Bud decided that for his friend party this year he wanted to throw an art party. I may have have come up with the idea, but I just knew that it would be perfect for him. Three of the friends he invited were able to attend, which ended up being exactly the right number of kids to paint at our little table. We painted at the very first so the finished products would have time to dry while we opened presents and ate ice cream.
I labeled the frame on the back of each child's canvas with their name and the year and then handed them out with the paints one by one. I hadn't pre-squeezed the paints onto the paper plates because I didn't want them to dry out while we waited for Bud's friends to arrive, so there was a bit of a lag between when each child was able to get started.
I gave Bud his canvas and paints first (he was the birthday boy after all). The first thing Bud did was paint a sun in the corner and then start on some grass. The first partygoer to receive their paints and canvas proceeded to paint a sun in the corner and started on some grass.
One of the other kids looked at the girl's painting and said, "Are you copying Bud? I think you're copying him." I then handed her a canvas and paints. She painted a sun in the corner and then some grass. I didn't say anything.
When the last child received her canvas and paints she also painted a sun in the corner (although her sun was a complete circle and not a partial circle at the edge) and started on some grass. As the girl began painting a black house on her grass, the second girl looks at it, and then over at the brown house Bud was already working on and says, "Are you copying Bud? I think you're copying him."
I about died laughing inside. I reassured the kids that all of the paintings, while they might have started in a similar fashion, would end up looking completely different from each other in the end. I was right.
It really was such a fun party.
Bud loved all of his gifts and some of the kids stepped out of their vanilla-comfort-zone and found a new flavor of ice cream to enjoy. I think Bud had a fantastic time and I hope all of the other kids did, too. As they left with their painting and goody bag full of markers and suckers they seemed pretty satisfied.
Or maybe I'm projecting. I know how much I, as a parent, would love it if my child came home from a party with a work of art for me to hang on the wall. I like the idea so much that after the party was over I had Big and Ginger paint one for me, too. I can't wait to hang my new trio of original artwork up on the wall.
Happy Birthday, Bud! I hope you enjoyed your party as much as I did!