Not sure what is harder to accept - the fact that she is 5, or the fact that I am the mother to a 5 year old.
I decided that the best way to ease the thoughts of time going by too quickly was to immerse myself in party plans. It worked pretty good. If it wasn't for my husband constantly telling me I was going overboard, I wouldn't have had a single thought of reflection.
Of course his comments were easily shrugged off, when I remembered my thoughts from pre-motherhood days. One of the things I looked forward to most about having children was the birthday parties I could throw.
And boy, did I have fun. I’m not sure planning this party gets me an honorary MFA degree, but maybe some street cred with the five and under crowd!
Lucky for me, she was okay with the idea of a little artist party. It's what I have wanted to do for a long time. Or maybe I should say, lucky for her, because that is what I probably would have done anyway.
She surprises me all the time with how creative she can be. Her favorite kind of art projects are ones where she is just given a bunch of supplies and she comes up with her own things. I'm pretty sure she gets that from me. I'm not sounding arrogant, am I?
Now let me tell you a little bit about our party.
The extent of the decorations were paint splattered tablecloths, pom poms, paper chains, and balloons. I spent much less time on decorating and baking, and much more on activities. While searching for artist party ideas online, most ideas I found were just tables full of elaborate baked goods with more artificial food coloring in them than edible food. Not to mention the party favors full of colorful candy. Do we really want our kids to eat that stuff?
So, I came up with my own ideas which involved a little less time in the kitchen, and more time in the craft room.
When each child arrived, they found their name tag. I figured they had to have that so my helpers could know how to label their art projects. I found those sleeves at Wal-Mart.
Then they grabbed a dollar store apron to cover their clothes in-case parents didn't see the memo about a messy party. That and they all looked really cute in them. The aprons were my splurge ;)
Then they went to the table and did some finger print art on their free grocery bags so we would have some place to put their completed art.
Those bags were taken outside
and filled with a box of crayons and a bag of candy so they wouldn't blow away.
I love 25 cent crayon season.
To divide all 15 crazy kids into groups (in hopes to maintain some order), I ripped strips of colorful fabric and tied it around their heads. It came to 5 groups of 3 kids each. It kept them together pretty good.
Then we had 6 art stations for them to rotate around to. Each station had a color of the rainbow balloon so they knew where to go next. This is also where I employed much help. I called around for sister-in-laws, older girls in the neighborhood, husband, and my mother of course. Boy was I grateful for their help! Even with all of them, it was still a little crazy.
The toe painting station was a bit messy, but I think the kids loved it. I tried to involve activities that as parents we try to avoid on a regular basis.
Another station was self named "Glue-it". I just provided several items such as colored noodles, fuzzy balls, feathers, pipe cleaner and such, and lots of glue. All they did was glue it on a piece of cardboard. It was fun to see what they came up with.
Inside with daddy, they melted crayon on a piece of paper on top of a skillet on low heat.
The dad did a great job keeping little fingers from getting burned.
Then with grandma, they poured colored sand into baby food jars. It seemed this activity was amongst the favorites.
We hot glued the lid on when they were finished layering the colors. I found a pretty large box of so many colors of sand at hobby lobby. It was 10 dollars for the box, but with a 40% off coupon I thought it was a smokin' deal.
This one is a little hard to see, but they made a tree trunk and branches with their hand and arm dipped in brown paint. Then with wads of tissue paper they glued them onto their tree trunks. I thought they turned out adorable.
Finally, they flicked paint onto a piece of paper. My fence sure looked pretty after. If you ever do this, make sure you get washable paint, by the way.
I just love this picture of my littlest artist after she was done with this activity. I think most of the paint on her was a result of her little cousin who was getting a little too into it. So cute.
Then we sat and watched as she got spoiled rotten with all those presents.
After presents, daddy cut into the cake he made. Yes, he made. I don't do cakes. I can only have so many hobbies you know. I got into baking once, and the only result from that was a little too much around the waist. He did a wonderful job though, and the kids loved all that cancer - I mean food coloring - I mean . . . cake.
For her gift from mommy (and daddy I guess, since he paid for it - wink) was a much needed organized art kit. It's full of supplies for her creativity to run wild. It's nice now that she doesn't have to ask for me to help her get out art stuff.
She's been independently making messes ever since.
I thought the party turned out pretty good - though I will admit to having more fun planning it then the actual execution. 15 kids is enough to make any body crazy.
It was a memorable day.
And a memorable 5 years.
Come back next week to see how I made her an art smock and art mat to contain those messes!