Play Dates

A couple weeks ago, Elaina’s best friend, Elora, invited Elaina and Gabriella over for a play date with her and her sister, Emma.  Since we had not already planned our activity for that Saturday, the girls gladly took them up on the offer, “scheduling” a home-and-home (for all you college football fans) with her parents for this and the following weekend.

From this perspective, I just realized how expensive this activity looks (it is not)

Since the girls were going over to Elora and Emma’s house first, I did not really need to plan for much.  I still brought their coats and a change of clothes, but was not really sure if I needed to do anything else.  Their mother asked about food allergies (of which they have none), which was nice because I never would have considered that as an issue.  I said goodbye to them, and in return, they screamed goodbye from somewhere in a back room.

They better be bringing some home for Dad (they did)

Elora’s mother periodically sent me pictures of what activities they were taking part in.  After playing with toys for a few hours, the girls all made monster cookies together, which looked pretty fun.

This looks way more comfortable than a movie theater

As the time and their energy levels both winded down, they all cuddled up on the floor and watched a movie.  I picked them up after six hours, with them telling me about the play date for the entire two minute drive back to our house.  Seemed like they had a good time, which meant that I had a lot of work to do before hosting the play date next weekend.

I did not have a tiered serving stand, so I obviously failed the afternoon tea test.

Elaina was pretty straightforward with what she wanted for her play date, which was to host a tea party.  We went through her Fancy Nancy Tea Parties book, and subsequently the internet, for ideas.  After picking out her sandwiches and sides, we went to the store to pick up supplies.  The menu: Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Blueberry Scones, Carrots, Strawberries, and of course, freshly brewed tea (water) in a real tea pot.  And Elaina absolutely loved it.  In fact, half the scones were gone before Elora arrived.  The girls played for about an hour and then tea and lunch were served.

The before picture… such beautifully clean canvases

After lunch, we moved on to our next activity: Painting.  I got out the easels, canvases, brushes, and paint before Elora arrived, as each one of them loves to paint.

This almost looks like what you can get at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s

While freestyle painting is always appreciated, the girls have really enjoyed painting over and around various cutouts.

Yep.  They enjoy this a lot.

And they are pretty easy to make.  Get a shape off the internet (the girls obviously like animals), print it off on cardstock, cut it out, and then tape it to the canvas.

Of course Elaina went with pink…

After they are finished covering the canvas with their paint(s) of choice, wait for it to dry then take the cutout off.

At least Gabbs added some green to her usual purple

It does not take a lot of talent and tends to be a little more coherent than most of the art that comes home with them from Kindergarten or Pre-K.  No offense, girls.

Fun fact: The canvases from their home painting sessions line the walls of both their bedroom and playroom.

After getting in a couple paintings each, the girls wanted to move on to the next activity: Fondue and a Movie.

Fun fact: Within 30 minutes, about half of this fruit had been eaten by the three girls.

As the girls started to watch Zootopia, I served them a bowl of melted chocolate with strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe, and apples.  While Elaina and Gabriella knew exactly what to do, Elora needed a little help getting started.  After they ate most of the fruit (and surprisingly little of the chocolate), they left the movie and went back to playing.  Before we knew it, our four and a half hours were up as Elora’s father came to pick her up.  While a good time was had by all, the girls were fairly tired after their play date.

If this happens more, I might actually be able to finish The Man in the High Castle.

The girls curled up next to me on the couch, and within about ten minutes, both of them were out (Aurora, our orange tabby, eventually got comfortable and went to sleep on me too).  I would deem the play date a success and it was not as difficult as expected.  Like a birthday party, serve food and have activities planned, but be flexible in that they may want to do their own thing.  The girls are certainly looking forward to their next play date.

The Final Products

Thanks again for checking in on us.


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