I decided it was time. I've lived in this area for several months now and am still having a hard time really connecting with people. So I decided to take drastic measures.
I threw a party.
Of course, the casual observer most likely would not have considered it a party. More of a playdate. But it helped me get to know some people a little better and my munchkin had someone other than mommy to play with. Actually, it was a lot of fun. And quite successful I might add.
Since it was adult women and toddler children (and 2 babies), I kept it really simple.
Toys, playtime, and balloons when they walk in the door. Check.
A St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt for that ever elusive pot of gold.
Which they did find with a little prompting from mom, and mom, and mom.
Lunch. Delicious check.
Decorate cookies. Even more delicious check.
Everyone goes home and everyone takes naps (at least at my house) -- very satisfied, pulled off my first party and am happy, check.
And that is one easy formula for a simple gathering that doesn't take a lot of preparation but has some great results.
I loved that it was a playdate (party) with some structure. The kids did play "together" (still working on the together part), but also had something to focus on and it was a small review of color. It could so easily be made more educational or to fit older children. But it worked for toddlers too and that can be difficult to accomplish.
St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt
I wasn't sure how much 2 and 3 year olds would get the idea of leprechauns, so instead we focused on rainbows and that wonderful pot of gold.
Start with a stack of 5 different colors of construction paper.
Cut your rainbow shapes out of the paper. The paper will probably shift some but you'll still have 5 nesting arcs of each color to swap out.
Reorganize your papers to form a multi-colored rainbow and write your clues on one side. I also labeled mine with the initial of each child so that when we "found" another piece of the rainbow with it's clue, each child had one that was theirs -- no fighting over colors!
Hide your rainbow pieces so that each part leads to the next smaller one.
Our clues were super simple of course and just had the children go to various rooms in my house to find their pieces. In between each find, we went back to the living room to tape our rainbow together. The last piece's clue said "we see rainbows outside, that's where the pot of gold is too!" So we ran outside and sitting underneath our budding willow tree was their "pot of gold".
Contents thanks to a quick thinking husband. Get it? Goldfish? And the bubbles -- every kid loves bubbles.
And each child took home their pot of gold prizes as well as their rainbow -- with my dorky little clues in plain view (maybe we should've taped them clue-side down!).
But ten bucks says that when my husband walks in the door tonight, my little one will run up to him and say "look what I made daddy!". And that's definitely worth it.