I learned a few years ago that trying to hold a birthday party for my oldest daughter Josie at our house wasn’t the best idea. My plans for a May luau-themed party and some fun activities outside were quickly dashed by an all-day-long rain storm – and there were many times that afternoon when I wasn’t sure my walls would hold up with all of the 16 bouncing boys and girls in attendance when the party was moved inside.
Fast forward to a few years from then, and the large group parties have given way to smaller sets of friends, which this mom can handle a bit easier. But not necessarily our smaller-sized rural home, which at times seems a bit too tight with just the five members of this family in attendance.
So in my recent brainstorming last month for a fun activity for six third-grade girls, I remembered the shop A Perfect Gift, which is known in downtown Hastings for providing colorful, fresh flower arrangements and plants, as well as unique pieces of art, jewelry and more. I know that they hold occasional project nights for various things like paintings, and thought I’d check to see what they could do with a bunch of basically pre-teen girls.
After talking with Jocelyn, one of the owners, she and I decided ahead of time that making headbands would be a perfect project for the girls. Cupcakes would be provided, she said, and the rest of the time would be filled with entertainment that the other owners, her sister and mom (Shannon and Mary, respectively), would set forth. From there, I was welcomed to bring whatever else would be needed to make the party Josie’s own.
So after school on the party day, I loaded the six girls in my three-rowed vehicle, Hits 106 blaring as we traveled down Highway 281 from Doniphan, where the girls go to class, to Hastings. From there, the music never stopped. The girls mastered the look of each of their headband creations, their own style incorporated into the accessories, with the help of Mary and Shannon – and quite a bit of hot glue. Each modeled their handiwork in a “runway” fashion show before showing off some dance moves and decorating their individual cupcakes. Presents were opened, treats were given and laughter was constant. Just about an hour and a half later, each girl left with a handful of mementos from their part in the party – and I had one smiling birthday girl, which was worth any penny or time spent coming up with something memorable.
It was a fun, drama-free day for all – one that the girls have still brought up happily a couple of weeks later. And one that I would gladly do again, especially as my 6-year-old Brook exclaimed she wanted to do the same for her own party in October despite her participating in making her own headband this time around. After all, Brook declared that day, a girl can never have too many hair accessories to use – or enough fun parties to celebrate special moments like birthdays.
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