Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Scout's Birthday Party

Looking at the house: All decorated and ready to go!
Scout requested that have a friend birthday party this year, an idea that I'm pretty sure she got from T.V.  since she has never been to one before.  I was slightly worried (in my normal fashion) that she would be disappointed because I didn't really think she has very many friends and I worried that no one would be able to come...but she has more friends than I realized, they all came, and she had a great time.  It was perfect and it was another piece of evidence that I just need to quit worrying and let it all go. (cue annoying song)
Looking out into the yard: All decorated and ready to go!
We kept it pretty simple, following her lead with what she had pictured in her head.  And we wanted there to be things for the kids to do, but not too much structure and pressure to participate in forced activities.  We tried to think ahead so there would be little to do during the party and the adults could also enjoy visiting.  I just wish I had my camera handy during the party (it ended up in Andrew's pocket) so that I could have gotten more pictures!
Snack table and tent:  All decorated and ready to go!
  • She selected a flower theme and we bought a few decorations at the dollar store.  There were some flower leis, party hats, and party blowers in the mix.
  • We made little gift bags for her friends with some writing materials, stickers, candy and games (again, dollar store) inside.  
  • On the day of the party, Andrew took her to go get a few helium balloons, since she firmly believes that it is not a birthday party without a helium balloon.  
  • We made a "Pin the Flower on the Stem" game (brown paper on the wall), which the kids were all too busy to play, but we played with Scout after.  
  • We pulled out the coffee table, covered it with brown paper and put out a few art supplies.
  • We put out sidewalk chalk on the driveway.
  • We filled up a cooler full of water balloons and put out the mister stick and some spray bottles.
  • We blew up two packages of (dollar store) balloons and threw them all on the trampoline.
  • We threw up some sheets on the clothes line to make a tent.
  • We cleaned up the outdoor toys and balls and such for the kids to play with.
  • The swing set was available for swinging.
  • And we borrowed my sister's kid picnic table for them sit at for snacks.  Scout helped pick out the snacks. We had pita bread, tortilla chips, hummus, salsa, guacamole, graham crackers, Pirate's Booty, cherries, watermelon, yogurt covered pretzels, sliced cucumber and carrot sticks.  She also picked some raspberry lemonade in the fancy dispenser so the kids could get it themselves.
  • Andrew and I made her a ice cream cake, it was AMAZING.  Bottom layer was raspberry with coconut milk ice cream, then a layer of brownies with Hershey syrup, then a layer of chocolate with coconut milk.  Sooooo good.
  • I didn't plan this ahead of time, but I liked it and will totally repeat it in the future.  I'm not a huge fan of the birthday kid sitting and opening present after present while all the other kids sit and watch.  So much pressure and attention for the birthday kid (which may be fine for some, but Scout could hate that!).  Also hard as every kid wants to give their present, all the kids are talking at once, and there is potential for feelings to be hurt, especially with littles who are just learning about the etiquette.  We let each kid just come up and give their present to Scout, when they wanted to, while the others played.  She opened it, admired it and they talked.  Then she'd say thank you.  Some kids did theirs back to back (when they saw her opening one, they wanted her to open theirs too).   Others were more shy and waited until she was alone and then gave her their present.  It seemed to allow more opportunity for kid to kid connection, she really knew who gave her each present, and each kid got recognized and thanked for giving their gift.  I liked it!
One last view:  All decorate and ready to go!
It went super smoothly and I would totally repeat it again.  Felt like a nice play date with a lot of friends.  She ended up having 8 kids over: Levi, Miles, Gwen, Chloe, Junen, Navarrone, Lily (with 2 sisters), and Gabe.  Plenty to feel like a party!
Trampoline jumping!
The only glitch was a funny one.  After planning the entire party, Scout declared that it needed to be a surprise party and she would wait until her friends were all there and she would come to the party and they would yell surprise (another tv idea I'm sure).  This sounded rather ridiculous to us.  But she persisted in it.  And we decided that this was for her and not for us.  So just before 10 she went and hid in her bedroom and we said we'd come and get her when all her friends came and they would yell surprise.  She lasted about 15 minutes, and about 5 kids were here when she started sneaking out, peaking and wanting the surprise to happen.   So we got all set up, I went to get her, and then she got nervous to be the center of attention and started crying.  So I went back out and we called it off.  But it took me about 5 minutes, and the promise of otter pops to hand out to friends to get her over her nerves.  I think she was excited about the idea of a surprise party, but when she peaked and saw so many adults and kids in the yard all ready to stare and yell at her she just got too nervous.  Then she was afraid she had ruined the party.  Luckily, the otter pops saved the day and gave the kids a chance to stare at each other while they warmed up to playing.  By 10:20 or so they were all running around like a pack of crazies having a great time!
A little bit of present opening, a new Tinkerbell dress!
"Blowing" out the candles....which wouldn't light because of the breeze.
Eating cake...and her current cheese face!
Enjoying her birthday presents that afternoon! 








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