Yesterday, I took Brandt shopping for gift bag goodies, plates, ice-cream, craft items, etc. He knew just what he wanted. No slipping in mom-preferred items with him. Before bed, we sorted foam Noah-the-ark (this is what I mean about not sticking to the theme) stickers together (the activity), and assembled the gift bags. He followed instructions very well, and was so proud.
Only three of the six invited guests were able to make it, but Brandt didn't care. He was so excited and had a great time with his friends. We let the kids play for a while, then attempted to do games.
First, we played "Put the Chocolate in the Mouth" (aka "Pin the Tail on the Donkey").
Not a huge success. They hated the blindfold, and other than Brandt (who TOTALLY cheated by peaking), refused to play. The moms played, though. (And as you can see, Brandt went back later and made sure the boy got ALL the chocolate. He was concerned)
Then we tried "Vanilla, Vanilla, Chocolate" (aka "Duck, Duck, Goose").
Another failure. Two friends refused to play. Brandt insisted on being "it" every time, and his last friend insisted on chasing him every time (which I suppose worked out well).
Our last ditch effort was hitting the balloon over the streamer. That finally got some love. Even the baby loved that game.
Next we did the craft, and all the kids enjoyed sticking the foam stickers on the big foam sheets. I also pulled out the bath crayons (that I hid years ago after struggling to clean the lousy "easy-to-clean," "just-rinse-it-off" mess). They worked extremely well on the foam, and the kids loved it. In fact, Brandt told us he wasn't ready for cake because he was still coloring. . . . Never mind that he's been talking of this chocolate cake for over a week. Never mind it's the theme of the whole party. He's still coloring.
However, when we asked "Who's ready for cake?" all the kids came running. We sang "Happy Birthday," Brandt blew out the candles (for the second time), and we ate. And then, Brandt was so busy eating, he didn't have time for his presents. Funny boy.
But all his friends were so proud of what they brought, and Brandt was so tickled with everything. He gave nice, sincere thank you's to everyone.
This is Brandt struggling to unwrap the newspaper present. Daddy couldn't fnd the cute wrapping paper I bought (and in all fairness, neither could I).
Finally, Brandt passed out his specially designed gift bags (they're supposed to look like chocolate bars), and was the first one to pull out his slinky. His only problem was deciding what to play with next. He spent the rest of the day rotating toys. And might I add, London was quite excited about Brandt's gifts, too.
The party was very simple, but it was a hit. Brandt had fun, and we didn't kill ourselves over-planning. Two important features.