Hello Kitty has become a true phenomenon over the last few years, and is a favourite amongst girls of all ages, from 5 and 6 year olds through to pre-teens and teenagers. And lots of adults love her retro cool look too! The cute Japanese bobtailed cat with the bow in her hair (sometimes a red bow, sometimes pink, and occasionally green!) has become a familiar sight around the world; hospitals have sprung up in her name in places such as Taiwan, and you can even your hands on a Hello Kitty Bank of America Bank account, should you wish to. She has been immortalised in a pop song sung by Avril Lavigne, and the 40 year old cat, first designed and created by Yuko Shimizu for the Sanrio Corporation in 1974 appearing on a coin purse, has become a true modern cartoon classic. Her name comes from Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book ‘Through the Looking Glass’ in which Alice calls a cat ‘Kitty’.
Hello Kitty’s phenomenal popularity is thought in part to be because she has a certain ‘retro’ cool – she is part of ‘kawaii’ culture in Japan, which means cute or pretty, and is associated with Manga comics and anime, both amazingly popular amongst Japanese kids and teenagers (and lots of adult too!). And as all things retro and vintage are so popular right now, Hello Kitty is certainly bang on trend!
There’s been much debate about Hello Kitty’s lack of a mouth, some quite outlandish ideas have been put forward, but the most likely explanation is that her designer wanted the Hello Kitty character to be empathetic, and so you are able to express your emotions through her. You feel happy, she feels happy, you feel a bit blue, so does she and you’re not alone.
Hello Kitty lives happily with her mum, dad and sister Mimmie – who is only distinguishable from Kitty by the yellow bow on her right ear, rather than the red bow on Kitty’s left ear. They live in London, and Kitty’s favourite food is her mum’s home baked apple pie. She rarely sees her boyfriend Daniel as he is often on safari in Africa.
So, your daughter decides she would like you to throw a puurrfect Hello Kitty party for her birthday. With all the Hello Kitty merchandise around, nothing could be easier. And if you are feeling creative, or would like to do things on a budget, Hello Kitty’s simple shapes and colours mean doing it yourself is well within reach, and you and your daughter can have great fun planning and putting party things together, unless you and she would like it to be a surprise.
- Invitations – simply print a Hello Kitty template from http://hagiographic.com/hello-kitty-printable-coloring-pages/hello-kitty-face-coloring-pages-template-57646-2/ , transfer the shape to white card, and decorate with a red bow. Maybe tie a red ribbon bow around the envelope if you are handing out the invites to your guests.
- Decorate your venue in red, pink and white using streamers, balloons, and Hello Kitty bunting, banners and scene setters available from http://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk. Ask your guests to come in fancy dress, or at the very least with a bow in their hair!
- Games and crafts. Set up a Hello Kitty craft table with some plain white paper plates, felt tip pens, glitter and sequins for your guests to create the perfect Hello Kitty face mask. Cut out a large Hello Kitty face shape from white paper or card, a large red bow, attach to a door or wall and blindfold your guests for ‘Pin the Bow on Kitty’. It’s not too tricky with themes like Hello Kitty to adapt traditional party games to make them a perfect match.
- Food – if you’re feeling creative, create cupcake toppers from white royal icing, mix some pink or red food colouring in, and create a cute bow for each cake. Apple pie may not be traditional children’s party food, but it is Hello Kitty’s favourite…. And a Hello Kitty birthday cake can be created from a round sponge cake, white and red and black royal icing and some liquorice laces.
- Party bags – to save you time and money you can find pre-filled Hello Kitty party bags at http://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk/themes, along with lots more Hello Kitty party goodies – tableware, banners, balloons and fillers if you wish to select and fill your own bags.