This year, we knew the back-to-back birthdays were going to be rather low key for us. Back when we were beginning to plan, we didn't know how recovered I would actually be so we tried to keep things easy. For example, when my Little Miss Sunshine requested a flower garden themed birthday party complete with a flower covered cake to go with it, I opted for letting her choose a bakery cake. I love making cakes and decorating them even more, but even on my best day, I'm not that good at flowers. I can make a rose that might or might not end up looking more like a cabbage and I can make drop flowers, but she wanted a cake covered with frosting flowers. So we ordered one from a local store and I breathed a big sigh of relief! I'll post pics later after we pick it up.
What started as a "Flower Garden" theme quickly turned into a Secret Garden theme. We began preparing by re-reading The Secret Garden and listening to the musical version in the car. (Wait... did you fall for that? Hah! Sunshine decided she wanted to re-read The Secret Garden and that CD is on a regular rotation in the car because my kids like it and I have a little thing for Mandy Patinkin. Just his voice mind you, not him.) We also set aside the DVD for the big day! This last week has been filled with comparison/contrast between the different versions of the story which really was a lot of fun.
There are a whole host of other things you could do for a Secret Garden birthday or even a Secret Garden unit study. Learn about India and England, discuss British colonialism in India and compare it to American colonialism, make oatcakes and cream, sweet plums in a jar (OK, that's a line from the musical, not the book), plant your own garden (keeping it a secret is optional), or visit the moors. There are a ton of other ideas here. Like I said, low key was the order of the day for us.
To go along with her garden theme and her very artistic nature, we are planning to make mosaic garden stones later on today. For those wanting to leave birthday greetings for Sunshine, I will have an official birthday post up later. You know I'll be back with pictures of the decorations including an delightfully sweet banner that was super easy to make!