A Possum Magic Themed Birthday Party

Possum Magic party ideas @ My Little Bookcase

Ike turned one in December. He had such an unusual but extraordinary first year and I wanted to celebrate that with a special party. I do love a good party, and I admit I sometimes go a little overboard with my party planning. But the reality on this occasion was that Christmas was also around the corner, so I was looking for a theme that would be simple but clever to implement.

I was initially planning a train-themed birthday party for Ike, but Cam’s suggestion of a Possum Magic party, after seeing the stage musical, was too enthusiastic to refuse.

Possum Magic, by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, is a brilliant book in which to base a birthday party.  Cam was able to play a huge role in brainstorming and planning her brother’s party because she knew the story well and was also able to refer to the illustrations, which both provide wonderful party ideas and inspiration.

I’d love to share Ike’s Possum Magic party with you. It was a fabulous morning. The weather was incredibly kind to us. Guests were relaxed and, second to talking about how healthy Ike looked, the Possum Magic theme and food were the talk of the party. I’m thankful to my baby sister for taking these beautiful photos for me to share. Feel free to borrow or adapt any of our ideas for your own:

  • Possum Magic birthday party of your own
  • Australia Day celebrations
  • Follow up reading activities

Possum Magic Party Ideas @ My Little Bookcase


I wanted the invitations to act as a keepsake for Ike’s party guests. So, I chose to keep them simple and included a special birthday pavlova recipe for guests to keep.  I have made the recipe available for you to download here too, a great dessert for you to try on Australia Day.

Possum Magic party invitations_My Little Bookcase


In Cam’s mind, a party isn’t a party unless you dress up.  Despite my efforts, I was very unsuccessful in finding possum costumes, so I decided to create themed t-shirts for the kids to wear to the party.

Possum Magic Party costume ideas @ My Little Bookcase

This is done quite simply by photocopying pages from a book onto t-shirt transfer paper and then transferring the image onto the t-shirts with a hot iron.  I edited Ike’s t-shirt image before printing and added a number 1 to Hush’s tummy. It’s important to know that you are breaching copyright if you are doing this other than for personal uses.

Possum Magic Party_Costume Idea. Visit My Little Bookcase for details.

Cam and I also found some glittery star material. We used most of it as table runners, but my sister made her a Grandma Poss apron with the scraps. We also made her a possum tail by filling pantyhose with scrunched-up newspaper.

Possum Magic Party- Costume Idea_ Visit My Little Bookcase for details.


We chose to have the party in a park rather than at home, giving us the opportunity to find a park with a bush setting, and lots of gum trees.

Possum Magic Party setting_ Visit My Little Bookcase for details

I really tried to keep the decorations simple, letting the natural setting speak for itself. There were a few elements we took from the book and used in decorating the party: stars, gum leaves and Grandma Poss’ bike

On the picnic tables, I used rolls of brown packaging paper and fabric that featured glittery stars.

Possum Magic Party table setting. Visit My Little Bookcase for details

I decorated the park shelter with gold stars and Possum Magic buntings. I cut flags from book pages I had photocopied, but because I can’t sew, I punched holes in the flags and threaded them onto some string. This is an easy and effective way to make buntings, but they didn’t stay in position with the wind. The buntings now hang with love in the cubby house.

Possum Magic party ideas @ My Little Bookcase

I collected lots of gum leaves (with the help of author and illustrator, Karla Strambini) and used these as food and lolly bag labels.

Possum Magic party food_ Visit My Little Bookcase for details.

Possum Magic party bags @ My Little Bookcase

I had planned on laminating the gum leaves to create bookmarks, but my laminator didn’t like that idea at all!!

The lolly bags were also quite small and simple. In each bag was a Cadbury’s Furry Friend, gum leaves (spearmint leaves), and snakes. All tied together with ribbon and a gum leaf.

Possum Magic party favours @ My Little Bookcase

One item Cam really wanted at the party after seeing it on stage at Possum Magic musical was a bike. I borrowed my sister’s bike and filled it with pumpkin scones. I know it’s not exactly the same as Grandma Poss’ but we thought it was a great touch.

Possum Magic party ideas_ My Little Bookcase


Planning a party menu had never been easier. There was no need to consult my piles of recipe books. Everything we needed was right there in the pages of this iconic Australian picture book. I made reference to the book by citing quotes from the books on the food labels.

The book and the food were great talking points amongst the guests. Guests were either reminiscing about reading the book when they were children, or they were enjoying iconic Australian foods that they hadn’t eaten for years.

She made wombats blue….

I had planned on making these lamington wombats, but chose to dip them into blue jelly instead of chocolate icing to create blue wombats.

Possum Magic party food ideas_ Blue Wombats_ My Little Bookcase

They ate Anzac biscuits in Adelaide….

We love to make Anzac biscuits and recommend the recipe linked in this post.

POssum Magic party ideas  My Little Bookcase

….mornay and Minties in Melbourne…..

To represent the mornay, I made a salmon dip by mixing smoked salmon and dill through a sour cream and cream cheese mixture. The salmon dip was served with vegetables, cheese sticks and spinach wraps cut into the shape of gum leaves.

Possum Magic party food ideas_My Little Bookcase

Possum Magic party food ideas @ My Little Bookcase

….steak and salad in Sydney…..

My mum made these delicious steak and salad rolls. She filled the mini rolls with roasted beef, tomato, lettuce, mustard and mayonnaise.

Possum Magic party food ideas_My Little Bookcase

….and pumpkin scones in Brisbane.

My mother in law made these soft pumpkin scones, following a Lady Florence  Bjelke-Peterson recipe.

Possum Magic party food ideas_My Little Bookcase

It was there, in the far north of Australia, that they found a Vegemite sandwich.

Possum Magic party food ideas_My Little Bookcase

Possum Magic party food ideas @ My Little Bookcase

Later, on a beach in Perth, they ate a piece of pavlova.

My Nanna made two pavlovas for Ike’s party, and  I topped them with Ike’s favourite fruits. You can download and print the recipe for this pavlova here.

Possum Magic party food ideas_My Little Bookcase

“Here We Go Round the Lamington Plate” till early in the morning.

Instead of making lots of little lamingtons, my mum suggested a large lamington cake for Ike’s birthday cake. I dipped the sponge cakes into chocolate icing, using this recipe, and filled it with a raspberry jelly disc and whipped cream.

I decorated the lamington cake with a mini bunting that, again, I made from photocopied pages of the book and attached to two straws.

Possum Magic Lamington Birthday Cake_ My Little Bookcase


For the children, I set up two easy activities under the shade of some beautiful gum trees.

Magic painting (with candle wax and water colour paints)

On a table:

  • Paper
  • White candles
  • Watercolour paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Water

Possum Magic party ideas @ My Little Bookcase

Possum Magic party ideas @ My Little Bookcase

Decorate a pavlova with playdough

On a table:

You can download your own pavlova playdough mat here.

Possum Magic party ideas @ My Little Bookcase

Possum Magic party ideas @ My Little Bookcase

And, of course, there was a playground to keep kids happily entertained.

Possum Magic party @ My Little Bookcase


I like to give my children themed birthday gifts. On the day of his party, we gave Ike the Possum Magic 30th Anniversary Edition, a Possum Magic Numbers board book, a Possum Magic Animals board book and a jigsaw puzzle featuring iconic Australian foods from Make Me Iconic. All of these gifts were placed on a picnic rug for the children to enjoy during the party. See the end of this post for links to buy the books featured.

Possum Magic party gift ideas @ My Little Bookcase

Australia Day Blog Hop

Because our Possum Magic themed birthday party is full of wonderful Australian foods, I’m featuring it in an ‘Australia Day for Kids‘ blog hop.  Some of Australia’s best kid’s activity bloggers have teamed together to bring you an amazing collection of Australia themed play, craft and baking ideas to help you celebrate Australia Day with your kids on January 26.  See the full list of dates and participating blogs below:

Participating blogs

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series…
Week 1
Monday January 13th
The Craft Train
Cockatoo Pencil Tins

Tuesday January 14th
Laughing Kids Learn
Aussie Scented Sensory Rice

Wednesday January 15th
Danya Banya
Australian Flag with washi tape & glitter

Friday January 17th
My Little Bookcase
Possum Magic Themed Party

Week 2
Monday January 20th
One Perfect Day

Tuesday January 21st
Racheous – Lovable Learning

Wednesday January 22nd
Wildlife Fun 4 Kids

Thursday January 23rd
Childhood 101
Cooking with Kids: Mini lamington cupcakes

Friday January 24th
Final Round up!

More Aussie ideas

Australia flag puzzle by Adventures at home with Mum
Little Lamington Creatures by My Little Bookcase
Books About Australia by My Little Bookcase
Possum Magic Pavlova Mat by My Little Bookcase
Anzac Biscuits by Phil Cummings Book Review and activity by My Little Bookcase
Come In Spinner – An Anzac Game for Kids by My Little Bookcase
Our Family Hour: Food Books Games and Australian Animals by My Little Bookcase
Bake Sale Idea Wholemeal Anzac Biscuits by Danya Banya
Bush Critters by The Craft Train
Nature walks with kids by The Craft Train

Buy the books:

Possum Magic 30th Anniversary Edition
Possum Magic Numbers

Possum Magic Animals

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

A Possum Magic Themed Birthday Party


  1. This is GORGEOUS! What a clever possum you are!

  2. What a gorgeous party Jackie! I love all the food, decorations and especially the t-shirts. I remember loving this book when I was little too and of course we own a copy :-)

  3. What an incredible birthday party! Just gorgeous. love all the little touches :-)

  4. This is the most adorable party Jackie. Oh, can I have this for my 40th? Um, that too far away though (years).

    You have done an AMAZING job. The possum tails, the bunting, the food – Brilliant!

  5. I am so in love with this party. You’ve done such an awesome job! Lamington cake looks divine.My nephew is having a koala themed party soon and writing on gum leaves would be perfect. Great idea!

  6. how cute are the gum leaf labels. I love everything about this.

  7. Such a beautiful wonderful party. I love it all. I love how you made the find with the gum leaves. It’s fantastic. I bet everyone had a great time.

  8. This party is just gorgeous, I love it. Pinning and sharing x

  9. Looks wonderful Jackie!

  10. I LOVE Possum Magic and those T-shirts are so sweet! What an awesome creative party!

  11. Wow! What an amazing set-up… kids definitely enjoyed it :)

  12. This is the most adorable party a child could have! Jackie you’ve outdone yourself and put together what i’m sure will be a very memorable party. Well done

  13. Oh my goodness I am in LOVE with all of this, especially the way you have written on gum leaves for the food labels. This is all kinds of wonderful.

  14. Oh Jackie, this party was truly exquisite. What a wonderful celebration :)

  15. OMG, Jackie! Can you host a PM party for me? That is my favourite kids’ book of all time and your pictures made me giggle with delight – I felt like a six-year-old!
    Your trick about the t-shirts has solved a big problem for a superhero-themed party I have coming up. Where on earth does one buy t-shirt transfer paper?
    I adore this post, you have clearly put so much effort into it!

  16. AJ said: On January 26, 2015

    I love a themed party and this one is soooooo cute!

  17. Tash said: On May 5, 2015

    What an amazing day everyone would have had at your sons party, can you tell me if the hardcover 30th edition possum magic has the recipe in the back of the book like its original does??

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