This year Norah's birthday fell on a Saturday so we had her party on the day she turned six. This year we took a different approach to her birthday. Instead of having a big production (like I love), we kept it simple and told her she could invite just a handful of her best girl friends. (The benefit of having a summer birthday is that you do not have to include the entire class.) She is really into painting and drawing lately and so asked for an art-themed party. That I can deliver.
From us she got a hula hoop, two-wheeled scooter, IKEA bed for her American Girl doll, and a set of books.
The birthday girl in all her glory. A few days before she lost her second front tooth and she is now full on jack-o-lantern. The missing two front teeth is my least favorite. I think it is because I know the next stage is the big, grown up horse teeth. Norah never used a pacifier and rarely took a bottle so her baby teeth were perfectly straight. Her bottom two are finally growing in and they are most definitely not perfectly straight. She's still pretty cute.
This was probably the easiest kid party I have put together thus far. It helped that there were only seven kids in attendance (including Norah), and parents dropped them off. That made food especially super simple. A few weeks ago I ordered a printable set off of Etsy that corresponded to the art theme and was personalized with her name and age. It came with a lot of stuff we did not use, including personalized water bottle labels. Water bottle labels always come with these Etsy kits. It kills me. Does anyone actually make personalized water bottles?
Favors were cheap and easy and the girls loved them. They included a watercolor set, Crayola marker, and package of fruit snacks. It cost me under $10 for all of them.
I have finally learned to put the favors right at the front door where it is impossible for a kid to leave without taking one. There have been far too many times I have spent a lot of time and money on the take-aways only to end up with the majority of them still in the bowl after everyone was gone.
There were two main "stations" set up. The first was on a folding table in the main room and was the painting center. Each kid got a canvas, brush, and paper plate for paint.
The second was the craft station on the dining room table. It was an area full of paper, glue, scissors, markers, crayons, sequins, and glitter.
Decor was pretty basic and almost exclusively from that printable set. The banner was the most time consuming as I painstakingly glued and cut out each part of it. It looked awesome though, so totally worth it.
There were cute designs intended to be centerpieces or even cupcake toppers but since we did neither I ended up making a simple garland for the food area.
Bubby found cute art smocks at the dollar store.
As each guest arrived I had Norah take a photo with them in front of the easel. After the party, we used the photos for cute thank you cards. Craftiness abounds. (As an aside, every year in lieu of gifts we have asked for book donations. Norah was really into it this year and excited about putting together the donation package. Her attitude about the whole thing is both inspiring and makes me glad we started doing it all those years ago. My own little parenting win).
I have finally wised up to the fact that for the most part kids do not eat much at parties. There is too much to do, too much fun to have, and they must leave room for as much cake as possible. So we just did "Van Gogh Veggies..."
"Frida Kahlo Fruit..."
And not pictured, "Picasso Pizza." I had a sign that said "Creative Juice" that I completely forgot to put above the drinks. Win some, lose some.
On the invite we asked the kids to wear clothes they did not mind getting a little messy. However the birthday girl insisted on wearing her "fancy dress that looks like a painting."
First on the agenda was the paint. I was impressed by how into it all the kids were. There were very few spills and they all ended up with a cool canvas to take home. Norah told everyone about how Picasso cut off his own ear.
The little boys wanted in on the action but Norah made me promise to put them at their own table.
Their painting started off pretty legit but after access to the entire rainbow of colors pretty much turned into what Louie described as their "poop painting."
After painting was a quick pizza break.
And then they got to make a craft. I had some ideas and basic guidelines but they could also make whatever they wanted. There was a lot of glue and glitter involved. I wanted to make a joke about how glitter is like herpes (you never get rid of it) but figured it would be lost on this crowd. And someone might tell their parents.
After the craft it was cake time. Like always, Aunt Stephanie (cake boss) was on deck. She and Norah talked about the cake for weeks after Norah saw a photo of a rainbow cake in a magazine and knew she had to have it.
This bad boy is six layers, covered in buttercream frosting, and decorated with skittles and marshmallows. And 100% gluten free. It was amazing.
Everyone oohed and aahed over it and literally gasped when we cut into it. I did not know six year olds could be so impressed. It may be my favorite cake boss creation to date. These two gobbled it up.
After cake my bright idea was to have the kids do a chalk mural in the driveway. It had been overcast all day and I thought that would be the perfect wrap up to the party. Of course, as soon as we walked outside the clouds parted and the sun bore down. We lasted about 30 seconds before having to completely abandon the idea.
Thankfully, everyone was content to run around inside until their parents came to collect them. And with that, six was in the books.
The S's came over as the party was winding down to hang out and give Norah birthday love and presents. She asked for Lego Friends sets and was pleasantly surprised to open a set from the Lego movie. Megan took the lead on putting it together.
Everyone was pooped by the end, but it was a great day of celebrating my very favorite girl.
I am grateful for every second we have gotten to spend with her. She is my treasure.