Every year since Dorothy has been a baby we’ve hosted a 4th of July-themed bash in our back yard for her small friends. We had the 2010 event a couple days ago, and it was a success. This year we featured do-it-youself face (turned into body) painting, the dress-up box (even more exciting outdooors in 100 degree heat!) and other yard games. I wanted to make some version of the locally-popular game cornhole (basically bean-bag toss) that would be easy for preschoolers, so I stitched up some homemade bean bags before the party.
I used a set of coasters as a template to cut 8 fabric squares (leftover scraps from the matching outfits of last week), stitched them right-sides together leaving a small opening on one side, turned them right-side out, filled them with dried beans from the pantry using a small flexible cutting board as a funnel (see top photo), then hand-stitched the openings closed. Then I spray-painted two lines in the grass about 10 feet apart and put the bean bags on one side and a laundry basket on the other. The kids didn’t actually end up playing with it much–the draw of the face-paint was too strong–but I kind of liked the idea and will probably use it again at smaller gatherings when there is less competition for attention. I think it would be a fun multi-generational game.
Here’s Dorothy with self-painted cheeks and arms. We like the crayon-style face paints because the kids can paint themselves easily and it washes off with no more than a baby wipe. By the end of the party, some kids were almost fully naked and had paint from one end to the other!
After the party we had to return to reality with a jolt–27 children and 21 adults left, then we had three hours to clean the house and evacuate for a real estate showing. Ugh. No feedback, so I assume that after all that effort the prospective buyers were not interested.
Yesterday was much calmer. The party over, Dorothy went off to spend the day with her newly-relocated grandparents. I took Worth to his 4-month checkup (75% percentile in height and weight!), then he slept undisturbed by sister all afternoon while I got caught up on various quiet tasks and made some invitations to his upcoming baptism and brunch. It’s certainly not necessary to send invitations to the small, close crowd of family and friends who will be included in this day, but doing so does seem to set apart this event as something extra-special. I printed a Filippo Lippi painting from the internet (for personal use) that I’d admired at the Uffizi in Florence before I was married and taped it to a little message I printed on cardstock.