Step 1: The Invitations:
The first step just may have been our most challenging one. I gave Alex the opportunity to create the guest list. The first time I haven't just invited "my friends with kids" to one of our children's parties. Alex has school chums, now. So... he gave me a list of seven friends.
"I'd like to invite Jason, Madison, Vance..."Umm... last names? Phone numbers?
"I don't know!"
Sigh. A little prepwork before school let out would have helped. But the one phone number Alex did bring home from Kindergarten was "not even close", the boy's mother later told us. Lesson, don't trust 5 years olds to exchange phone numbers correctly.
So, armed with the school year book and the phone book, we actually managed to track down all seven families. I felt a bit stupid cold-calling strangers and asking "Are you Madison's Mom?" But everyone was pretty good about it. Ava's great-grandma pointed me in the right direction, as did Tiara's Aunt... one of the perks about small town life is that everyone is related and everyone knows everyone else.
Step 2: The Prep Work
After officially invited a group of strangers over to our house, my next challenge was to get ready for the party. So I've spent my evenings creating the "props" and my weekend tidying the house. I know its a farce, but I still want people to think I have everything under control. I hit a few snags... the vacuum cleaner died, but a wise woman suggested I use the shop vac, and voila! Works in a pinch! Then the lawn mower wouldn't start. Then the weedwacker ran out of cord. So our yard looked pretty overgrown, but I decided I had to just "let it go!" Yesterday morning we spent an hour "decluttering" by basically throwing all the excess stuff into laundry baskets and hiding it in our bedroom. Then a quick sweep, vacuum and dust and voila, perfect housekeeping! Just don't open our door...
Here's a sampling of the fun prep work:
The Yoshi Cake, the inspiration for our theme. My Mom baked and decorated it. Not bad for her first attempt at a cartoon character cake huh? Thanks a million, Mom!
Don't forget to invite the fun Aunty who still has youth and agility... well, youth, on her side! :)
Even the youngest party-goer can have fun on a well-executed obstacle course! :)
Game #2 - Mario/Luigi says
No explanation needed, think of Simon Says, but picture a short, round Italian man with a bad mustache and bad fashion sense...
Game #3 - Pin the Moustache on Mario
Connor demonstrates the overhand throw
Fun for all ages! We all gave it a whirl after the kids left. Here's my Mom showing Dad how it's done!
Game #5 - The infamous (Yoshi) egg on spoon relay:
And yes, I did hard-boil them. So sue me, I'm a softie!
Step 5: The filler
Five mini-games was enough for the day. The kids are still pretty young and don't have that competitive attention span required for too much structure. So we also had some "down-time" activities that the kids enjoyed during transitions between activities.