About a month ago, a coworker asked me what we were doing for the Pumpkin's birthday party. I had no idea and told her so. She asked, "Well, what is she into?" I assumed she meant Dora or Backyardigans or some other character. I shrugged and answered the only thing that my daughter consistently loves, "Art." When I later repeated the conversation to my husband, before I could tell him my answer, he said, "Art."
My girl absolutely loves to do arts and crafts. It is the only thing that consistently keeps her attention and entertains her. It's the thing she never seems to get bored with and always wants to do. So it was very fitting for her third birthday party to be an arts and crafts party.
Londo and I planned the party for our house and invited our family and a few close friends with kids. Two weekends ago, we went to Michael's with the kids and bought a ton of supplies for the art and the crafts, from the finger paints to glitter glue to googly eyes. We decided we'd have two "stations" in our house, one in the dining room for fingerpainting and the other in the living room/parlor for crafts, as well as the kitchen for food and the family room for playing with toys.
Last Saturday was the party. We spent Friday night prepping for the arts and crafts projects after the kids were in bed, and Saturday morning getting the food ready and setting up the stations. Thankfully, my MIL and FIL came up Friday night and jumped right in to help. Londo was in charge of setting up the fingerpainting project and room, shopping and preparing the finger foods, and putting together the favor bags. I was in charge of setting up the craft projects and room, getting the favors, and baking (using this recipe, which was delicious) and icing the cakes. The inlaws helped with setting the rooms up, setting the projects up and watching the kids--generally helping out whereever they could.
There were a total of 6 preschool-aged kids and 3 babies (and my teen-aged niece). After everyone arrived and the kids had played a bit (and the adults had started in on the finger foods), Londo lead the kids into the dining room and started them all on finger painting. They each made one or two pictures, and we set them on the table to dry.
Next, we had cake in the living room/parlor (before I put out all the crafty stuff). I had decorated one circular cake as a painter's palette and a square cake as a potrait. (This link shows you the inspiration for the painter's palette. I'll have to upload pics soon to show off what I actually did.)
After the cake and some running around/playing with toys in the family room, I brought the kids back into the parlor for the crafts. I had cut out pieces of construction paper in the shape of animal parts, and the kids could choose between making a lion, a bear or a frog. They glued on the pieces and decorated with puffy balls, googly eyes and markers of all colors. Next, they got the pieces for a crown (front and back pieces) and decorated those with markers, glitter glue and puffy balls.
I really think the party was a big success. Not only did the kids play and eat and have fun, but they were able to take home things they made themselves! And in their favor bags, we had put in plastic frames that was the right size for the finger paint paper Londo had cut so the parents could frame the beautiful art that their child(ren) had made. The kids got to wear their crowns and play with their animals.
And the Pumpkin? She got to do her favorite things with her cousins and friends. She also got to eat cake and play with toys. Not to mention all the great gifts she got, which she opened the next day! It was definitely a great birthday party for my little, 3-year-old girl!