A very Finnish birthday

Miko turned four recently and I felt a bit stuck when planning his party. At home it’s early summer and we would usually celebrate at home and on our lawn. Parties are often held in the morning or over lunch, whereas here they often start at 4pm.

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In Finland it’s late autumn and while this one has been amazing, it can be cold and wet. Our apartment doesn’t really have space for a group of excited children so it was great when a friend suggested we hold a joint party for Miko and her son, who was turning four around the same time.

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She suggested we hire a clubhouse at a playground, which was an excellent solution. During the week the City of Helsinki holds activities for parents and children in them and on the weekend they are available for hire. They come with a kitchen, bathroom, toys, tables and chairs.

We went in an hour early to set up, using Star Wars decorations bought online.

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Light sabers & cupcake holders transported these blueberry pies to another galaxy.

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As well as chips and popcorn there was also some healthy food in disguise.

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We played Pass the Parcel and when it came time to open presents one of the children had a great idea. The kids sat in a circle around a bottle, holding the present they had brought . The bottle was spun and the person it pointed to then gave their present to the boy they had brought it for.

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The guests then had a chance to make their own cookies. We rolled out ginger pastry and each child cut out shapes that we baked before decorating them with icing and sprinkles.

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The idea was that they would take their cookies home, but they proved irresistible and were eaten on the spot.

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Then it was time for cake, which was made locally and was gluten and lactose-free. It was delicious and had layers of chocolate (possibly held together by sugar).

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To end we played the fishing game, which is popular at Finnish parties. Children line up and hold a fishing line over a blanket that is suspended up high. When they pull the line up it comes back with a party bag attached to take home.

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It turned out to be a beautiful autumn day and we stayed for another two hours, the kids running off the sugar at the playground and park. We got home around 7pm with one very happy boy and were eating cake for days.

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May the fours be with you!

 

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