Our Bean is 5 years old! We had her party on Saturday though, because, you know, the hottest, most humid, least pleasant day of the summer seemed like a good time to grill a ton and a half of marinated chicken for a thousand sweaty kids and their wilting parents. (Sunday, of course, was stunningly beautiful -- a lovely, comfortable temperature with a perfect breeze, yet not a cloud in the sky. Sigh. You get what you get, weather-wise.)
Luckily, since most of the responses I had to chase down were regrets, we were able to move the party indoors to air conditioned comfort. Mr. Sandy was a good sport about manning the grill. He noted later that although the only part of the food prep I did NOT do was the actual grilling, and that all the rest of it took hours and hours, he got all the atta boys for the 20 minutes he spent cooking the chicken. I'm OK with that. I'd have passed out.
Shameless self-congratulation for the most excellent birthday party activity ever... not that it was an original idea, but it was a big hit: SAND ART. You need baby food jars, spray paint, art sand in a bunch of colors (2.5 lb bags for $2.50 at craft store), cups and spoons, table, drop cloth if it'll be indoors. In advance (at least a day ahead, to let things air out and dry) clean the jars and get the labels off 'em (mineral spirits work great). Spray paint the lids (I used white, but something sparkly would've been cooler). On party day, put colored sand into different (clear is best so they can see the colors) cups, spoons into each cup, cups on table. Use enough cups so that everyone can get to all the colors. Kiddos then spoon layers of different colored sand into their jars to make pretty patterns. As long as they don't shake the jars, they can't go wrong. Have them fill the jars all the way to the top so there isn't room for the sand to tip and mix after you put the lid on. Make sure they put an initial or something on the jars, they're easy to mix up when they're all done. Ribbons around the jar would make a cute final touch but of course I didn't think of it till afterward, so whatever.
I had boys and girls aged 2 to 7, and either they all loved this or their parents were discreetly jabbing them with sticks and telling them to fake it or else. Everyone made birthday presents for unsuspecting grandparents who will end up with jars of sand they have to keep forever. But that's not my problem :).
So yeah, the Bean is 5. And she starts kindergarten in a month... and when I think about that I cry, so this post was about sand art instead.
I'm so proud of her.