The park is pretty much our second home. We go there instead of hanging out in our small backyard. We have our birthday parities there. We meet friends there. We make friends there. I love the park.
I feel like it is our park. But of course it isn't. It is also their park. It is the park of people I don't know. People who aren't there when I am. People who frequent the park in different shifts than I do. (I'm on the 9 am -noon and 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm shifts.)
Part of the impetus behind our Fall party in the park yesterday was to meet other families who use the park. To build some community between all of us. So that the next time we are at the park at the same time we will remember we've met before and will talk like old friends.
The party came about because a bunch of parents were talking about starting a parents group for the park. A group that would organize fun activities for the kids, strengthen connections between parents and advocate the interests of parents to the overseers of the park. We are getting closer to establishing this group. In the meantime we went ahead and threw a party.
A handful of us cobbled together the necessary components for a party. One mom brought paints and apples for fall-themed crafts. I ran the scavenger hunt that had kids searching the park for hidden construction paper leaves to stick on a paper tree. MamaMimis brought her son's basketball hop and a basket full of balls. Another mother lead a creative and interactive outdoor drama class. Frugal + Urban was the official greeter and made sure all the parents felt welcome and that their kids joined in. People brought snacks and the Second Cup next door to the park donated coffee.
The party was a success. We had over thirty kids, some I knew and some I didn't. With our limited promotion we were all very pleased. There is already talk of a winter party with sleds, snowman and snow painting. I can't wait.
Oh, and in case you are wondering the girl had a blast. She may have been momentarily disappointed to find out that there was no cake and ice cream at this party, but she recovered quickly when she saw her friends. I think my highlight of the morning was reenacting a very spirited version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for her and four of her friends. There is nothing like running as fast as you can away from five two-to-four year olds pretending to be bears intent on eating you.
The boy was not as happy. With four (yes FOUR) new teeth breaking through he has been miserable these last few days. He ended up missing half of the party because he was napping when it started and left early for another nap. Poor little guy.
Lucky for him there will be more parties in the park.