught my eye! We are BIG fans of the Gruffalo at our house (you can see our Gruffalo puppet theatre here), and I love how they combined one of our favourite books with outdoor play - and even face painting to boot! (And who doesn't love face painting?)




So for this edition, here are just a few guidelines for sharing:




- Any kind of children's outdoor play-related posts are welcome!
- If you'd like us to further share your post (e.g., on Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest), please just include a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play!
- Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.
- Each time we will feature an activity from the previous party. 
- By contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished. (If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the 'featured' button from the sidebar.)

Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! The linky goes live every second Friday at 12:01 GMT+1. 

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