Archive for the ‘webkinz’ Category

We had a great party, but I’m glad that’s over.

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?

making party hats

making party hats

Webkinz party table

Webkinz party table

and more party hats

and more party hats

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.

gem hunt

gem hunt

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.

gunk or surprise?

gunk or surprise?

making smoothies

making smoothies

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!

scavengerhunt maps that didn't get used

scavengerhunt maps that didn't get used

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.

yeah for party food

yeah for party food

birthday cake

birthday cake

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.

What? Me host a party?

Hanging out with just a few friends

Hanging out with a few friends

My oldest is turning seven this month and so we’ve entered party planning mode. We’re all fairly new to the party scene. My oldest is the only one who, so far, has had a birthday party with friends and it only started when she was school age. I know there are moms out there who have opted for parties for their kids when they turn one or two, inviting other babies and toddlers to participate in cake smearing fun. That’s just not me. I actually hoped we wouldn’t have to worry about parties until my daughter was in grade two or three or eight. No such luck.

I sound like I’m complaining. I actually enjoy the whole planning process. I like developing creative invites and gifts for the kids. But this year will prove to be a challenge for me. In the past we’ve hosted the party off-site. One year it was a princess party at our neighbourhood independent toy store. Another year a cooking party at a cooking school. Last year the kids worked with clay at a ceramics studio. All were great fun…and easy since I didn’t have to do much. This year the party will be here, at my house.

Yup, I don’t know how she did it, but my daughter convinced me to hold the party at home. What was I thinking! Okay, it’s not all that bad. We’re only talking a few hours with a few friends (we have a party rule that whatever age you are turning, you can only invite that many people, i.e., 7 kids this year). How bad could it be. I mean lots of moms do this, right?

That’s what I thought, then I sat down with my daughter to plan her party.

Like so many kids her age, my daughter is completely hooked on Webkinz, so she decided she wanted to have a Webkinz themed party. No, no computers will be involved. We had to think of how to bring the online world to life in the real world. Actually, not as hard as I thought. The problem was where to stop.  I must admit, I was getting excited about the planning. I thought the best thing to so was brainstorm and write down all our ideas, then we would narrow down our list. I guess I was the only following that plan, because my daughter thought we were going to do everything on our list. I had a hard time trying to convince her that some things had to be dropped. I was trying to not take over her party, but I knew I would end up being the one creating all the elements and I’m not a superstar. It’s true, I’m not.

So I think after some ‘discussion’ we both have came to an agreement of what will happen at the party: Curio Shop Gem Hunt, Magical Forest Scavenger Hunt, Jellybean Jar Count, Crown of Wonders, and Making Chef Gazpacho Smoothies. Since the kids will be bringing their Webkinz to the party, my daughter thought the kids could make and decorate hats just for them. Or course each time my daughter talks about the party, she thinks of something else to add. To help my daughter understand the work involved in putting a party together, and hopefully curb her focus on making it bigger than the two of us can handle, I’ve given her tasks to do. She’s created the gems for the Gem Hunt and is now on the lookout for items for her Scavenger Hunt. The best part to keeping her busy, she hasn’t been trying to add more things to her party. Now I need to do my part, the biggest of which is getting the invites created and out. Maybe this party at home thing won’t be so bad (you’ll have to check back in after the 18th to know for sure).

At least for my son’s birthday, which is next in the calendar, we gave him the choice of a party or a family weekend away at Great Wolf Lodge or Splash Lagoon. He opted for water park. That’s my boy 🙂