Yesterday evening was Katherine’s ninth birthday party and we celebrated at the Devon House Clay Studio, operated by the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador. I wasn’t about to post all the photos here, so I made a collage. If you follow this link, you will see the full collection in greater detail.
A few years ago, I decided that sending out invitations to twenty or thirty kids for a party that involved food, games, prizes, some form of activity (i.e. swimming, bowling, etc.) was really not working for me. Sometimes 25 would show up, sometimes it was 10. Meanwhile you have 30 loot-bags, food for a small army (and it’s crappy party food, like nuggets and fries or cheap pizza, so it’s not the kind of thing I’d keep in the freezer and use anyway) and have gone through a lot of work and expense. So I figured that there had to be a better way of doing this for our family.
That’s when I discovered the brilliant idea of having the party at the Clay Studio, with selectively picked invitees and fewer of them. You can have up to twelve, I think. Possibly fifteen (which would be a lot), but we’ve kept it to under ten and it works beautifully. For two hours, the kids get to work with clay and an instructor who helps them to make something that they paint with coloured slip (mud) and is later fired. They get to make something (our crew made mugs, last year we made pots with lids) that is entirely theirs, will hold together pretty well, that they can use after and they get to have a fabulous time doing it.
Note: if they don’t look like they’re having fun in the pictures, it’s because they’re concentrating very intently. This group of kids took their pottery very seriously.
Since there’s no kitchen facility, I simply advise parents on the invite that there will be lots of cake, but no supper. So I don’t have four pounds of fries left after, which suits me to a tee. In a few weeks, I’ll swing back and pick up the kids’ creations and return them to their creators. To boot, I help a not-for-profit creative group stay active, which give that pleasant, warm, fuzzy feeling.
Reduced stress, happy and creative kids, less crappy food and promoting art in the community…. What more could you ask for?
P.S. Thanks to Lauren for a stellar job on helping them with their projects and keeping things moving according to schedule. You were awesome!