I think Ellie had the idea first -- to set up for a party in her room. Then Henry suggested we all make presents for each other. This is the best part of these parties. With me helping occasionally (and working on a surprise of my own), the kids worked diligently on their presents for a good 45 minutes. Ellie made a card for Henry and they each made artwork for me. For my art from Ellie, Henry, in his teacherly way, drew an outline in pencil for Ellie to trace and color in, then he added some final details that she couldn't draw herself.
For Henry's gift, I suggested a holder for his markers (after all, it's been kind of driving me crazy to find them in piles on the floor all the time!). I cut off the bottom of an empty orange juice carton, Ellie picked out some colorful wrapping paper, then we glued the paper onto the container together. Henry had some trouble coming up with an idea for his gift to Ellie, until she reminded him that she likes pirates... and Scooby-Doo. Then he got to work. He asked me to sew some felt into a pouch, but he made the rest himself. He even added a little handle for pulling the "treasure" out of the pouch. My surprise was two "Busy Bee" awards, made with medallion-shaped graphics cut from honey-flavored yogurt packaging (noticed while I was carrying it to the recycling pile), some colored construction paper, and safety pins.
The party itself didn't last long. It began with a short awards ceremony. Then there was a bit of dancing, some puzzle construction, and several games of tic-tac-toe. Finally, we exchanged our gifts. Henry and Ellie both LOVED the presents they received from each other. The best gift for me was the joy on their lovely faces, watching the two of them working together, and, of course, seeing all the creative juices flowing!
The kids proudly wearing their badges. And Henry's marker holder.
Ellie's pirate Scooby-Doo treasure and pouch.
Art for me, by the kids.
Finally, I have to share one last thing. Henry asked me to help him make marble runs with our favorite wooden blocks this weekend. This photo makes me smile.