So a monkey party it was! I like that his birthday falls in early February because it gives us something to look forward to in the misery of January. When we were stuck at home on cold, wet days, I put the kids to work cutting out bananas, leaves, or working on Max's pinata:
I've learned through experience that these parties are best limited to a half dozen kids and ninety minutes. I broke my own rules for Max's party because (1) he kept coming up with more friends he really wanted there, and (2) I wanted moms to drop off their kids, so I thought I'd better give them two hours so they could actually go somewhere during the party.
The jungle decor.
I figured when we ran out of stuff to do we'd just watch Curious George on repeat.
The weather around here has been pretty spring-like, so I was hoping to use the backyard and trampoline. It ended up raining throughout the party, so I had a dozen kids inside playing games. This turned out fine--all the moms really did drop off and leave so I was able to focus on the games and could embarrass myself and let the chaos ensue without shame. I had my mother-in-law and a cute babysitter to help me.
The kids decorated monkeys:
Picked bugs (rice) out of monkey fur:
Played feed the monkey (bean bag toss):
Tyler made these!
Broke the pinata (inside due to the rain):
And a few other little games. Tyler was the hit of the party with stunts like this:
They were an easy crowd.
We had pizza and bananas and Monkey Juice for lunch:
Then a monkey cake!
Max and his cute friend Earnie.I hate cheap novelty toys, so I made banana shaped sugar cookies as party favors:
I packed them up in these cute monkey boxes.
Between those and the cake I was in the kitchen ALL afternoon the day before the party. I hate being in the kitchen all day--I think I'm swearing off sugar cookies forever!
The next day was Max's actual birthday.
He got to bring treats to preschool and he chose donuts.
Max was such a delightful four-year-old-- sweet, helpful, funny, and cuddly. He loves to do jobs (to earn time to play Angry Birds) and make up jokes. He's easy to please and usually happy.
Max has a tender heart. The thing that upsets him the most is when he thinks Tyler or I am mad at him. I'm equal parts sad to see him grow up and proud of the big nice boy he is becoming. I really hope he stays as sweet at five (and sixteen and forty!) as he was at four!