Princess Sleepover -7yr- Midnight McDonalds Run
Paige in Allen, Texas USA
Even though we've had some fun birthday parties in the past, my daughter Elizabeth's 7th birthday was, by far, the most fun to date. We have never had a slumber party before, so this year we planned for a sleepover with a Princess flare. The invitations were some I picked up with a sleepover theme at a Tuesday Morning located in our town. Because we had never had a sleepover before we wanted to be very sensitive to the ages and sleepover experience of the girls who were invited. We designed a small card insert to include in the invitation that mentioned the details of the party (i.e. what time it began, what to bring, the time to pick up the girls in the morning, etc.)
We also wanted every girl to feel comfortable with spending the night away from home but didn't want to not include anyone who may not yet be at that comfort level. So we planned for a "traditional" party for the first part of the evening to include dinner, games, craft, cake and presents that ended with a marked closure for anyone needing to return home for the remainder of the night. This information was also included in the insert. We invited 14 girls of whom 5 went home at the end of the traditional party (around 8:30 pm). The party began with the girls arriving at 5:30 pm. The colors for our party were pastel pink, hot pink, white and silver.
Our dining room table was decorated with a pink iridescent table cloth I'd picked up in the party section at Garden Ridge. On it were pastel pink goodie bags (gift bags) with each girl's name written in a silver paint pen. The birthday cake in the center of the table was a Barbie cake I'd baked by using a Pampered Chef batter bowl inverted to make the full skirt of the dress (pink icing with a white icing lace overlay). She was elegantly displayed on a crystal cake stand. We used plastic wine tasting cups (Garden Ridge) with each girl's name written in silver on the cups not only for the obvious use, but also as a place card. Each had shredded iridescent gift bag filler spilling out of the top to resemble a sparkling beverage (we emptied these when it was time to serve the pink lemonade at dinner). Light pink plates sat atop chargers of white paper doilies at each place setting. Light pink napkins enclosed the plastic ware and were tied with bows of hot pink tulle. The table looked fabulous to our little guests as they arrived.
The afternoon was also Elizabeth's dance recital dress rehearsal so, she, in full stage hair and make-up, greeted her guests, and showed each girl where to put her overnight bag and escorted her to our kitchen where we worked on the arrival craft, a Princess hat. I'd bought discounted party hats at Garden Ridge and the girls transformed them by covering them with silver-foiled gift wrapping paper and gluing tulle streamers in hot pink, pastel pink and white pearlescent at the tip of the hat. Some girls added a piece of silver ribbon into the tulle and some chose to encase the tulle in white marabou at the tip of the hat to express the individuality and creativity of each girl (princesses come in all different colors, shapes, and with different ideas which makes us all special in our own way).
As the girls finished, we played a Princess and the Pea game with my sofa pillows (they are a gold/mustard satin and looked very regal) and a small green ball. Each Princess left while the other girls decided which pillow to hide the "pea" under and when she returned, she had to determine which pillow the pea was hidden by sitting on the pillow. This little clever game brought roars of laughter - the girls had so much fun! After each girl finished her turn as the Princess she was whisked away to receive a make-over and to don her princess party hat. The girls were made-over in sets of 4, they were given a quick lesson in poise and appearance and were presented to the others where each addressed her royal subjects with a "wise word." We used my daughter's karaoke machine to announce each girl (Princess 'Lexi' from the Kingdom of 'Norris') as she walked the hall from the foyer to our family room. This was truly hilarious - the girls were so creative with their "wise words"! It was soon time to eat dinner (pizza, fruit and pink lemonade), to cut the cake and sing Happy Birthday.
Beforehand, my husband offered a prayer to the Lord for our dinner and for giving our family the gift of Elizabeth. Elizabeth had such a spirit of gratitude that, after the singing of Happy Birthday, she stood on her chair and thanked the girls for coming to her party. This started an impromptu "roast" where several of the girls stood in their chairs and offered words of congratulations and encouragement to Elizabeth. It was all self-initiated and we fortunately got every bit of it on video. What a treat for us as Elizabeth's parents to hear that!
After dinner, we opened presents and soon parents came to pick up the girls who were not spending the night. Because we ended this part of the party on a familiar note for the girls, those leaving truly didn't know there was more to come for those who were staying. But more there was... we played a Princess Trivia game with questions from Disney stories and fairy tales. The girls were divided into groups of 3 (the Belles, the Cinderellas, and the Briar Roses) and given the rules of the game. After a team reached a total of 7 points (1 point for each correct answer) each girl on the team received a prize.
There also were questions offered for individual answers where prizes were awarded instantly to that girl. I'd picked up items from the dollar stores around town - sparkly hair bows and clips, tiara combs, dress up shoes and clothes, necklaces, bracelets, glitter pens, diaries, notepads, anything exciting for young girls. Each girl received at least 2 items in which they deposited in their goodie bags as party favors. Girls leaving prior had a couple of these items in their bags along with other party favors: silver chocolate kisses, a deck of playing cards (Old Maid, Match Game or Crazy 8), a package of Tic Tacs, a notepad and neon gel pen, and their wine glass with name from dinner (washed - I have a super hubby ready to lend a helping hand).
Next, the girls got ready for bed and rolled out sleeping bags in the family room to watch a movie. In the middle of the first movie (app. 10:30pm) was a huge surprise for our birthday girl as well as for everyone. We'd checked with all parents beforehand to make sure it was okay, and we took the girls on a "Destination Unknown" - a little game we started with our daughter this year for fun after school play on one day each week (nomenclature of events is very important in our family). The girls were kidnapped in their pj's and caravanned to a secret destination, the neighborhood McDonald's, for ice cream sundaes and to play on the indoor playground. They thought it was super cool to be at McD's in their pj's that late at night. Each girl made an effort to thank the McD's staff for their late night ice cream treats on our way out.
We went back home to finish the movie and eat popcorn; finally the last girl fell asleep around 3 am and after 2 more movies (all Disney movies - The Apple Dumpling Gang, Parent Trap and Cinderella). We woke the girls up at 7AM, had them dress and put away their sleeping bags and overnight bags before eating a donut breakfast and making a craft. The craft was creating the note card we would use for the thank you notes using cardstock of pastel pinks and yellows and a Stampin' Up stamp of a birthday present. Each girl wrote on the outside back cover her name so that she would receive the exact card she'd made. After one last round of the Princess trivia game at the girls' request, parents arrived to pick up their daughters. Elizabeth was so appreciative of her sleepover birthday party - she said several of the girls mentioned that this was their favorite party they had ever attended. Makes a mom proud - tired, but very proud!