Before the Party - A Teddy Cake by Mandi Gough!
'I found the details/recipe for the cake online and it's all down to the template. I baked it in a rectangular tin bit bigger than A4.
I think the original said to cut the cake in half but i used 2 cakes for it to be the size it is, it's pretty huge though! I first made it for my youngest when we had bears from you the first time. (Pink pic)
Once the cake had cooled I froze it to make it easier to carve! I used some of the off cuts to make the arms, snout and ears - when I remember! You need to put dowels through it otherwise it falls apart, I learnt that one from experience!
I used a madeira cake recipe as I find victoria sponge to be too soft to hold the weight. For the icing on the first cake I used a star tip but for this cake I used one with lots of little holes which made it look like hair/fur.
It did take a while, I only finished it as people arrived as I'd also made a huge angry bird cake and 36 cupcakes for my godsons party on sat morning!'
Party Ideas - The ideas below can be adapted to suit the age of the party-goers. If you are running a party for older children, make sure you organise a suitable activity instead of the traditional games aimed at younger children which we have included on the accompanying sheet.
You can use the map (found under stockists) to find our nearest agents who will run a Bear factory party for you. Please be ready with your postcode when calling us for more details.
It’s always a good idea to let the children burn off some energy with some party games. Try a teddy bear treasure hunt (organise a trail with coloured twists of crepe paper hidden in the garden or hall in which the party is being held). Place a teddy or doll at the end of the trail with a present or a message relating to the next party game or hide the bear or rag-doll skins for the children to find. Older children will also enjoy a treasure hunt; just come up with some cryptic clues and leave markers en route. What about a quiz – it could be bear-related or completely unrelated with questions on pop etc.
If you have purchased t-shirts for decorating, children will enjoy spending time creating the ultimate artistic creations with fabric pens, beads and stick-on jewels etc. They can also stitch on beads or buttons to vary the design.
You may have unusual ideas of your own and the internet is also a good source. Tell us about any particularly successful or novel ideas you have had.
You may also like to add an extra special ingredient to your party – decorated cupcakes to celebrate the birth of the new bears. Buy some plain cupcakes and a variety of cake decorations such as hundreds and thousands, jelly tots etc, ready-to-roll icing, candles and candle holders. Each child can then create their special cake and after the birthday girl/boy has blown out the candles on her cake, every child can do the same with the specially decorated cake for his/her teddy bear.
Meet and greet. Give the children stick-on labels to decorate and write their names on (if you know their names, they’re easier to control!) Allow approx 10 minutes for this; hopefully all the children will have arrived by then, and you will be able to start the party.
When you are ready to start making the bears, settle the children in a circle on the floor or around a table and create a calm atmosphere. The children must be quiet so that you can talk them through the process. Children react better when the organiser speaks quietly as they want to hear what you are saying. Distribute skins and stuffing. When they are ready to insert the star, make this step as magical as possible – let the birthday girl/boy distribute a star to each of their guests. Make sure the children are silent while they rub the star and make a wish before they place it inside the bear.
Have plenty of pencils and felt tips available to fill in the birth certificate. It is always a good idea to fill the details in pencil first to avoid mistakes – the children can then go over it with felt pens. Try to ensure that they choose an individual name, rather than copying each other. They can then call out the name they have chosen for their special bear.
These activities should take approx one and a half hours. Allow 30 minutes for the birthday tea - a teddy bear’s picnic always goes down well and the children can take their bears in with them for tea.