We began the party with some free time. In the past couple of years, I've learned that it is best to begin parties that way. Not everyone shows up on time plus Ella really loves to show her room and belonging to her friends. So, it was extremely loud in our house for awhile. Ella has an exuberant personality...and attracts friends with the same tendencies.
After about 30 minutes of loud chaos, it was time to calm things down and work on a craft for a bit. The Disney Fairies website had a very cute Rosetta Frame Craft. (You can catch a glimpse of the frames on the mantel in the photo above.) The pdf includes instructions, a template and some printable "clovers" to decorate the frame. I also printed some extra decorations from the Disney Fairies website so the kids would have more options. I ended up resizing and printing birds and berries from the First Flight Garland pdf. Last week, we collected a bagful of sticks at a local park, and I used them to build the frames ahead of time. All the kids needed was a Q-tip, some glue and decorations to create their masterpieces. When they had finished putting on the paper decorations, they had the choice of adding glitter to it as well. I had them put the glue on the frame and place the frame in a shallow bucket before shaking on the glitter. (The bucket is KEY if you want to contain the glitter!) The finished frames were soooooo cute! We also made sure that Ella took a photo with each friend, and we'll be mailing them a photo to put in their frame.
For the game, we had a variation of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey." I created a huge tree on one of our walls to resemble the Home Tree in Pixie Hollow. Then the kids had to pin the pixie dust on the Home Tree. Right away, Olivia, one of our youngest guests, pinned her pixie dust right in the center!
After the game, all the kids sat near the Home Tree and Ella opened her gifts. I know some people don't feel that it is appropriate to open gifts at parties, but I disagree. I think that it is a great opportunity to teach your child to accept gifts graciously and demonstrate their thankfulness. Before the party, I clearly expressed how I expected Ella to act during gift time, and she did not disappoint me. We like to set up two special chairs durings gifts -- one for the Birthday kid and one for the guest giving the gift. This ensures that the gift giver gets an up close view of the unwrapping and gets to feel special too.
Next it was time for cake. Although the cake wasn't perfect (mine never are), I thought it turned out pretty darn cute.
I made a set of Fairy Houses and a dozen "mushroom" cupcakes. Thankfully, Ella loved it. (See a tutorial of the Tinker Bell & Terence Cake and Mushroom Cupcakes.)
Last but not least, we let the kids have a whack at the Acorn Pinata. Ella's classmates Dylan and Max have quite a lot of power in their bodies, so we saved them for last and let the smaller guests have a try first. Dylan did not disappoint and broke it open for us.
Unfortunately, Ella got her party bag confused with another friend's and ended up putting her loot into his bag. Vera came to the rescue though and offered some of her treats to Ella. Afterward, Ella said that Vera's generosity was her favorite part of the party. When all is said and done, the decorations, the games and the food don't matter all that much. It is the good times that we spend with those we love.