Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mother of all Princess Parties continued (it’s a long one!)

It was such an epic party it has taken me a few days to process it all.  Sorry to all Grandmas for taking so long. 

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When the girls arrived I put a purple sash on them (wide ribbon hot glued into a sash) and asked them if they wanted lip gloss.  They all said yes but half of them (ironically the older half) had never had experience with makeup.  Some tried to choose an eyeshadow color instead of a lip gloss color.  Then when I dipped the Q-tip in the gloss and tried to paint it on their lips they were befuddled about what to do.  Getting some of them to purse their lips was entertaining in and of itself. 

Later some of the girls asked for more lip gloss because they thought theirs had worn off.  This is a common complaint with Gwen.  She thinks she needs to bathe her lips in chapstick every 30 seconds.  I’m always telling her it lasts for a while!  I told the guests that they would get their own tube of chapstick with the party favors at the end of the party.  That seemed to satisfy. 

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I also gave each girl a purse with her name embroidered on it.  They were very excited about that.  The moms were impressed again by Dawn and her sewing talents.  Thank you again Dawn for making the most precious party favor bags ever.  I told the girls they could put their candy in their purse from the games.  The purses were a drawstring closure that was tricky for the girls until their moms demonstrated enough. 

The first activity was a craft project.  I have learned this is a great attention getting activity to introduce the party theme.  It’s also the perfect activity to hold everyone’s attention until all the guests arrive.  If you’ve never thrown a birthday party for young children before, a simple craft is a great way to start. 

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The craft was putting stickers and jeweled rhinestones on foam tiaras.  Those tiaras were a lot more sturdy than I expected.  The stickers didn’t always stay on well.  Actually it was more the glued on jewels that had a tendency to fall off easily.  I was impressed that with only a few little touches the girls were transformed into little princesses. 

Once the tiaras were finished we moved on to games.  Now I made a video of this portion of the party to better illustrate the pictures and video.  Unfortunately, I was allegedly in violation of copyright with one of the songs although I feel like I was well within my rights of the fair use laws.  I don’t know which song it was and I don’t even want to deal with it right now.  So I will do my best to explain what happened while illustrating with pictures. 

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The first game was a Princess Walk.  I painstakingly printed out every single Disney princess and pasted them onto cardstock.  Then I decided not to have the circle go around the wall separating the kitchen from the front room so I didn’t need Pocahontas after all!  Oh thank heavens because I don’t even know why she’s considered an official Disney princess when Rapunzel is not.  Rapunzel was born to a king and queen after all but whatever. 

So I explained to the girls how the game would work.  They were to walk in a circle stepping on the princess cards until the music stopped.  When the music stopped they were supposed to stop.  This rule was followed as often as some people use their blinkers in a left or right turn only lane.  Not often if you didn’t catch that joke.  After the first time of stopping the music they learned that if they stopped on Cinderella they got candy.  I would play the music then pause it and the girls would keep walking for several seconds then race over to Cinderella as soon as they realized the music had stopped.  I passed out a lot of unearned candy.  It was entertaining to watch the girls attempt to play this game. 

The next game we played has no pictures to go with it.  It was a princess Easter egg hunt of sorts.  I hid 12 crab apple sized plastic apples around the area before the girls arrived.  We talked about Snow White and how she fell asleep when she bit into the poison apple.  I told the girls to find as many poison apples as they could.  Some girls were really good and found three or four while others, like Gwen, found one and stood there congratulating themselves until all the apples were found.  I told them they could get one piece of chocolate for every apple they found.  The girls dumped their apples back into the bag all at the same time and then started grabbing handfuls of chocolate.  Some were honest but come on, these girls are 3 years old!  How much could I really expect from them? 

We sat in a circle on the floor and played Hot Diamond next.  That was an interesting game!  Try playing a version of Hot Potato with a group of 3 year olds for the first time in their lives.  They slowly passed the diamond if they passed it at all.  They all commented on how heavy it was.  It was a large glass diamond from Michael’s that I got a deal on because the point was chipped a little.  When the music stopped and one girl was holding the diamond I gave all the other girls a piece of chocolate.  That girl learned quickly to get rid of that diamond! 

The final game was too cute.  We played pin the kiss on the frog.  Heath was going to print the picture at work on the large format printer but he didn’t get time.  Something about his laptop stopped working and the loaner wasn’t connected to the printer.  I’m so glad it didn’t work because we found an even better frog with a crown on his head and Heath printed it out on four sheets of paper instead of being only 11 x 17, or two sheets of paper.  I found some lips online and made them into stickers.  Then I put a sleep mask that I never use that came with my pajamas on the girls, spun them around, and watched what happened next. 

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These were the non peekers.  Amanda was the first to go.  What a trooper.  I had her pretty far from the wall but bless her heart, she slowly walked to the desk then felt her way alongside it until she found the wall.  I don’t know how she did it but she found the center of the poster and planted the kiss sticker smack dab in the middle of the frog.  Perfect! 

Abby’s mom told her not to peek.  She was very obedient and made her way to the frog after meandering a little and trying to put the sticker on Heath who was shooting video of the whole thing.  Yeah, that video I put together was cute.  *sigh*  As you can see in the third picture, she did find the frog and kissed him right on the mouth. 

Baylee quickly found her way to the frog.  I almost can’t believe she didn’t peek since she seemed to know exactly what she was doing but she didn’t peek! 

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Gwen, Rebekah, and Rachel all peeked.  It was pretty cute actually.  You could see their little minds working.  They didn’t want to be unsuccessful so they would barely lift up a corner (as you can see Rachel doing) and then walk right to the wall, put the blindfold back down and kiss the frog.  Entertaining game for sure. 

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Of course we had to break for an adorable tea party.  My neighbors invite friends over for tea parties/play dates.  I think I may have to do that.  Seriously, this group of girls is so cute and they get along so well. 

The grand finale was the Royal Gift Celebration.  We put blankets over two chairs to make them look like thrones.  Not all my decorations were that great!  Each girl had a turn sitting next to Gwen while Gwen opened the gift that girl brought.  This was the only part of the party that went better in my head but I think gift exchanges at children’s birthday parties are just awkward no matter what.  I tried to take the chaos out of the equation but it was still awkward and weird. 

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For my own record (since I still have to make thank you cards.  Man, I’ve been busy lately!) I will say what each girl brought.  Rachel was a sweetheart and insisted on bringing Gwen flowers.  She gave Gwen a castle play mat that zips up into a storage box.  It came with a little doll. 

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This is the only clear picture of Rebekah and Gwen.  Rebekah gave Gwen a princess keyboard. 

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Abby gave Gwen a Jasmine book and a Minnie Mouse drum with various other musical instruments stored inside.  Gwen is loving making music all the time. 

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Amanda gave Gwen a really awesome princess pop up card as well as a Little People horse drawn carriage with blocks and castle turrets. 

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Baylee gave Gwen her very first Barbie doll.  It’s Ariel. 

I was impressed with the gifts and I guess Gwen was too because she has not stopped playing with any of it since she got it on Saturday.  That’s better than Christmas!  Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with Christmas or birthday toys since the kids lose interest in the same day.   But not this time!  Gwen loves her gifts.  I love how cute they are and how so very Gwen they are too. 

I sent the girls away with bubbles, chapstick, nail polish, a bracelet and a ring, and a board book of their choice.  I think that was everything in the party favor purses.  They loved it. 

It was the party to end all parties.  Everyone had a blast.  I think I will end on a high note and never do that ever again.  Seriously.  Maybe we can reconvene for a Sweet 16 party but until then I don’t think I will ever hit all the variables just right for an equally successful party ever again.  It was wonderful and that’s a good place to stop. 

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