When I began thinking about planning Oia's 5th birthday party and picking a theme, if any, the only thing that repeatedly came to mind was "bright and happy". "Bold" even. Oia doesn't live and die for any certain movie/cartoon character, or Barbies, princesses, etc ~ you know, most kids love something. But honestly, she could just play with her favorite babydoll all day long or better yet, shadow me every waking moment as my little not-so helpful helper. No girlie themed party would suit Oia's personality but all things bright, happy, and fun would. She's a girl who lives her life in bold, always seeking fun, so with my head full of colorful ideas, I went with it...
Think all shades of the rainbow. Bright like tie-dye. That's Oia.
Her party was Saturday. Unfortunately, the rain forced our originally planned outdoor party inside. The outdoor activies we had planned for the kiddos could not be done in the house with me as a conscious participant so we had no choice but to treat our guests to nothing but the best ~ our lovely garage. The last minute Plan B had me a little flustered at first but we pulled it off anyways.
As the rain began to fall that morning, I sent Rob and Oia out for the pick-up of cakes and balloons and while they were out, my sister and I quickly worked our magic on transforming the garage into something a bit more party friendly. We had a kid sized picnic table covered with white butcher paper where kids could sit and create with markers or paint. We layered the table with multiple sheets of paper so once one sheet was full, we could tear it off and start anew. Simple. Even the babies liked it...
Another activity was along one side of the garage. We hung a white king bedsheet that served as a canvas for kids to spray paint with water bottles. Fill a spray bottle with part water, part tempera paint, then allow kids to spray or squirt away. Perfect for tiny Picasso's in the making.
For the water lovers, we filled one of our kiddie pools with shallow water. Then we allowed the kids to each have a frozen water balloon (or 2 or 3!). The object ~ tear open the balloon and melt the ice away from the treasure that was frozen inside. Kids got to melt the ice by rolling it in the water, by blowing on it, or by rubbing it in their hands. Some even thought to crack the ice on the ground to get to the treasure from the middle a little faster. It definately kept them busy for a while.
But the party's main event was T-shirt tie-dying! Remember I said bright and happy, right? I was so excited to do this with the kids. It was on my summer's bucket list for Oia and I to do together but in all reality, tie-dying is for multiple shirts at once so what better time than at a kid's party. I provided all the materials necessary for each kid to dye their own shirt. I love the symbolism; 10 kids, all as uniquely different and special as the shirts they created that day. Everyone did a great job, listened and followed directions, and very little mess was made.
First round of kids dampening their white shirts in warm water:
Shirts soaked in soda ash, rolled, rubber banded, and ready for dye:
Elena carefully planning her masterpiece:
Natalie getting a little help from her mom:
Once the dye was applied, the shirts were to be left undisturbed for at least 12 hours before rinsing and washing. We sealed the kids shirts in a plastic bag for safe travels home and provided them with take home directions. Since the party, we've seen some of the finished products, and they look awesome!
Cake and ice cream was last for which we headed inside for. Oia felt special, I could tell, during the singing of Happy Birthday. She stood calm for the song, as if soaking it all in. Her smiles were infectious and once the singing of Happy Birthday was complete, Oia voiced the sweetest "Happy Day, Oia" to herself. And she blew out all five of her candles, one by one! That was definately the icing on my cake!
Note the colorful layered cake!
Oia's party was a memorable time for our family. I can't help but feel so blessed not only for the most amazing five year old we have the priveledge of calling our own, but also for the supportive and loving individuals who helped us celebrate the occassion (some present and some here in spirit). I hope they all enjoyed themselves as much as we did. We've filed the day under one of the most memorable birthday's yet and we can't wait to do it all over again next year!