My daughter recently had a birthday. She wanted to have a sleepover and pool party the next day. I was not opposed to allowing her to have a big party, but what about the adults? Can we have fun while the kids are playing in the pool and generally running around the yard screaming and laughing like banshees? What could possibly hold their attention long enough for the rest of us to enjoy the party as well?
The answer is yes. And check this out:
On the night of the sleepover my husband stopped at a local pizza parlor called CheeZies Pizza. To ensure a successful dinner with six finicky girls, he purchased a variety of large pizzas for $4.99 each. These delicious pizzas are covered with the best products and the crust has garlic butter on it. Now if you like garlic you’re going to love this. After darkfall we headed out to our campfire (in the backyard) and made S’mores with Hershey’s chocolate bars, Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmellows, and Nabisco Grahams. This is the most requested activity at our house throughout the year, especially during sleepovers. Once we were stuffed with sweets the children headed off to the other end of the house to play and we hid in the front room and watched movies.
For the party, my husband and I found these great little crafty hats at Wal-Mart (in the craft section) for under a dollar each, I think they were 49ï¿½ each. We also found boxes of pre-sticky appliquï¿½s, some of the designs we bought were horses and horse accessories, flowers, paisleys, suns, dots, pirates, ships and parrots. Of course, these were in three different boxes, but since we happen to have a horse lover in our family and boys at the party as well, the extras were worth the price. The decals ranged from $4 to $6 per box.
Decorating hats entertained them for an hour and they loved doing it. I just placed a large sheet on the grass and placed three large bowls of the decals in the center. Each child chose the color of visor they wanted and I tossed a quick warning into the circle. No fighting. That was it. We did not hear a word from the children for the rest of the decorating time. Some parents sat in the circle and played in the decals, but for the most part we were able to mingle and chat without having to say things like, “Stop leaning on the side of the pool!” or “Give that back to sister!”
We had something for everyone. I found a Nine-in-One game set at Wal-Mart for $19.95 and with strategic placing of the games throughout our yard we had children and parents enjoying games like horseshoes, badmitten, volleyball, ring toss, and these sticky disks that caught tennis balls (this one was a hit with the adults). There were people all over our yard enjoying different activities like the sandbox (the sand was less than $6 for two bags from Wal-Mart) which kept the youngest of our guests entertained, the craft area, as I said before, was a huge hit with the children and the adults, the pool, a hub of activity with children in and out visiting the games, food, crafts, and back again.
We discovered a long time ago that by having a pool party, which usually lasts several hours, feeding the children and the adult guests is essential to a successful party. This not only stops the whining from hungry children but also drastically curbs the hyperactive behavior that comes from sugared up children. We always have satisfied parents and cake left over to enjoy after the party.
Once we’ve stuffed ourselves with BBQ burgers, hotdogs, watermelon, and cake we usually beat the living daylights out of a piï¿½ata. This year however, I found a pull-string piï¿½ata. This is great if you want to save or reuse it, which we usually do. I ordered the very hard to find Polly Pocket piï¿½ata from Amazon.com. We spent a total $20 on the thing and that included shipping. Once the package arrived we discovered a catalog in the box from the shipper (Birthday Express) which has loads of hard to find party supplies in it. The 64 pages are crammed with cool stuff which range from Lil’ Bratz. Spider-Man 3, Horse Power (our next purchase), and Happy Feet.
After the children received and stuffed their gift bags with extra goodies the pool was again blessed with their little bodies. Of course they were moving at a slower pace, but they were still enjoying themselves, and so did we.
Parents came to collect their children and we found ourselves visiting for another hour. I watched as some of our guests sipped on refreshing drinks like daiquiris, iced tea, and punch. Once the children cleared the scene we were able to truly visit with our remaining adult guests and come down from hosting. All-in-all the party was moderately expensive and a success and I know I’ll be doing it again come September.