In an earlier post I mentioned how my daughter convinced me to host her birthday at our place. I must admit I was a little stressed about the whole thing: would I get everything done on time, would there be enough to keep the kids occupied, will the kids enjoy themselves, would I have enough medication to get me through (okay, maybe that last point wasn’t really on my mind). I sometimes think parents get themselves worked up over things that kids don’t think about or care.
So party day had arrived. My daughter is a huge Webkinz fan so she wanted to host a Webkinz themed party. Their website was actually pretty helpful. It gave us a great starting place.
In the Webkinz environment they have a Kinsville News that opens each time a player logs in. This is like a newspaper and gives you information on any new content or activities in Webkinz. So to announce my daughter’s birthday we created a birthday edition of the newspaper for the invites. This set the theme and gave the guests an idea of what to expect.
When the kids arrived they got to choose a crown as their Crown of Wonders, like in Webkinz. But instead of collecting gems for their crown, the kids collected stickers. For each activity we had, the kids added a sticker to their crown.
OK, great idea, but now what to do to keep the kids entertained?
Well, since this was a Webkinz party, we told the kids to bring their Webkinz along (my daughter had a stack sitting in the hall for friends to borrow in case they forgot theirs). They decorated hats for their webkinz and gave them balloons (a bunch of little balloons came in our bag of balloons, perfect size for the webkinz). Then the Webkinz sat and partied at their own special table.
Super, the dolls were set, but kids can be a little harder to entertain. It was actually my daughter who came up with the first idea. We had a Gem Hunt. I created the box (or the cave actually) and my daughter created all the gems, including two slag. The kids took turn reaching into the ‘cave’ to grab a gem. If they got a piece of slag, they could choose again. If they got a gem, they could barter with the owner of the min (my hubby) and see if he would buy their gem. Funny, all the kids wanted to sell their gems. It doesn’t help that my husband is a bit of a pushover.
Then I thought of having a test kitchen, like Chef Gazpacho. Of course it didn’t help that I forgot I had planned this and didn’t get recipes or ingredients until the last minute. Thank goodness for Twitter, I was able to get a few recipes. The kids were able to work in teams and make one of two recipes. I let the kids do everything, from cutting the fruit, to measuring the yogurt and breaking the ice. They loved watching everything blending, but their favourite part seemed to be tasting the finished product. I was surprised at how much the kids enjoyed this. We had to do another batch even after eating lunch.
There was also a Jellybean count (note to self: don’t buy jellybeans too early in the planning stages or else you’ll end up eating most of them and have to go buy more). The kids pondered and collaborated and calculated how many beans they thought were in the jar. We had some great estimates, but we ran out of time before going through them. That’s okay, because I forgot to count them when I put them in the jar. Ooops!
After lunch we did a Magical Forest Scavenger Hunt. I had made up three maps, winding all around the downstairs rooms. My daughter and I ran around hiding the little Webkinz figures early in the morning. Now after lunch we’re ready to unleash the kids to discover them. Only problem, I find out that throughout the day the kids found some of the figures and moved them around the house. So the kids didn’t follow the maps since they remembered seeing the figures and just ran around to the spots. Then the three teams combined to try and find the missing figures, ones that were moved into other locations, ones that I didn’t know where they were hiding. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find the missing ones when I vacuum.
When planning, I was worried that the kids would be sitting around wishing things were over or worse still, running around like lunatics, swinging from the curtains, jumping on the couch. But the kids were busy and seemed to be having fun and before I knew it, parents were showing up for pick-up. No furniture broken.
The party seemed like a success, even though I forgot to put the tray of veggies out that I prepared the night before. I couldn’t believe how tired I felt when it was all done. I’ll be the first to admit it, I think I enjoyed running the party, but I’m glad my son decided to have a family weekend away for is birthday instead of a party.