"I want a Toy Story 3 party Momma, because I'm gonna be 3. I want to be Buzz, and I want my friend Sammy to be Woody. I want a cake, a statue cake, with Buzz, Woody and Lotso on it, and I want it to be strawberry... because Lotso smells like strawberries."
I'm not kidding, he really said all of that.
So I got to planning. His most adamant request being the cake, I started there. I found a wonderful little local bakery, Songbird Sweets, and basically told them what he said. Toy Story 3, a statue cake, characters, strawberries. They definitely delivered, and he was thrilled when he saw his cake. (By the way, it did taste like strawberries, it was delicious!)
Yes, if you look closely you can see he is totally dressed up as Buzz. You can't see him, but his pal Woody is in the seat on the other side of the table. I even did braids and a red hat for a little while, when I was deemed Jessie.
Homemade play dough potato heads. Barrel of monkeys. Buzz and go seek. The list goes on and on. He selected the theme, and Momma took care of the rest. Simple, fun, and enjoyed even by those who had never seen the movie.
When I asked about themes on our Facebook page, one mother mentioned they select a charity to give money too in lieu of gifts, and the party is planned around the theme of whatever charity was chosen. How awesome is that? I would love to host a Holiday party along those lines, my wheels are already turning.
Another mom mentioned The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Great theme right there! From egg carton caterpillars to coffee filter butterflies, healthy snacks, days of the week games, and more... she will definitely not run out of ideas when party planning.
So yes, we do themes. We love themes. Themes make life easier when it comes time to plan a good party.
As for the Clubhouse Classroom, we may start a week with a theme and end up working on something completely different by Friday. When we did Rainbows, the Clubhouse Kids absolutely loved making rainbows in milk, and going on a rainbow scavenger hunt. The rainbow mandala I had planned for us to complete that week though, turned out to be a much longer process. They wanted to add to it daily, taking their time on each color. So, did I rush the process because our rainbow theme was complete? Not a chance. We just had a rainbow in the making while we enjoyed whatever we moved on to next.
With the kids I may select a theme and base activities around it, but the kids ultimately decide what we end up exploring. When I planned to make wax paper eggs, we ended up with crayon dust instead. Ultimately, watching what they are enjoying and exploring, and then building upon that, is how themes are born at the Clubhouse. Does that mean that sometimes we miss out on the latest craze? Absolutely. Forget to celebrate yet another "holiday"? Sometimes. Does that matter? Not at all. We will get around to it, we always do.
There you have it. I love a good theme at a party, and I love a classroom full of Preschoolers thoroughly engaging in and enjoying what they are doing, even if it has nothing to do with my predetermined theme at all.
Ok, I just have to do it. One more birthday party pic, because my little Buzz Lightyear sure was one happy birthday boy, and that made for one happy Momma.
Mmmm... I do wish I had a piece of that cake right now ;)