Idea No.

16114

Spa Days Party - Magic Soap Wands

Award

Date

June 2007

From

Rose in Whittier, CA, USA

Special Mention

Spa Party

Every year my girls throw two spa parties, one in the winter and one in the summer.  We often make the invitations on the computer.

The invitations say things like, Come, take a break from the holiday bustle at our spa party, or School's over so come relax at our spa, and don't forget your swim suit, slippers and robe. Once we downloaded a picture of a bear in a spa outfit for the invitation cover and asked the girls to bring their teddy bears.  We just searched for stuffed spa bear.  Another time, my daughter drew a picture of a long stick figure in a bubble bath wearing a hair towel.  One year we used a froo-froo note card with marabou trim and pictures of shoes and handbags.  This summer we have photographs of my girls' American Girl dolls in swim suits on beach towels and we are asking each guest to bring her favorite doll. The decorations always fit the season, like winter wonderland or luau summer. 

We always have candles or a fire burning in the fireplace and other candles burning in high out-of-reach areas around the rooms.  Party Lites has white tea and ginger candles that have a clean spa fragrance. Other spa scented candles we use are eucalyptus, cucumber, cardamom and teakwood.  We hang colored lights and garland around the hot tub in the winter and colorful paper lanterns around the patio in summer. 

The winter menu is usually hot cocoa, grilled cheese, sliced apples and homemade cookies.  Summer refreshments are cucumber water, citrus water, fresh fruit and raw veggies, cheese and crackers, salted nuts, etc.  For the cucumber and citrus water, slice 2 cucumbers, 2 limes, 4 oranges and 1 lemon really thin.  Put the cucumber in one pitcher and half the fruit in another and fill with cold water and ice. Add mint and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the citrus water and cilantro and a squeeze of lime to the cucumber water.  Peach nectar can be added to the citrus water instead of the sugar. The girls love to try the cucumber water, but the sweet citrus water is always a hit.  That is why I always prepare enough sliced fruit ahead of time for the second batch.  I also place water dispensers in easily accessible locations around the party scene.  It is important for the girls to re-hydrate and replace electrolytes during the day.  The decorations and food may vary, but the activities are always the same. 

The guests are welcomed in the living room (winter)/patio (summer) with pre-teen magazines to read, like Nick Jr. and American Girl.  They then take turns changing into their swimsuits and robes. Afterwards, they enjoy a nice soak in the hot tub or a swim in the pool in the summer.  In the summer, the treatment stations are set up outside by the pool.  In the winter, different stations are set up inside the house.  Each girl receives a small bag labeled with her name and containing her own personal care products, like her own terry hair band, wash cloth, pumice stone, sponge, nail file, etc. Usually we have 4 to 8 girls all together.  When there are 8, we have 2 groups of 4 getting different treatments at the same time.  With 4, they can all get the same treatment at the same time. Now that the girls are older, 8 and 10, they help give treatments too. This winter was the first time that other mothers did not stay to help out.   

The first treatment is a pedicure. We use 3 big plastic buckets for the footbaths.  My girls share one.  Foot soaks are prepared with steaming hot water and lavender Heel to Toe products from Sally's Beauty Supply.  When the girls are ready to soak, we add the foot fizzes, also heel to toe from Sally's or seasonally shaped fizzes from Michael's craft store.   We apply a brown sugar (winter) / mandarin (summer) body scrub to the feet with the pumice stone just to get the girls laughing. 

After the scrub, we file and buff their toe nails for a clean and natural look.  Then we dry off their feet and apply lotion and booties.  I have a few wooden foot massage tools that we let the girls roll their feet over. Sometimes the girls give each other foot massages.  For parties with 2 groups, I empty the tubs and refresh the water between groups.  The manicures are simple hand soaks in ceramic bowls, followed by moisturizing hand cream and lotion. Then we file and buff their nails.

For their facials, the girls lie on the sofas or lounge chairs. At this year's winter party, we brought in our patio lounge chairs and covered them with towels. This was much better than accommodating everyone on the family room furniture.  However, the furniture worked better for the sleepover spa party we had one winter. For the facials we hand out warm washcloths to place over their faces while they wait to get a facial with a small, motorized facial massager and scrubber. We use the St. Ives Apricot facial scrub.  After rinsing off their cleanser, the girls enjoy putting the masks on each other.  I usually do one of my girls first to show them all the steps.  We use avacado or mint julep masks from Sally's or Target.  Don't forget to save some of the thin cucumber slices for their eyes.  We usually soak the slices in warm water for an hour or so before the party starts so they are tender.  Then we refrigerate them in cold water so they are cool in time for the treatment. 

At one spa tea party, we chilled used tea bags for their eyes instead of the cucumber slices.  We always take pictures of the girls in their full masks, robes, hair bands and slippers to send home in their goodie bags.    For the spa bear treatments the girls dressed up their bears in home-made spa gear and pretended to give them facials and foot rubs. We used paper cucumber cut-outs for their eyes. 

For the American Girl Doll spa treatments we have the face cleanser powder from American Girl and Mr. Clean Miracle erasers which work wonders on dirty doll limbs.  We don't usually do hair because the point of our spa day is to relax, but we are planning to do doll hairdoos for the dollspa party.  We have a DVD from American Girl that has hair styling tips.  We are planning to make fake mud masks using green Crayola modeling foam that the girls can place over their dolls without harming their skin.  This is fun because when you smooth the foam over the doll's face it is like you are applying a real mud mask that maintains the doll's shape, but it comes right off without a mess. 

Between these activities, we have spa-related crafts.  For our first spa party, we bought the Spa Essentials spa craft kit and soap loaf kit for 14 to 24 dollars at Michaels craft store.  Before the party we made the flower log soaps and shaped bath fizzes and wrapped them in cellophane for favors. At that party, the girls filled sachet bags with rock salt crystals and lavender and other scents to take home with their soaps. We haven't used a kit since the first party, but it sure helped us get comfortable using soaps, fizzes and salts for crafts of our own design. For candy-cane bath salt sticks prepare ahead by rolling clear acetate sheeting into 1 inch tubes and taping the sides and bottom with scotch tape. Then mix mint extract and red food coloring into a bowl of Epsom salts.

At this year's winter spa party, the girls layered the red and white salts in clear tubes and then taped the tops.  Then they wrapped clear Saran wrap around the tubes and tied red and green curling ribbon at both ends.  To finish it, they attached clear bags of red and green bath oil balls to one the ends.  This craft cost very little. The acetate was recycled from old report covers. The large carton of Epsom salts was less than three dollars. Each girl got 2 bath beads from the 2 sticks of 8 beads I bought at the Dollar Tree for $1 each. 

Once we made magic soap wands.  Before the party, we made small pink heart shaped soaps in a plastic candy tray before the party. At the party, the girls used a bit of melted soap to set a wooden skewer (slightly thicker than bamboo) in place between two soap hearts. Supervision is required because the soap, even in such small amounts, is very hot. Using butter knives, we smoothed the soap around the edges so it looked like one heart.  When that dried, we taped very thin pink satin ribbon to the bottom of the skewer and wound it up to the heart where we tied it to another ribbon, made a bow and glued on little brass bells.  We covered the heart with a small clear candy bag and tied it with several thin ribbons. 

My girls have not used the soap yet because they still love playing with their wands.  We have also bought thin soap leaves and made our own themed soap confetti with shaped paper hole punches. We put the soap in bags or plastic ornaments and tied it with ribbon.  At one summer party, the craft was simply drawing chalk pavement pictures all over the cement and tossing water balloons.  At the teddy bear party we made slippers, towels and hair ties for our bears out of washcloths and cardboard that we pre-cut.    Each girl usually takes home a magazine, her craft, her personal care bag and her favor bag. 

Favor bags are full of dollar store/99cent store items, like sweat bands to hold hair back, gel eye masks, nail files, pumice stones, nail buffers, compacts, combs, mini hair brushes, cuticle removers, lip gloss, nail polish, hair twisties, shower gel, soap, soap confetti, louffahs, shower scrubbies, etc.  We always find themed items at Cost Plus World Market, Target and Bath and Body Works.  One year we bought cute little bathtubs from Avon holding a nail file, bottles of shampoo, lotion, and shower gel, lip balm, and a scrubbie.  This summer we have soaps with luau rubber duckies inside from Bath and Body Works and hibiscus bath confetti from Target.  Bath and Body works has 2 lines of girls spa products from American Girl, including soothing and refreshing face masks.  We usually pick these items up for sale all year long and store them in a bin till party time.  The reason we have so many of these parties is that they are so low key. 

There is not much stress involved, because the girls are all laid back, either soaking in the hot tub, having foot baths, reading magazines or kicking back with face masks setting in.  The craft preparations are easy.  The food is light and easy to prepare ahead.  The d├ęcor uses what is already in place for the season. And we always have a great time.

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