Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Paddington Bear Party

Earlier this month, my daughter turned three years old and never one to turn down the chance to challenge myself and throw a good party, my daughter and I came up with a Paddington Bear birthday theme.  I have to admit, I had already rejected her idea of a Daddy themed birthday party as I couldn't quite figure out how that would go (!), so Paddington it was. I thought I'd write a post about how I did our DIY Paddington Bear party, from the cake, the food and the games to the all important goody bags.

First stop...decorations
I bought alot of Paddington themed party decorations and table ware from the Childrens Party Shop online.  I found their prices to be the cheapest online and the delivery was really quick too. I bought banners, Paddington Bear little red party hats, the cake topper, a bear sandwich cutter and a few other bits for the party bags from them.  

We also bought a helium balloon for each child and attached it to their chair at the table...which was a big hit! I got these from The Card Factory as they were alot cheaper than some other shops. 

Drum roll please..the Cake
You really can find anything on YouTube, and I found this amazing tutorial on how to make a Paddington Bear cake.  This was shortly after I had Googled a cake and found the one I liked would be £160!!!! Always up for a challenge, I set to work! 

Now, I'm not a great cook, and there was always that disaster with the carrot cake, but, I can make a simple sponge and I thought I could wing the rest.  Yes, it was a bit fiddly, and it did take me the best part of a day to do with the cooking of the sponges too, but I absolutely LOVED doing it, and I think it turned out OK for a novice. (Obviously I made all guests admire it before cutting it). Ta dah! 

We hired a party package from a nearby leisure centre, and for the first hour of the party the children played on a bouncy castle and soft play toys, and then for the second hour we had another room where they sat and ate tea and then played a few games.  No catering was included so that meant I had to make all of the sandwiches.  

I decided to do lunch-boxes for each child, and before the party I had asked parents if their child would like cheese, ham or cheese spread sandwiches.  I then bought a cheap cookie cutter in the shape of a bear (from the party shop) and cut out the sandwiches.  I placed these in the lunch-boxes along with a yoghurt, bag of carrot crisps and a fruit bar. The children seemed to love the lunch-boxes and there was very little waste as the children eagerly ate their individual portions.

I bought the lunch boxes from Amazon, and then I made name tags using luggage labels.  I then hand stamped the name of each child, printed out a Googled image of Paddington and glued it onto the tags and fastened to each box with wool.

For the adults, I did three types of sandwiches: cream cheese and cucumber, chicken salad and ham and mustard.  I found the three platters I did were enough to feed the parents of 13 children and a few extra family members. I also got crisps, dips and a selection of dipppers, and then some sweet treats.  I never know how much food to make for parties, so I hope this gives you an idea of what to prepare! 

We had to be quite inventive with the games and we roped in my mum to help organise the children which she loved!!  We thought we would do games so the children didn't just eat and leave, and by then they were all pretty relaxed so everyone wanted to join in.  

I bought a pack of medals from the pound shop to give to each of the children as prizes, and then little boxes of raisins that they picked out from a tin too.  

We printed out a huge picture of Paddington Bear and the children had to pin a hat on his head.  We then did old fashioned throwing a beanbag in a hula-hoop which as simple as it sounds, the children loved! And we also had an egg and spoon race.

Party Bags
We had quite an age range for the party bags, so I split the bags into ones for the very young and then the older children.  I couldn't find any nice Paddington Bear party bags, so I made my own.  I ordered plain white bags from Amazon, and then I Googled an image of Paddington.  I then printed the picture onto some parcel paper, ripped around the image and glued it to the bag.  I then used luggage tags and stamped 'thank you', and then I stamped each child's name onto the bag. 

For the older children, treats included, Play-doh pots (which you can buy cheaply in multi-packs), a little book (again, I'd bought a multi-pack and split the books), chocolate, a pack off snap cards, and some Paddington stationery. 

For the younger children, they had a finger puppet (part of a multi-pack I'd sepearted), a toy bath boat and a little book. I also popped a slice of cake into each goodie bag. 

My daughter LOVED the party and all of her friends did too.  You might read this and think I'm absolutely mad doing all of the above, but I loved doing it and there is quite some satisfaction knowing you've done all the little finishing touches. When my daughter is 18 and doesn't want me anywhere near her birthday celebrations, I know I will look back on our Paddington Party with fondness, alot of sweat and tears, but lots of love. 

Thanks for reading,


  1. Looks like a brilliant party! You did a brilliant job coordinating everything. The individual boxes are such a great idea, and I love the fact you used luggage tags. The party bags are perfect: can my kids come to your parties? x

  2. What an absolutely amazing party! You did a fab job and something that every child would love!


  3. I love all your ideas, it looks like an amazing party, thanks for sharing!