This morning we woke up and put some finishing touches around the house in preparation for Zoe’s party. We decided to have a birthday party for her here before we head up to PA next month so she could spend the time with friends. We had a great turnout with 9 kids!
Last week we sent out invitations to the kids at school and some other friends that were Dinosaur Train fact cards from the PBS website. Then, over the weekend we went to the dollar store for some decorations…couldn’t find any dino stuff but they were stocked with flowery butterfly junk that Zoe couldn’t resist. So we had a dino – butterfly – flower party. Yesterday we baked an angel food cake. Zoe loves to run the sifter! We ied it like a pink butterfly with raspberries on top. In the afternoon we setup some activities. Filled the empty fire pit with sand and hid a bunch of little plastic dino’s in it: viola! a dino-dig. Setup our blow up pool and sprinkler. Filled about 200 water balloons and put them into a giant “nest” bucket…Dino Eggs! We filled up the awesome stegosaurus pinata that Bryan sent from Sicily with candy. That stegs pinata is the thing that spawned the whole idea for a party!!! Thanks daddy!!! Lastly we put together a little cardboard volcano. Then we tidied up the house.
This morning before everyone arrived Zoe helped me draw Allosaurus footprints on the porch and put up some pictures of dinosaurs from the dino train site. We filled the pool and baked some pigs in a blanket. Then set out the food – carrots, goldfish crackers, the pigs, and bags of chips plus juice boxes and water. Well, and the cake!
After everyone arrived they all played and had a great time! The dino dig was the first thing discovered and was an instant hit. Lots of sand and mess everywhere…they even used water from the pool in it. This might need to be a permanent fixture in our backyard during the summer since its too hot to have fire anyway. Everyone enjoyed the pool and sprinkler and then we busted out the “Egg Nest”. All those water balloons that took hours to fill were lovingly thrown and popped in about 10 minutes. A few of the kids wanted to stay inside and play with the toys which was fine; of course Zoe thought they were nuts, “come on guys, all the fun stuff is outside!” She’d say. Which was true. Her and all the others were outside having a blast in the pool and snacking and throwing the balloons. She then wanted to do the cake, which worked out since it was getting hot out. Everyone dried off and came inside to eat. I candled the cake, and we sang and cut it up! She was in her glory!!! Zoe ate the raspberries off her piece and tossed the rest. Silly kid…she likes the idea of cake but never actually eats it. Eventually we headed back outside for the pinata! It was a highlight. And Zoe later said it was her favorite thing and that next year she only wants a lot of pinatas. It took a while to break open…all the kids got a chance and even some of us grown ups before it bit the dust and spread the candy. The kids dove for it! Then it was back to some water play. I dumped vinegar into our volcano to watch it go. The adults were just as impressed as the kids with that one and wanted the recipe. We all remember doing that in school, but no one can recall the point exactly. It was a fun party…and the kids stayed to play for a while longer before folks started to go. The neighbor Jaylee stayed through the afternoon until naptime as I cleaned which was just as well since she kept Zoe occupied.
So, 4th birthday party was a success! No gifts, just fun… I don’t like doing gifts at parties. A few reasons…the biggest being we don’t need anymore stuff. But also, it seems a waste of time to have guests watch a kid open present. I’ve been to these parties and the kids lose interest after 5 minutes, so eventually its just all us grown ups bored watching someone elses child open gifts for an hour….or trying to wrangle our kids into being interested. Lost cause on this age group. And I know Zoe, she’ll want to play with each thing and would get frustrated when told to set it aside. It’s also not actually her birthday for another month, so we’ll do her gifts that day…slowly so she can enjoy….and only a few she’ll just be 4. WOW!! 4!!!