Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Annual Cousins' Birthday Party

As I have mentioned before, we now have eight grandchildren: two are 8, two are 6, one is 5, two are 4 and one is 7 weeks.  Every summer I hold a Cousins' Birthday Party.  We celebrate all the cousins' birthdays on this day.  That way throughout the year, families will not have to fret about driving any distances to a party or complicate already VERY busy schedules of soccer games, piano lessons, tutoring, dance  recitals, sleepovers or other child-oriented activities so that cousins can get to celebrate with each other! Generally, I serve lunch and have cupcakes with candles to insure everyone has a candle to make a wish on.  There are balloons and crepe paper streamers, noisemakers and birthday hats.  There is a craft table, and some kind of water-oriented activity: a large wading pool, a slip-n-slide, or sprinkler. And, of course, I rent a jumpy house.  Everyone gets a present from Gramma and Pops, and then each person gets a gift from one cousin (names are pulled randomly prior to the party).  In the past, it's been a chaotic day full of laughter and fun and hopefully, one that becomes part of their childhood memories of coming to Gramma and Pops' home.  I decided for Cuisine Kathleen's Whimsical Summer Tablescape challenge, I would plan out a tablescape for this summer's Cousins' Birthday Party.  It will probably be in July when schedules permit. But, I thought I would share with you what the table will look like.  Of course, at the actual party there will be 7 place settings and the baby will be in the high chair!  Here it is:

I started with a plastic tablecloth because our dining room table needs some protection with this little group of fingers!

Then I added woven straw placemats that I found at Pier One.  I was surprised at how well they mirror the colors of the dishes and flatware!  Just meant to be, I guess.

Next, I used "chargers" (actually dinner plates) of different colors that are reflected in the melamine plates I'll be using for serving lunch.  I used a yellow plate, an orange plate, a purple plate and a green plate.  The extra layer also serves to protect the table from spills!

I added a different colored napkin to each setting to keep the dishes separated. One is bright yellow; one is light yellow; one is bright orange and one is a red orange.

The main plates are melamine ones that I found at my grocery store.  I thought the whimsical prints of ice cream fit the bill perfectly for a summer children's party.

The table setting is completed with mix-n-match flatware to add to the color of the table, Sesame Street plastic cups and sunglasses that will serve as favors for each person at the party!

My centerpiece consists of a bucketful of Play Dough and Play Dough "cookie cutters".  It's colorful, and just a little tease of what activities are to follow after lunch!  Two bottles of bubbles and two sprays of stars complete the centerpiece vignette!

The menu will be hamburger sliders, chips, cut carrot and celery sticks and fresh fruit salad.  I placed bowls and platters on the table, but they're now empty since this tablescape is just a practice run.  I've also taken out my cupcake holder from Williams-Sonoma that will be filled with pudding-filled cupcakes (lemon and chocolate), covered in confectioner's sugar.  I love this party every year, even if it takes me a few days to get over it when it's done.  Nothing can ever replace the sights and sounds of this special day when all the kids are together and I am moving non-stop from the beginning until the end---with a huge smile and a heart full of love!!

My cupcake holder:

A yellow plate:

A purple plate:

An orange plate:

A green plate:

The table, once again:

I'll be linking up to Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish Challenge at  www.cuisinekathleen.com,
Christine's Table It! at www.rustic-refined.com and Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net.  Please be sure to visit these blogs and see all the wonderful posts!!
Thank you, ladies, for hosting and giving us a place to have so much fun with our plates and such.

I love to read your comments, and will do my best to reply to you.  Your kind encouragement and suggestions are always appreciated.    Rosie


  1. This is going to be so much fun for the kids!!! You are going to get hugged, kissed and high fived all day long!!!

    I like how you used different plates and napkins at each place setting. That way each child feels just a little more special since they're celebrating all of their birthdays simultaneously. It's also cool of you to do cupcakes so everyone has their very own candle to blow out. Good thinking! The little sunglasses are just way too cute! They'll all be Tom Cruise "Risky Business" lookalikes!

    I never saw those placemats at Pier 1! They're so cool!!! I love anything with lots of colors to work with!

    You're a good Grandma, Rosie! You're doing something for the kids that they will never forget!

  2. What a great idea! We are kind of doing that this year, because we had a crazy year when we couldn't be around for 3 of our 5 grandchild's birthdays, so we plan to have a joint b'day party. I can sure get take some clues from you. What a fun table. I love those placemats and those plates with the different kinds of treats on them. The bucket of play dough is a great idea too. Thanks for the inspiration. laurie

  3. Now that's adorable! The plates and the sunglasses along with the center bucket are all too cute. I love the idea of the playdough- you're going to earn bonus points with this! What a cute idea having a "cousins" birthday party. Nice way to reduce the stress on the family members!

  4. What a great idea for celebrating the cousins birthdays on one day! The colorful table is great for all the children plus the melmac plates with the cute ice cream and popsicles. Your centerpiece is so creative with a suggestion of fun games to come. Have a great day!


  5. Rosie, how much fun! And how brilliant to have one big bash to celebrate all the birthdays, that is an exceptional idea! What could be better than a bowl of playdoh, some shades and some ice cream plates! Too adorable, they will always remember these times at their cool grandparents house!

  6. This table is wonderful Rosie. This is what summer is all about, those wonderful memories that stay with you for a lifetime. The fun pieces like the ice cream plates that you found and put together just shout out "Summer Fun". My empty nest is feeling especially lonely right now. My boys have not been motivated to give me a houseful of grandchildren yet (not even one grandchild of my own). I do enjoy my husbands grandchildren and I am very grateful to have them. They will hopefully be over for the fourth of July. I am looking forward to making some summer memories with them. I do think I will borrow your Playdoh idea for the little ones.

  7. Your grandkids are going to love this vibrant table! Great idea to celebrate all the grands' birthdays at one time, wish I had thought of that when mine were little.
    Love the tablecloth.

  8. Super cute, Rosie! The sunglasses on the plate was the perfect finishing touch, just a bit of hilarity. Y'all have a great time!

  9. Cousins are the best, what great memories you are making for them. The table setting is right on.......you did good girl!

    Cathy <;)

  10. You plan the cutest, most fun activities for your grands!! Lucky kids! They are just going to love this birthday party SO much!

  11. Love, love, love! This table is precious...so clever and creative. Love the bright colors and all the whimsical touches.

  12. Rosie, your "cousins" birthday party is one of the best ideas ever. How proud you must be of all your grandchildren and what a special way to bring them all together. I love the way your tablescape played out, so cheerful and charming. The ice cream plates are adorable. Thanks, Rosie, for visiting my blog and leaving me such a nice comment. Enjoy your weekend.

  13. This is really cute - and "whimsical!" They are going to have so much fun! Good job!


  14. That is the cutest!!!...Love the wonderful layering and colors of the place settings and those glasses are an adorable idea...looks like a very happy plate!!...Great job!!