usually somehow has ideas for the theme of birthday parties based on her current likes and loves; it just so happens that the lightbulb goes on sporadically in her head and she will indeed stick with her idea for an entire year! It was true when she decided on her Cookie Party for her 4th birthday and Fox Party for when she turned 5 last year. This year, she even enlisted her theme for her 7th and 8th birthday- hah! We shall see if she sticks with those the next two years.

This year, she chose a Thunderstorm Party Theme. I believe she was first drawn to them when we came upon books or a nature show with Thunderstorms and she marveled at how pretty they were and she loved the colors. She was a title obsessed with sunsets after our first trip to Cape May, NJ the first time we went with their cousins. She just loved observing and looking into the sky all the time. I feel her wonder and I understand how it inspires her deeply because I too, can relate, daydreaming, exploring and admiring the beauties of the world.

I tried to plan the food to be somewhat Comfort Food themed. I made Chicken Noodle Soup and Beef and Bean Chili. I made Greek Kebab Style Chicken, which isn’t comfort food traditionally what you would think; but I suppose what comfort food is, can be subjective to the person’s individual experience in what comfort food means to them. Gee, I really do love food and all the stories and meanings behind them. My dad ended up cooking pretty much everything else for the party, with no particular theme, though home cooking is the ultimate comfort food in my opinion.

We started the Party with a small section of the house with The Thunderstorm books we had read to prep for the party and a lightening creator and a very cool Thunder Tube. It really sounds like thunder. It may give adults a headache, but it’s so much fun to wiggle, whack and tap. I knew I wanted a prism for the kids to observe and get a idea of how rainbows are made, but opted for prism window decals instead. It wasn’t sunny enough for it to work, but if it did, it wouldn’t been beautiful the have little rainbows all over the floor and walls of our room.

The Thunderstorm Painting was inspired by the senses. The marbles when they rolled, can sound somewhat like the beginnings of a thunderstorm, gently rumbling about. The faster you tilt the tray to roll the marbles across, the louder and faster the thunder sounded; the slower you moved them, the gentler it sounded.

We (and by we, I meant my support group, aka, my awesome cousins and friends who are always, always on board to help with all the activities ) started by having the kids choose three small marbles and placing them onto their tray. ***Use marbles with caution of course and make sure the kids are closely supervised! Use at your own risk! We used the target size marbles for the small ones and ordered the jumbo ones to be taken home as part of the party favors. We ordered our marbles from Moon Marble. They were the most beautiful marbles I have ever seen. I opted to use watercolor cold pressed paper so that the papers wouldn’t bleed through, rip or curl when wet, then dried.

We then had the kids pick two color of paints each. We used the Arteza Glow in the Dark Tempura Paint. Imagine how magical it would look, like the glow of lightening that sparks in the dark. Depending how you feel, you can have the kids chose another two colors to

We then added a layer to our painting inspired by the “Smells of a Thunderstorm.” I ordered Dried Edible Flowers which consisted of Edible & Kosher Certified 1.5 Cups Each of Jasmine, Rosebuds, Lavender, Marigold, Chamomile and Pink Rose Buds & Petals. They all smelled lovely! I had asked the kids and parents what they thought thunderstorms smelled like. I believe Olivia said candy? I would say the idea can be a bit abstract for young children, but I explained that when the rain smells, it can smell like the things it falls in, nature. It can smell like flowers and a parent mentioned how it can smell like grass or even mold! I thought it was an excellent addition to the learning experience. I love when kids or adults share what they know fearlessly! Those are moments everyone can learn from. I explained to the kids how it can be true that the rain can smell yucky like mold, especially when the earth isn’t being taken care of or kept clean.

We set up plates and after we went around the room identifying the flower and allowing the kids to smell them; we put a little of each into each page. The children were told they could put a little, a lot or all the flowers their hearts desires to create the smells of the thunderstorm onto their painting.

The kids happily picked up and sprinkled, scattered all over their paintings. We sealed the flowers by giving the kids Mod Podge with a foam brush to imitate and drizzle “rain” all over the painting to complete their piece.

The party ended with everyone, including adults, making sensory calming bottles, which symbolizes the calm after the storm or a way of coping with something that might frighten you. We filled tubes with the glitter of our choice, clear glue and bottled water. I read somewhere it can mold faster if the water isn’t pure and the ideal option would be to use distilled water (but much pricier).

The kids took home their party favors in a pretty tote bag and filled them with “Hail-Ci-Cles“, “Tornado Tops“, “Taste the Thunderstorm Poprocks“, Lifesaver Wintogreen that has stuff in it that makes it spark, or create mini lightening in your mouth. I tried, but it didn’t work. I’ve read online that pliers would work, but haven’t had time to try that out yet.

Of course, we had cake too! Another wish for another year!

☀️⛈Happiest 6th birthday to our sweet Olivia Grace! 🌈🦊

And, Happy New Year to All!

Wishing everyone a year filled with love, happiness and all things great!

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