Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ella's Castle Party

Yesterday, Ella turned FOUR, and we celebrated with a "Castle Party." Since Ella (and her friends) have so much energy, I decided to keep the invite list small for my sanity -- Vera and Caleb (Ella's best friends from preschool), our friend Caleb from Santa Barbara, and Baby Olivia. Well, I guess technically it wasn't that small when you add the mommies and little siblings. But, it turned out to be lots of fun.

Over the past week, I busied myself making costumes (capes and crowns for all, necklaces for the princesses, and tunics for the princes), a dragon pinata, a castle cake and planning a couple of games. Early into the party, I realized that all of this was not necessary. The kids just loved being together -- they would have had just as much fun running around for two hours without all the extras. But, I think the extras were fun...and hopefully it made the day just a little bit more special for Ella. Here's a picture of Lucie with one of the crowns on -- that didn't even last 5 seconds. She didn't enjoy the crown...but her friend Olivia did.

Originally, the kids didn't really want to wear the capes. But, once we headed outside for Pinata Time it was a different story! It was a bit on the chilly side in our backyard so they costumes helped with the cold a bit. Here is a photo of Caleb (the Elder) and Vera as they waited in the cold for their turn in "slaying the dragon".

Yes, I actually made a dragon pinata. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $15 on something that the kids would just hack to pieces anyway. So, I decided to make mine after I saw these directions on the internet. Ella was a bit hesitant to smash the pinata...and Lucie cried when we started hitting it. But "The Two Calebs" had great fun whacking it! Unfortunately, either my pinata was too sturdy or our banging stick was too weak -- the thing wouldn't break! So, we decided to just stab it and shake all of the candy out.

We played two simple games -- Find the Royal Treasure and Pin the Flame on the Dragon. For the treasure hunt, I made gold "coins" out of paper and hid them in the back yard. After telling the kids that the dragon had stolen the royal treasure, I sent them out there to find them. As a prize, they each got a little pouch of chocolate coins. (I didn't use the chocolate in the hunt since I wasn't sure if it was going to rain and didn't want to hide chocolate in my living room where babies could find it!) Pin the Flame on the Dragon was very cute -- a first for most of the kids, I think. Afterwards, Vera insisted that we put the flames in the proper place so that they were all coming out of the dragon's mouth.

Towards the end of the party, we enjoyed some Castle Cake and Ella got open her gifts. Here's Ella with Olivia and also with Caleb (the younger).

Thanks to the generosity of her friends, she has some Fancy Nancy & Belle books, a feather boa, a tiara and a Barbie doll with some cool furniture. It was a lovely time - I hope our friends enjoyed it too.

If you're interested in how to make a castle cake, come back tomorrow for my post about the cake!


Rebecca said...

You're too good Janel!

Jamie said...

Great pics. Cool cloaks, awesome dragon, love the crowns. Great post!

Anonymous said...