Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fairy Adventure Party

 I have a soft spot for fairies.  I admit it.  Not so much the Disney variety, but the 'real' fairies.  The ones that inspire entire cultures to create intricate legends to explain their behavior.  The ones that intimidate societies into dedicating bridges to them and who then refuse to pass over without acknowledging the said fairies.  The ones that inspired the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.M. Barrie, and Cicely Mary Barker.

When Shaggy and I took a trip to the Isle of Man a few years back, I was delighted by the way their culture embraces fairies.  And with sights like this everywhere, it's easy to see why they feel that way.
Yep, I like fairies.  And I love the way my littles believe in them, and the magical quality they lend to games and imagination.  R is pretty sure in her knowledge of fairies.  She knows what they sound like, and look like, and what they think.  I find so much joy in participating in that belief with her.

So, it wasn't much of a stretch to have a fairy party for her birthday this year.  Plus, it helped that we've done fairy stuff before and had things on hand.
Since R is not content to be a strict girly-girl, the party needed to have a definite element of adventure to it.  She loves adventures.  So, we came up with a story that the guests could work their way through during the party.
The invitation said, "My dear fairy friend, I bring you some very grave news from the Enchanted Briar, where I live.  A bad wizard has cast a spell and imprisoned the good fairies of the Briar.  My powers are not strong enough to fight him alone and bring peace back to my land in time to celebrate my 6th birthday.  I need your help!  Please meet me and my dearest friends from across the land at the Briar on Saturday.  Send a message as soon as possible to let me know I can count on your help.  I do hope you can come.  Your friend, R of the Enchanted Briar."
Six was the perfect age for this party.  Some of the girls we invited were breathless in anticipation of helping the poor, trapped fairies.  I was such fun to watch!
We started out with K leading a class about fairies.  She asked the girls what they knew about them, helped fill in the rest and wrote it all down on a white board.  She still loves to play teacher every once in a while.
Then we went outside to send some messages to the fairies.  The kids whispered into bubbles and sent them flying so the poor, trapped fairies would know that help was on the way and they shouldn't give up hope. 
It must have worked, because when the kids came back into the living room, they searched high and low for an unusual object.  And they found a Harry Potter book which had a secret compartment inside which contained a magnifying glass and peepholes which let them see magic.
Now, before you roll your eyes and think about how over the top this may seem, I should disclose the following information.  The peepholes were prisms leftover from an old science party.  When you look through them, it refracts the light and looks like a rainbow.
Like this.  K was very curious as to weather she could take a photo through the prism.  So she tried it.  I'd say it worked well!
At some point before this fairy party, I dug through our party box to see what I could use up.  I lucked out.  I also lucked out that Shaggy had to take a class where he had to create fake objects to hide things in.  He cut out the insides of a thrifted Harry Potter book which was the perfect hiding spot for the party.  He also molded an epoxy sea shell from a real shell which was featured later in the party and convinced these little girls that magic was indeed returning to the land because of their intervention.
With the help of their newfound ability to see magic, they found a tiny fairy door which had a tiny, fairy postcard hiding behind it.
I assigned my budding sculptor, S, to create this door out of clay.  She did a great job, didn't she?
Thanks to the help of our party guests, the fairies had regained their ability to communicate with the human world.  The magnifying glass came in handy, since the fairy postcards were itsy bitsy.  Obviously.
The first clue led the fairy friends to our garden marigolds and wands.
I had looked into buying wands, but they seems a little pricey.  Besides, we have a plethora of perfect whittling sticks around our property.  So we broke out some pocket knives and got to work as we were sitting around the campfire one night.  The big girls had done a little whittling at girls camp, so this was a good chance for them to practice that skill.  The only problem was that K sliced her thumb open during a quick moment of distraction.  She probably should have had stitches, but she really, really, REALLY didn't want to go get them.  And I'm not sure how we would have paid for it, so Shaggy dusted off his EMT skills and patched her up.  It took a little while, but healed cleanly and well.  I suppose there is some benefit to blogging so long after the fact.  I can add details like that to the post.
With their newfound wands, Shaggy led the girls in some wand practice.  He had them in stitches.  As usual.  I secretly wish one of my children would develop a love of videography so that moments like this would be captured by more than still shots.
Then they all played freeze tag for a little extra wand practice.  They were not about to let Shaggy move an inch!
Their final wand test was administered by S. 
The challenge was to change this real sea shell into a magical, fairy shell by saying the proper spell and waving their wands at the had S had hidden the shell in.
This is what their faces looked like when they succeeded:
They were pretty amazed!
After that, they went on a magic hunt, searching high and low for signs of magic.
They found a little fairy house in the woods, but the fairy was asleep and could not be roused.  (She's actually our kitchen fairy that Shaggy gave me as a gift some years ago.  She explains why the kitchen is often such a mess.)
Kudos to S once again, for making the mailbox for me.  I think credit for the toadstools goes to Shaggy and K.  I love, love, love living with all these creatively talented people who are (somewhat) willing to do my bidding!  The log base of the fairy house was a lucky find as we were cleaning up around our property.  All we needed to do was add a cone roof and some moss.  An hour with a glue gone and viola! fairy hut.
Fortunately, there was another fairy postcard in the mailbox to direct the girls to their next magical find. 
They didn't have to go far.  Just across the driveway to the trail that leads to the frog pond.  After a little prodding, they spotted this high up in a tree.
It was the magic that the bad wizard had bottled up.
Now that the fairy friends had found it, the fairies were much closer to freedom.
 The girls ran back to the fairy house to check on the sleeping fairy, and lo and behold! there was a different fairy.  And she was awake.  They were getting pretty crazed with excitement by this time.  They could sense that they were so close to succeeding with their challenge of freeing the fairies.
There was yet another postcard in the mailbox, which told them to follow the trail of pixie dust magic.  The glitter was slyly sprinkled by K and S while the party guests were distracted with the bottled magic in the tree.
 It led them to a secluded spot in the woods where the fairies were being held captive.
 And who were finally set free.
Whew!  I think it's been ten times harder writing this up than it was to actually have the party.  But I do owe a huge shout out to Shaggy and my big girls for all their help.  K and S love getting ready for parties and can always be counted on the enthusiastically fill gift bags, or make favors, even help run party events.  And all told, I think I only spent 40 bucks on this.  The fairies in the jar were a total find (thanks to a tip from a friend) on clearance for $1.  And it's awesome knowing that now we're pretty equipped to have another fairy adventure party when B is old enough.  Too bad for her if she doesn't want one.  ;)
Since the fairy friends were so successful at freeing the fairies from the bad wizard and bringing magic back to the Enchanted Briar, they were invited inside to celebrate.  They had to use their wands and say the spell that would allow them entrance to the celebration room.
Once the paper was torn down, this is what they saw.  Well, sort of.  Some of those things weren't on the table anymore because they'd been part of the adventure outside.
I can't tell you how many times I've used those laminated fairies that I made for S's fairy party years ago.
In gratitude for freeing the fairies, the girls each got a bag of fairy jewels and candy to take home.
And naturally, no party of mine would be complete without a cake!
Six is a good age.

Here are six things I love about this girl of mine.
1)  Her passion.  Except when it causes her to fall apart.  But the rest of the time it's fun to watch.
2)  Her willingness to believe.  In fairies.  In Christmas.  In all things magical.
3)  Her kindness.  Especially when it's directed towards her adoring little sister.
4)  The way she can turn anything into an epic imaginative adventure game.
5)  How much she loves animals.  Of all kinds.
6)  The way she makes friends wherever she goes.

1 comment:

Mom said...

OH - - - MY - - - GOODNESS!!! You come up with the most amazing birthday parties. And your love for all things fairy-related? You do have Irish blood in your veins, after all.