I'm no good at parties.
Don't get me wrong--I love to go to a good party. But when it comes to throwing a party, I am truly out of my element.
When you become a mom, though, organizing birthday parties is part of the job description.
Up to this point, the girls' parties have been pretty general--Play Doh, balloons, some crepe paper streamers, and a cake. For Katy's 4th birthday, though, she had a theme in mind--her very favorite movie, Cars.
Now, Martha Stewart I am not, so I felt no need for handcrafted decorations and table centerpieces. I headed to Party City and bought some packaged posters of Lightning McQueen and his cinematic sidekicks, along with some coordinating sticker packs and themed invitations.
I arranged to hold the party on a Saturday afternoon in the largest Sunday school classroom at our church. Many thanks to my friend Tracy, whose daughter held her party at her church, and demonstrated the brilliance of the plan: large space, central location, and NOT MY HOUSE!
As the kids arrived, they found red and white balloons all over the ground to kick around and play with (another stroke of genius from Tracy). There was also a rug with buildings and roads all over it, with toy cars and motorcycles, as well as Cars coloring pages and crayons on one of the tables.
After a little free play time, I asked if anyone wanted to make a birthday crown. (That has nothing to do with Cars, but who can resist a birthday crown?) I provided pre-cut crowns and loads of sticker pages to choose from.
After everyone had a customized crown to wear, I announced our first game: Pin the car on the racetrack! My husband showed his true artistic talent in the creation of the racetrack.
Then it was on to the bean bag toss.
We tried some toy car races, but the 4-year-old set was having trouble mastering how to slide the car backward to give it some power to move it forward. It became a brief free-for-all, and then it was time for cake and ice cream.
It was a nice combination of store-bought and hand-crafted, and I think it maintained the simple fun of a traditional kids' party without all the exaggerated excess of so many shindigs today.
Many thanks to everyone who through this blog, Facebook, e-mail, and in person helped to celebrate the special day when Katy entered my life!