To begin with, Bud had a pretty big list of friends he wanted to invite, but by the time the invitations needed to be sent out he was down to 3 friends. He began eliminating people from his list a few weeks before the party-- "I'm not going to invite her any more, Mom. She was mean to another kid in class." or "He was disruptive in class today, Mom, and didn't listen to the teacher." I'm just glad the 3 kids remaining on the list could all come!
His best friend Evie was the first to show up and they waited together (with Big) for the other kids to arrive.
I think that Evie was just as excited for the party as Bud. She even painted her nails for the occasion.
One of the party-goers had to leave about halfway through, so we made sure to do the really important stuff first. I wrapped up each child's party favors in a different wrapping paper and then had Rophone hide them around the yard. Each kid was looking for a tub of sidewalk chalk, a Hot Wheel (Bud's favorite toy), two mini tubs of Playdoh, and some scented bubbles.
After informing them of which paper was theirs, I sent them on their way.
It was partially a group effort...
...and partially a solitary one.
The best part of the treasure hunt was that it took a good chunk of the party time that I was worried about filling-- I was afraid the hunt would only last 5 minutes, leaving me a ton of extra time to kill. My insides were doing a little tap dance of joy at this point because now I knew I could make the party activities last the whole hour, thus avoiding having to deal with a group of disgruntled and disappointed 5-year-olds. Seriously, they're tough!
Bud wanted to decorate sugar cookies instead of having cake and ice cream, which was fine with me-- I mean, it was a seriously good time-filler! So, I made 5 colors of super kid-friendly frosting (you know, the kind so bright that it attracts kids as strongly as it repulses adults), gave them 2 cookies each, a bunch of marshmallows, candies and sprinkles, and let them have at it.
Then it was time for some present opening.
For the last activity, I tucked crepe paper tails into the waistband of their pants and had them chase each other, trying to step the on everyone's tails while keeping their own safe.
It was a lot of fun. Happy Birthday again, Bud!