Friday, February 28, 2014

Butterfly extravaganza! Activities, décor & *magical guests*

I love our Eleanor’s zeal for a party! She had been so looking forward to her butterfly birthday bash that we started prepping the activities and decorations a few weeks in advance so as to best involve her in the pre-party fun. Then we kept the decorations up for a belated get-together with friends who couldn’t make the party date. As a result our home looked like butterfly central for a full month, and now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t keep a few things up to incorporate into our Easter décor?

There were butterflies, of course, to greet our friends on the porch.

Eleanor picked out the butterfly fabric for the craft station table cloth and we paired it with lanterns from last year’s bday.

A fancy butterfly table set for brunch. Erik and I made the butterfly garland using a butterfly punch, pretty papers, and ribbon. We cut the giant #3 out of cardboard and covered it in polka dot duct tape.

Another table view to show off the colorful linens, flowers, and a big cardstock butterfly at each place as a name card.

But more than the decorations, I deliberated over the party activity line-up, trying to come up with the best options for our mix of kiddos and ages. First up was butterfly wand painting. Erik had sanded dowel tips and wood-glued butterfly cut-outs on them, forming paint-ready butterfly wands.

The kids colored them with crayons, painted them with watercolors (for a resist effect with the crayon), and finally chose a few ribbons to finish them off. When paired with some wings, they make for the perfect butterfly photo-op!

Then we did the classic tulle in a clothespin butterfly craft. The kids colored the clothespins with markers and picked their tulle colors. They were cute and easy, and while some kids were finishing Erik vaulted them through the air with some sort of elastic band launcher for extra pizzazz.

Then we headed into the playroom for a butterfly hunt! Eleanor says this was her favorite part. Pre-party, I punched butterflies out of various papers and half-hid them throughout the room. Then we sent in the kids with party bags to collect them easter-egg style.

After that we trooped outside to make butterfly nectar. I told the kids that some extra-specially beautiful butterflies come through ABQ once a year, and today was the day that they should be passing through! So we mixed up some nectar with food coloring, water, sprinkles, and glitter to leave out in hopes of providing a special treat for the butterflies’ long journey. Here the kids are mixing,

And then pouring it into nectar pans!

Next, I read a story (Ella the Elegant Elephant) while the kids did butterfly scratch art around the playroom table and Erik whipped up brunch. Then the kids donned their flower hair bands (which doubled as dainty napkin rings in the table setting) and feasted on french toast.

As they finished up eating I checked on the butterfly nectar pans and what do you know?!? They were covered with the magical once-a-year butterflies!

I called for the kids and told them that we’d have to be quiet and not get too close so as not to scare the thirsty butterfly friends. They were spellbound! (And this was Luke’s favorite party happening.)

Then we brought the kids back inside for cake – a carrot cake with sprinkle butterfly stencils on top.


Eleanor approved.

Then we went back outside to check on the magical butterflies. They were gone, but they kindly left some sparkly butterfly charms for the kids to gather. They must have really liked that nectar they made. Smile 

Then the kids jumped, climbed and slid on a little butterfly gymnastics course on the patio.

We finished off with presents and hugs for the lucky birthday girl.

I do think our girlie-pie was pleased with her day and it was such a joy to see all the kids have fun together! We love you Ellabelle, or Ella-turtle as you like to be called these days! You fill our hearts with joy with your silly, spunky, sweetest ways. 

{More pics here.}

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