I was looking back at some of my old pictures, just enjoying the memories, and decided I wanted to share some of them on the blog. These are photos from 2007. My oldest daughter was turning four, and had declared that she wanted a Madeline-Dora-the-Explorer-Pirate-Princess-Pink party. Why have just one theme when you can choose five?
Before I post the pictures, I want to mention that this was years before I was blogging. Before I even thought to look online for party inspiration (if you can imagine!). Before I had ever heard of the term "dessert table." Before I realized that there were even other people like me out there who loved creating fun, unique parties. This party had some nice visual elements, sure. I'm still proud of the cake I made, for example. But mostly, it was fun. The kids had a fabulous time. My daughter and I both have incredibly fond memories of this party. And yet it's so simple compared to the parties I've been designing recently.
That's the whole reason Festivities magazine came about. To show that you can have magnificent, memorable parties without over-the-top hoopla. So even though this party is seriously simple in comparison to what I might do today, I still love it. I'm still proud of it. And I think it's worth sharing.
Without further ado, the Madeline, Dora the Explorer, Pirate, Princess, Pink party.
When the guests arrived, I offered each child a choice of a pirate hat or a princess crown. No gender assumptions; boys and girls were offered both options. I love that some little boys liked the crowns and some little girls wanted to be pirates!
While we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive, the children decorated paper crowns with glitter glue and stick-on jewels. It was simple, easy for the kids to do, and inexpensive. I've always liked having some sort of craft as the first activity at a party, something that can entertain the kids until all the guests are there and we're ready to move on to the games.
The spread was very simple. No dessert table, just a cake. Pink lemonade, chips, carrot sticks, and string cheese were requested by the birthday girl. I couldn't get all of the party themes into this one cake, but I did manage to get the Pirate, Princess, and Pink parts represented.
The absolute highlight of the party was the scavenger hunt. With a bunch of three and four year olds, we didn't have many readers, so I drew a very simple, Dora-esque map with three steps. Through the tunnel tent, to Swiper's house, and behind the lemon tree. I drew it once and made copies rather than drawing the illustrations over and over. The kids absolutely went nuts when my husband jumped out from behind the play house wearing blue gardening gloves and a blue bask made of blue satin ribbon with eye holes cut out. They loved it so much they demanded two more encore performances, in fact, and would have wanted more had I not distracted them with cake.
A simple store-bought pinata was a big hit, of course.
And a bounce house kept the kids happy and busy for the rest of the party while I finally got to sit down and relax with the parents.
Not an impressive party, visually. No amazing props. No dessert table. But it was still absolutely wonderful, and I'll cherish the memories forever.