Thursday, March 31, 2011

The house is still standing...

Our Little One officially turned 3 years old this week. Her birthday party was held last Saturday. I like to think it was a hit with my daughter and her friends. And our house is still standing!!!

I tried to keep the party on the level of a 3 year old on all aspects... activities, decorations, background music, and food. I've heard various compliments about the party so I thought I would share with you on what I did.

The Hubby was the person in charge for establishing the background music. We did not go with just jungle themed music. We wanted to make sure that the music was one... not really annoying to the adults of the party as well as provide a recognizable / danceable mix for the young ones. We mainly stuck to the Imagination Movers music as well as music from various Disney movies.

For the food, the two parties that the Little One went to had pizza for the main food. So, I definitely wanted to do something different. So, I kept the food to be finger food type: pretzels, cheese, grapes, strawberries, chips n' salsa, veggie tray with ranch dressing, sandwich cookies, and animal crackers. For drinks, I had juice boxes for the youngsters and lemonade & soda for the adults. Of course, we had an awesomely delicious jungle themed cake from Coccadott's. I made sure the cake was large enough for adults and kids alike! (Sorry for the lack of pictures... they are still on The Hubby's digital camera.)

We kept the decorations pretty simple. We were expecting close to 30 people (kids & adults) so we didn't want to waste too much room with decorations. Our dining room table is pretty high so it wasn't feasible for the kids to use that for eating and activities. So, I laid down a dark green blanket on the living room floor. "Cinnamon" and I (with slight help from the Little One) made pillows for the kids to sit on out of animal print material the weekend prior. This was a great idea for the kids. It didn't quite work out with the food for the some of the kids wanted to use Little One's Tinkerbell table. That table wasn't large enough for all the kids so some of the kids did sit on the floor like a picnic. I had helium-filled balloons in various points of the main two rooms of the party. We had jungle animal cutouts taped to the wall (SN: We have been lazy. The animals are still taped on our walls.) The lion pinata hung from the ceiling. For favors, I handed out a small 8" stuffed jungle animal to each kid at the end.

As for activities, some prep work was needed. I made some binoculars out of toilet paper rolls, construction paper, yarn, and green-colored cellophane. I made each set a different color so the kids can easily pick theirs out. I also cut out the pieces from construction paper so that the kids can make a lion face mask. The kids decorated their binoculars with a variety of stickers. After they were done, I sent them around the house for them to find various animals by looking through their binoculars. I also gave each kid an animal visor to wear as they were going around the rooms to find the animals. The kids then tackled the craft project of making the lion faces. This required a little more hands on with the adults than I realized. Luckily, each parent helped their child out. The Hubby even got on the floor to help our Little One so I could help out all the kids. The projects and "hunting" basically took up the majority of the time. After snacks, we did try to have the kids to break open a pinata. I would say that was the most disappointing part (on my behalf). The kids enjoyed hitting the "lion" with the stick. However, the stupid thing wouldn't break open! A couple of the adults took a swing at it too with no avail. We ended up having to break it open for the kids. The candy still fell and the kids still scrambled for the goodies. The kids were happy but it would have been nice though if the pinata "worked" properly. After the cake, we did have the Little One open gifts. There was only ten minutes left from the two hour window that the invitation stated. So, we had the Little One open the gifts from her little friends first for we figure if anyone left first, it would be them. That seemed to work out pretty well. And, they were the ones to leave early (for I'm sure it was time for the kids to get home for a nap).

Overall, we all had a wonderful time. Our house was filled with lots of people in all aspects of our  (and our daughter's) lives. It was filled with laughter (both adults & kids) and smiles! It was nice to actually see first hand those that care about her. I am extremely grateful that we have surrounded ourselves with such amazing individuals!

Thank you to everyone who came to the party ... and for those few that helped with the preparations beforehand. *hugs*

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