On the 20th October, we opened up our house to thirteen small children and their parents. It was our first event hosted in this house and we loved every bit of it - as did the kids.
I can't take credit for any of these ideas: Pinterest had a lot to do with the planning behind this party. (1, 2, 3)
I was very annoyed to be missing an old, tatty pair of boots!
Food was split between everyone so these beauties were brought by two other mums:
It all looked fantastic.
The kids meanwhile, were really great. We'd opened up the kitchen-living, pushed the table up against a wall, and the sofa out of the way to create an open space and access to the toy area. Emily's kitchen went down an absolute treat, and what I'd done earlier that day turned out to have been worth its' weight in gold: I put away all Emily's favourite toys and brought out stuff we had in storage.
My reasoning was that she wouldn't be too keen to have lots of other kids playing with her beloved stuff (I'm all for her sharing but I think that could be too much for anyone), and I didn't want her screaming the party down in floods of tears. It ended up being handy because it kept her entertained all day, as they were toys she hadn't seen in a few months. And there wasn't a single show-down over a toy during the party. They all played together perfectly.
I was also surprised (and impressed) that not a single child made any attempt to open a cupboard door. I'd planned to tie handles together temporarily with rubber bands but completely forgot to. All doors remained shut anyway. Good kids.
The orange jelly was a huge success.
(Now have a look at the Halloween pictures from 2011 and check out that first picture again - the one with Emily and her friend James dressed as a spider. It's the same James - he and his parents were visiting us from the UK, which is why we threw the party early!)