Friday, June 17, 2011
A Ladybug Birthday Party
Children's parties can become quite large, and elaborate. Believe me, we've been there, done that. But, these days, we prefer the simple, do-it-yourself type parties, keeping the focus on the birthday child, rather than the festivities. I like it, because the less hectic pace, means I have more time to join in the fun, and the children like it, because they don't get lost in the busyness.
Happy children means fewer fatigue, and sugar induced melt-downs, which makes for a better party experience for everyone. So, for C's 5th birthday, this year, we enjoyed a quite, stay at home, ladybug party - and had a blast.
We started with a color-your-own tablecloth activity, while listening to Russell Hoban's A Birthday for Frances (click here, to read about that).
Then, we moved on to headwear. The younger children wanted party hats, so I made them buggy antennae, using four pipe cleaners each - two, twisted together, to make the crown, and two, twisted onto the crown, on one end, and wrapped around my finger, on the other, for the antennae.
Lunch was just plain old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (the birthday girl's request), made special with the addition of juicy aphids (green grapes), and soda pop, which the children aren't normally allowed (one of our few strongholds of good nutrition).
We were between rain showers, after lunch, so the children went outside to play a game of ladybug tag, while I cleaned up, and reset for cake (this time with milk).
Ladybug tag involves one child playing the ladybug, one child playing the ant, and the rest of the children playing aphids. If the ladybug tags an aphid, the aphid sits down, and remains out of the game, unless tagged by the ant. If an ant tags a seated aphid, they can return to the game. If the ant tags the ladybug, the ant wins, the game ends, and starts over with new children playing the ladybug, and ant. But, if the ladybug manages to get all the aphids seated, without being tagged by the ant, then the ladybug wins. For younger children, the game can be played without the "ant".
I called the children back in, for cake (click here for baking, and decorating instructions). It did turn out to be nicely done, all the way through, for those of you who were wondering.
Cake was followed by a few presents. Taking the lead from David Shannon's Too Many Toys, we've been trying to take it easy, when it comes to gifts.
The older girls gave C homemade cards, with coupons for having them do her hair, prepare a dress-up outfit, or paint her nails. And, E gave her the sweetest, most adorable note, a mother could ever hope to see.
After the presents we went back outside for some bubble fun . I only mention it, because I happened to pick up an inexpensive pack of "Super Miracle Bubbles". The packaging had some statement along the lines of "Earth's Best Bubbles!" I'm not sure if that's true, but I will say, it was the best bubble solution we've ever used - the bubbles were strong, plentiful, and long lasting, perfect for chasing.
Back inside, we played stomp the aphid - the object being to pop all the small (water balloon size) green balloons, without accidentally popping the red, "ladybugs".
Of course, there was also pin the dot on the ladybug, and a rousing game of aphid-aphid-ant (sometimes played as duck-duck-goose).
Finally, we opened the ladybug eggs, which the younger children had discovered, under C's chair, just before lunch (click here, for a pinata step-by-step).
And, another party was over, just in time for naps.
It's great to be a homeschooler.