In my circle of friends of am known for my ability to throw a good party. My friends all say they would never miss one of my parties because they are fabulous and I must say they are right. I don't want to blow my own horn (who am I kidding of course I do) but I throw a good party. Anyone who can have throw a party with 10 liters of paint and 20 children aged 3-7 and not end up with a colored lawn or rainbow children must have some sort of talent in this area.
My Flick is turning 3 soon so we had her birthday party last weekend. In my house when you turn 3 you get a huge party. I have always thought that 3 is THEIR first birthday. Birthdays before 3 are for the parents and their friends. 3 is the first year they know what is happening, they get excited and they have their own friends not just family friends. So 3 in my house is big.
Flick loves to paint. So I decided that she would have a painting party for her birthday.
and here is what I did (in case you want to attempt to have 20 children and 10 liters of paint in your backyard)..........
The first thing i did was send out the invites. I made sure i told people to wear play clothes. When parents RSVP'd and asked what they could bring i said play clothes (and supervision......you need supervision). I made sure everyone knew that it would be messy so that if they got covered in paint i couldn't be blamed for ruining clothes.
Then i thought about art smocks. I made an art smock for each of the children, when they arrived they put on an art smock and then they could take them home as part of there party bags. All i did was buy 2 donna covers for $3 from the local vinnies store and made basic paint smocks. The kids thought it was great.
This is belly in her paint smock. I made my girls special ones that weren't made out of doona that way belly could take hers to school but the other ones were the same design just thinner.
Now when organizing a 3 year old birthday party i find it can be difficult to organize group activities so what i do is set up stations.
The Grey tarp on the right is pet rock painting, The white board in the middle was foot painting (the kids thought this was great they could walk into paint then across some paper into a bucket of water) there were 2 stations behind me for canvas painting and plaster figure painting. Along the back fence was a mural painting, then there was face painting and a photo board at the back.......
the one on the left was for Flicks party and the one on the right for belly's Mary Poppins party. The kids love it and they aren't hard to make. I just got a piece of cardboard painted a picture and then husband made a frame so they stand up. Now we just have to find a place to store 2 boards until the girls move out.
We had a table set up for finished work and the paintings went on the clothes line.
Then people got to take home there creations in there party bags. WIN WIN.
I did have one organized activity and it worked really well. I got an old sheet, put a little paint in the bottom of a balloon with some air, hung them up then let the kids take turns to pop the balloons
The only advice i can give is to wear glasses as paint platters. The kids thought it was so much fun. The balloons were not noisy popping as the paint dulled the sound and they got a few drops of paint on them which they loved. And you end up with This........
now i just have to make something out of it but that's for another day.
Here are some other bits of the party
The artist pallete biscuits (arrowroots with icing and mini m&m's and licorice paint brushes)
And the best part of all.........
This may or may not have been a 10 o'clock party and wine may or may not have been available in parents retreat (just don't look at the photo closely....he he he)
So my tips.
1) Wear play clothes and provide or get people to bring smocks
2) Have supervision......i had teed up some friends to man the harder stations like the foot station and the back door station (she didn't let any kids into the house unless they needed to wee)
3) have a marker at each station to write names on art work
4) Remind everyone to take home there art work or you will end up with 20 pet rocks
5) Have fun.......it's not very often kids get given so much paint and the freedom to play with it. Encourage hand painting. In the end it is only grass.