The theme this year: Piper's Picasso Party!
More details and pics....
There's pretty much nothing Pip likes more than art, right now, so I thought she'd love the chance to get her friends together to do some painting. Previously, her party guests have been mostly family members, and some of our friends and their kids, but this time around we let Piper make the guest list. Her first draft of invitees included just my mom, one of my sisters, and our church's childrens' ministry director...but after we explained maybe she'd have more fun with some friends her own age, she came up with a list of her 7 besties (+ Fin). She kept it to all girls, but allowed two boy exceptions: Miller, and Daddy.
We planned an hour and a half of fun all centered around art: canvas painting, cookie decorating, face painting, a silly game, and cake. She was super excited to paint, and I liked that the art could serve as the activity, and the favors. After perusing pinterest for art ideas, I landed on doing canvases with each girl's initial, figuring that would be easy enough for our age range (2-8) while still turning out like more than just scribbles and smears. I cut letters out of contact paper and stuck them on canvases for each girl. Then we covered the table with butcher paper, set up stations with washable paint, brushes and water for everyone, and let them go to town.
The "big girls" all sat at our dining table (most wearing old t-shirts as smocks) while the two little sisters got their own mini table.
They were all so excited about it... they couldn't wait to get started, so paint started flying within minutes. We didn't give any instructions, so everyone just went to town with their own vision and technique. It was so fun watching them work- each girl had a totally different approach. Some were crazy messy (uh...Fin) and some were super precise. I love that none of the art turned out the same, and each girl got to show off their personal style. (I also liked how hard they all concentrated on it. They took it super serious, wanting it to be just so),
(I mean, why not wear a random left over balloon hat while you work?)
Fin gave up on the brushes pretty early, preferring to get hands on with it (and then crying repeatedly about being too messy. Of course.)
And Miller skipped the painting, but still loved every second of it (mostly because he had a ton of ladies fighting to hold him!)
The girls worked for about a half an hour on their masterpieces, before we peeled off the contact paper, and laid the canvases outside to dry.Then it was on to the cookie table! I kept this super simple by using store bought sugar cookies, and pre-made fondant (which I rolled out and cut into circles to top each cookie). Then we set out edible markers for the girls to draw with. It was so much easier than traditional cookie decorating, with much less mess. The girls had so much fun coloring cookies for each other and as favors to take home (though some just wanted to eat theirs immediately...Fin).
In between cookie decorating, we also had face painting stations set up (run by my sister and niece...and then me when we needed more hands). I printed out a few examples of designs I thought we could manage, and somehow the key trend of the party ended up being eyebrow designs. Every single girl chose some variation of eyebrow art, which turned out....ummm...cute? In a crazy-old lady kind of way. (And as hard as I tried to wash them afterwards, my kids had colored eyebrows for at least two days).
Our last activity was a spin on "pin the tail on the donkey" where we all worked together to try to make a face. After a quick google image search, I printed and cut out pieces from a couple abstract art faces (eyes, lips, a ponytail etc.) and each girl had to try to stick one onto a big paper head on the door (while blindfolded and slightly dizzy, of course). No one got their piece even close to where it should be, but they thought it was funny to see how it ended up. After everyone got a turn, they all crowded around to rearrange things to try to make more sense of it.
And last but not least...the cake. You know I have a pretty serious history of messing this up, so this time I had a foolproof plan: choose a cake that's supposed to look crazy! My mom and I made a funfetti cake with white frosting, and then dripped different colors of royal icing all over it, letting it mix together, cover the sides, and pool at the bottom. The result was sort of a spin-art/Jackson Pollock situation, that at least Piper was impressed with.
We ate, the kids tore apart the playroom some more, and that was it! I think everyone had a good time, but I know the birthday girl loved it, which is all that matters.
Oh- in what can only be described as a birthday miracle- we even managed to get a halfway decent family pic (and a bonus shot of the littlest guest...) before the day was done.
Yes, Piper is wearing a foam visor. Because berets are so cliché .
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