Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sending summer off with a crafty shindig

Summer is officially over, and never has that meant more than now– Pudding Pie’s first week of kindergarten. I could veer off topic here and write screeds on this emotional milestone, but I will not. Instead, I’m going to talk about how we decided to end our summer of fun: with a no-holding-back, super-awesome craft party! 

We wanted to have a last hurrah with Pudding Pie’s preschool friends. (Not one of them is attending the same elementary school as PP – one of her BFFs moving to Warsaw, Poland, for goodness sake!) 

Anyhow, we were mulling over various ideas for a girly get-together – deciding against a pool theme, since we checked that one off with our beginning of summer bash – when the decision was made for us. We were lucky enough to be chosen as hosts for a Mommy Party with Creativity for Kids Craft Kits – yes!  

Earlier this month, not one, but two enormous boxes of fabulous craft kits arrived outside our front door, courtesy of Creativity for Kids. Pudding Pie could not contain herself – neither could her mom – we immediately began craft party planning. 

We chose to have our shindig at a local park, since we were anticipating plenty of ‘yes’ RSVPs. We made it to the park in the nick of time, Pudding Pie and I have a habit of being late for our own parties… 

We set up the tables: one long table with the crafts grouped into ‘stations.’ The fashion headbands station, the fashion braceIets station, the pop art necklaces station (PP loved these!), the Stuck-On-Fashion tote bags station, and of course, the take-home goody bag station.  We set up another long table with our yummy party snacks cheese scones, Lil’ Smokies sausages, and cheese on cocktail sticks, fruit trays, veggie trays and lots of juice and water of course. 

The scene was set; everything was perfect (aside from the sudden gusts of wind that decided to show up that day in a summer that has been filled with day after day of still, suffocating heat. But, aside from some frantically flapping tablecloths and a few runaway crafts, everything went well and the girls were in craft heaven.  
Never having hosted a craft party before, I did need to make some on-the-spot adjustments to my rigidly planned itinerary. This because I was quickly reminded that 5-year-olds do not do well with rigidly planned itineraries, especially when a feast of fun crafts is laid out in front of them.

My craft ‘stations’ were done away with when it became apparent that all crafters wished to participate in the same project at the same time. It was also quickly apparent that there were some strong color preferences when it came to colors of bangles, headbands etc.  with pink and purple as front runners. (Who would have guessed that 5-year-old crafty divas would face off over pink and purple bangles?!) With the help of ever-diplomatic moms, compromises were made, and the crafty fun continued on.  

I was impressed at how long the crafts held the girls’ attention. We were at it for a little over two hours, with a break in the middle to feed and water everyone. Everyone made at least one of every craft and it was incredibly sweet to see how proud they were of their finished products. With the pop art necklaces, even the previously disinterested younger siblings got in on the action. A modern version of the old bottle cap necklace, these are so fun to make! 
The fashion headbands required a little more dexterity – and patience and some of our group needed a little more help here, but they were all thrilled with their end results.

I thought the fashion bracelets would be the biggest challenge, but once the girls understood the process, they made several of these. I am trying to get Pudding Pie to donate me one of hers; she did such an awesome job! We began with the fashion totes and, once the girls had stickered up their totes to make them uniquely their own, we used them to store the growing stash of hot-ticket fashion accessories the crafters were churning out.
Once we had wrapped up our crafty event, the girls were worn out, but there were squeals of delight when each crafter received her take home crafts mini feather trinket boxes and truly awesome, fashion-themed coloring and activity books. These books feature vellum pages for tracing and high quality paper, so that little fashionistas can design with any media, from watercolors and pastels to crayons and pencils. Pudding Pie informs me that when she grows up, she will no longer be just a grocery store check out lady ("you know, the ones that have all the money") and a vet, and a cake baker, and a golfer; she is also going to design amazing (princess-themed) evening wear. This girl wears many hats...
The moms were pleased, too, since they received 20% off coupon codes toward scooping up more Creativity for Kids craft kits. Sweet.
We loved our Creativity for Kids Craft Kits and testing them out was a treat!  Whether you are buying for your own child, or looking for gifts, you can't go wrong with a product that so thoroughly engages and leaves the crafter feeling immensely pleased and proud over her end result!

Cuddle Cottage was given the opportunity through MomSelect  and Mommy Parties to host a craft party. All craft kit products were supplied by Creativity for Kids.