Although her birthday isn't until tomorrow, yesterday we hosted Ellie's birthday party! She invited five girls from her class. The party went beautifully! The girls all play together at school, and the mums all know each other well. That made everything so easy and fun. The party lasted from 10am until just past noon.
The activities were largely dictated by one of Ellie's favorite books, Conni hat Geburtstag. In it, Conni celebrates her birthday and Ellie wanted hers to go off the same way. She wanted to make her invitations like Conni did. She drew on folded paper, and I wrote the invitation text inside.
Conni and her friends played dress up, as did Ellie and her friends.
Ellie wanted to have a treasure hunt like Conni did. Conni's dad made chalk arrows outside to lead the kids to the treasure, so Markus took care of that. We even made up little treasure bundles just like Conni's (only Conni's were red and Ellie's were pink, naturally). The treasure hunt was a HUGE hit! Ellie loved it so much that she still hasn't opened her little treasure pouch. She did the hunt again on her own while her friends were all happily engaged beading necklaces (the treasure), and she did it at least four more times throughout the afternoon.
Ellie loved the decorate-your-own-cupcakes activity we did last year, so we repeated that with "lollies" (that's Aussie for "candy").
She also really enjoys playing "pass the parcel" at other birthday parties, so we added that game. Small treats are wrapped, one per layer, in a multi-layer parcel, which is passed around the circle of kids to music. When the music stops, whomever is holding the parcel unwraps a layer and keeps the treat inside that layer. It continues until all the kids have found a treat. Not wanting to indulge in too much sugar (mean mama, I know), our treats were tiny vials of "fairy dust" (superfine glitter we use with face paints) and stickers.
The final treat was a book exchange we held in lieu of gifts. Each child was asked to bring a new, wrapped copy of her favorite book. Ellie and Stephanie did likewise. We put all the books in a pile, and each child chose a new book from the pile that she got to take home.
All the girls and the mums were huge fans of this one, and we'll definitely do it again. We really want our girls to grow up thinking more about the celebrating and enjoying with friends rather than the getting stuff usually associated with birthdays. That goal seems to have been well-met yesterday. Ellie really enjoyed her party. We all did! And tomorrow, she will be FIVE YEARS OLD! AMAZING.