As an April celebrant, my daughter doesn’t get to do birthday parties at school. School’s out by the time her birthday hits.
While my wallet rejoices at the thought, I also couldn’t help but feel sad somewhat. She should be able to experience a class birthday celebration at least once. Especially since she has become fond of school and is friends with her classmates.
Her class’ culminating activity was stargazing at a nearby park with an astrologist. To make it even more memorable, the children’s parents were also invited, and everyone was encouraged to bring food to share. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for an advanced birthday party with the class, and I was so happy her teacher also got excited with the idea.
It turned out to be a stargazing school-family party! Akira could celebrate her birthday with her class after all!
The food we prepared
This was a first for us, so I really wanted to prepare well. I wanted home cooked food for the children – all too often, kiddie birthday celebrations serve fast food. I decided on fried chicken and mac n cheese as my ultimate kid-pleaser meal.
My go-to site for Filipino dishes, Panlasang Pinoy, came to my rescue again with this scrumptious fried chicken recipe. We used chicken lollipop cuts instead, skipped the chicken bouillon, and skipped the gravy (no more time!). Still ended up soo good. This recipe can give popular fast food chains a run for their money.
For the mac n cheese, I just googled ‘easy mac n cheese’. I used a combination of Monterey jack and mild cheddar for the cheese, and used fusili pasta instead of the original macaroni. I also added chopped pieces of frankfurters and green peas, but as expected, a lot of the kids didn’t touch the peas (I tried!).
In hindsight, the mac n cheese recipe is a bit heavy on the tummy, so if I were to make it again I’ll probably cut down on the milk. It was also a bit bland, but maybe that just me and it’s just alright for the kids.
My helper teased that I should start a catering business. Oof. I can’t do something like this again often. It is a LOT of work. We started preparing around 1 pm, and still finished at 4.
I find it so difficult to look for suitable tokens! Something that’s gender neutral, not a cheap plastic toy, not a piece of junk food, something useful but fun and not expensive!
Well, there’s no such thing. I had to compromise. I settled for Crayola colored bubbles that were 30% off in True Value. It came down to around P150 something each.
I also added a box of Pepero to each loot bag.
Bonus from Mamita
This discovery of a cake was a huge hit with everyone. And funnily enough, a lot of the inquiries came from the dads. Dads and chocolates. Hehe.
She also sent birthday balloons, which was so nice. We thought we wouldn’t fit in the car with all of the stuff, but I guess Akira was meant to have a stellar birthday.
An outdoor class
The afternoon began with the children divided into groups for a short presentation. They learned about what plants and animals need, as well as different kinds of trash and how to properly put them away. Children already know so much!
The kids took care of sitaw (string bean) seedlings, and got to take their plant home that day. They also gave us parents a pen holder they repurposed from tetra pack. So proud to share that our sitaw is still alive!
Where the stars at
The invited astronomer began with a short talk about our solar system, then moved on to the different phases of the moon. It was unfortunate that the sky was cloudy, and the children weren’t able to see the moon or the stars well.
Kudos to the astronomer who had a fun activity lined up where you put the correct moon phase to its place with strategically shaped Oreos. All the kids gobbled up the ‘moons’ after the activity.
Happy it didn’t rain.
And then of course it was time to eat. And we all sang Happy Birthday.
It was their final class before summer break, and it was so nice for the kids to be complete, and for the parents to be present as well, and for all of us to just share in this odd but cute little night picnic together.
Couldn’t help but gush over how adorable the kids are, but it also hit me that an entire school year has passed, and how they have all grown and thrived. Akira has happy memories of this day, and even how her classmate ‘helped’ her blow out her candle. Knowing that some kids will be going to different schools next year, we are really glad we have this stargazing birthday to look back on for a happy 4th.