Friday, January 21, 2011

Calling All Artists!

My son decided on an "art party" for his 6th birthday celebration. Honestly...he came up with that! Much to my delight, my kids don't usually go for licensed character parties...I've been lucky to have some really great themes to work with over the years. We've had a jungle party, a safari party (they were different!), a snow party, both summer and winter Olympics parties, a Star Wars Padawan training trials party, and a spy-themed party (my fav!).

Since I usually don't have any work in January (not a popular wedding season in Maryland!) I have a serious urging for a creative outlet (pretty much the reason I decided to start this blog!). My "baby's" birthday is on Valentine's Day, so that gives me something constructive to put my energy in to during this long, dark, cold January.

Believe me....I'm no fan of over-the-top kids parties that impress the parents more than the little guests themselves....but I've got plenty of time, and PLENTY of inspiration-thanks to the gals I've met on The Children's Party Network. They've shared so many creative ideas.....some I can even do myself and it won't cost me a fortune! I've even been lucky enough to be selected as a "guinea pig" for a new cake topper design that Kristy at The Purple Pug is working on. Can't wait to see what she comes up with! I've got a few of the elements completed....but I'm going to hold off posting photos until I've got more of the overall concept pulled together! It's a great theme, and I'm having a lot of fun working on it. I hope the kids enjoy it!

Speaking of "kids enjoying it"....... I've realized that I'm an oddball these days when it comes to throwing parties. I have a 4th grader and a Kindergartner, and although this is my youngest's first "friend party", my older son has been having them ever since he's been in school. EVERY party-including the art party we are planning-has been at our home. But my kids have only been to a combined FOUR parties that were held in the hosts' homes. Crazy!! It seems like only slumber parties are at home...the rest are held at the local skate rink, bowling alley, swimming hole, laser tag facility, tubing hill, movie theater, or that place with the mouse my family has dubbed "Ghetto Disneyland". Don't get me kids have a GREAT time at those parties--even the mouse's house--but they just aren't for us.

On one hand, it sure would be nice to slip someone a credit card and have them deal with the food, entertainment, and the mess.....but on the other hand, what my kids seem to look forward to the most, is having the time to "hang" with their buddies outside of school. Our weekend schedules are so busy with sports and family obligations, that we don't often have a chance for the sleepovers and playdates that they are always begging for. You don't get a lot of interaction with your friends when you are watching a movie, or playing skeeball, so we have the parties at home so that they can have the chance to do that. But then the fear sets am I going to keep them entertained? I'm convinced every child, at least once in their life, should be exposed to the "classic" party games: pin the tail on the donkey, hot potato, freeze dance, musical chairs, etc.. Those activities are definitely on the agenda. And, of course, it IS an art there will be lots of arts and crafts activities! Throw in some time to decorate their own cupcake...and I think I've got the 2 hour block filled. But with 5/6 year olds...who knows?!?! They could blow through those activities in 30 minutes....or start doing their own thing once they all get together, and never even stop to participate in one "planned" activity!

As long as they have a good time, I really don't care......but it sure would be nice to show off some of the 'Foxy Inspiration' that I have picked up at The Children's Party Network!

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