We moved on to the pizza buffet, and once their tummies were full, we broke out the foam tiaras and pirate hats for decorating (found at Oriental Trading Company - don't you just love it?!). They had lots of fun customizing their headgear, and enjoyed modeling them when I pulled each child aside to take their pic. I'm going to print the pics and include them in the thank you notes we'll send to each guest. (Sorry to spoil the surprise for anyone who attended).
We then proceeded to what turned out to be the surprise hit of the party: Digging for Buried Treasure! I found the idea on some website (I looked again last night - no clue where I stumbled across this). You take a container of any size, fill it with cornmeal for 'sand', and let the kids dig for some sort of buried treasure. I used an oversized pink plastic bin we had in the garage, found Big Sis' little trowel she likes to dig in the dirt with, filled the bin with 10 lbs. of cornmeal, threw in a few handfuls of plastic rings, and the kids went to town! Each one got a turn, and was allowed to dig until they discovered a treasure. Everyone clapped and hollered when they held up their find, and they totally loved it.
We wound down the evening with Princess & Pirate cupcakes (frosted & topped with "confetti"), gave out the party bags & called it a night. Everyone seemed to have fun, Big Sis enjoyed herself, and it was so awesome to see all the kids dressed up. I consider it a success. But I am still SO glad it's all over. And now I plan to curl up under my down comforter and catch up on the latest issue of Bon Appetit. Gotta plan for Valentine's Day.....
Look at all those cuties!