Mary Poppins Party

Mary Poppins Party -4yr- Chocolate Spoons of Sugar




Sadia in Georgetown, TX, USA


May 2010


Honorable Mention

Mary Poppins is a lovely movie, and I'm so glad that my twin daughters love it so much and chose it as the theme for their fourth birthday party. It makes for a fantastic party theme, since there are so many recognizable references to choose from. I decided to keep my focus on the chalk pavement sequence for the party, although I incorporated references to other parts of the film. 

Invitations  I found some posters on eBay that were made up of copies of eight marketing postcards from the original release of Mary Poppins. I bought three posters, cut them back into postcards, and used those as invitations. Yes, invitees who lived more than two houses away from us received theirs in the mail, paid for with a postcard stamp. 

Cake  The centerpiece of party was a custom-ordered cake. The cake-maker outdid herself, with a two-tier cake with the chalk drawing scenery hand-painted on both layers, including the purple bridge on the top layer and the road to the fair on the bottom one. She also created a magical sugarwork carousel to crown the cake, and included gumpaste figures of the birthday girls to sit on the horses. She also created sculptures of the penguins and some of the wild animals that Mary and Bert run across. 

Other food  I originally wanted to play off Mary Poppins' order, Well then what would be nice? We'll start with raspberry ice and then some cakes and tea but quickly realized that few, in any, guests would care about the reference. I abandoned my effort to find unbreakable disposable teacups for the kids, and just got single-serving containers of juices and water. Still I made a nod at the raspberry ice with some raspberry broken glass jello. I made three packages of raspberry jello in a 1/2 inch layer, then chopped that into cubes, mixed them in a dish, and poured over that 2 packages of unflavoured gelatin, 1.5 cups of water, and a can of sweetened condensed milk. 

The biggest undertaking was the decorated carousel horse and umbrella sugar cookies. I baked up a large batch of sugar cookies and iced them with tinted royal icing using the colour flow technique. For the umbrella, the outer sections were white and the inner section red. I left the handles uniced, and then painted the icing with sparkle dust. The horses were each iced in a base layer of brown or white. Then, I created the manes and tails in matching vibrant colours, and created a saddle in a contrasting colour to match the stripes on the pole. 

Clothes  We provided all the invited kids with white plastic skimmer hats that looked like Bert's, with purple ribbon for the girls and orange ribbon for the boys. The birthday girls dressed as Mary Poppins. One was the regular" Mary in Mommy's black skirt pinned a white shirt with a red hairbow at the neck a knee-length jacket and a flower-decorated black bucket hat. The other wore a red and white Christmas dress with a white bucket tied on with sparkling white tulle to look like the Jolly Holiday Mary. 

Gift boxes  I had the most fun with the gift boxes for our guests. I stamped each plain red box with running horses around the bottom. (I also stamped the invitations and napkins to match.) Each box was accompanied by a cup filled with chocolate-dipped spoons sprinkled with coloured sugars. Yep several spoonfuls of sugar! 

The babies all got purchased horse lovies in their boxes.  The big kids each got a horse cookie and an umbrella cookie a little baggie of Chex Mix labeled "Feed the birds" and the foam parts and beads for a carousel horse art project to do at home.  At the beginning of the party each parent received two pennies per child labelled "Tuppence a bag" to be used in one of the Children's Museum displays a gravity well designed for coins. 

The best part of it all was that my daughters recognized most of the references to the film. Everyone loved the Mary Poppins soundtrack playing in the background. Since we hosted the party at our local children's museum games would have been overkill but the carousel horse idea brings to mind several games and a park would have been a perfect location to bring out the kite theme of the film."

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