On Thursday, Ethan invited some of his friends over for a Teddy Bear Picnic playdate. I got the idea from a friend of mine and it was too cute to not immediately start planning one of our own. (The above photo is from the invitation that we sent out!) I knew it was going to be hot, so in addition to everyone bringing a stuffed animal or teddy bear friend to picnic with, I said I'd set up some water play stations outdoors for the kids to cool off. What I didn't plan for was a feels-like temperature of 102 degrees that made it devastatingly painful to even sit outside for more than ten minutes. After enough time splashing around outside, the kiddos and their stuffed animals ended up coming inside to play. I'm making a conscious reminder to plan this playdate all over again when it cools down this winter, but it was still an adorably cute time!
The first thing Ethan and I did was make honeycomb necklaces. It turns out the Honeycomb cereal was BOGO at Publix when I was doing my party preparation shopping, so it worked out perfectly. You know, so I had enough honeycombs to string on necklaces while my special helper had enough to munch on as well. ;)
As for the party fare, I kept it simple and toddler-esque. We had hummus and carrot sticks, celery with peanut butter and raisins, cups with blueberries, watermelon and strawberries and, of course, teddy bear shaped creamcheese sandwiches on Challah bread or whole wheat.
It also wouldn't be a playdate at Ethan's house if there wasn't some kind of photo op planned. I set up Ethan's red wagon with a homemade chalkboard on an old Christmas platter near the entrance to our backyard. As people came in, the kiddos could climb in the wagon with their teddy bears and snap a photo. As always, the kids weren't the least bit interested in getting their photo taken when there was food to eat and water to play in, but we managed to convince Ethan and a couple of his buddies to climb in and let us snap at least one photo. You know, to document my efforts.
I had one of Ethan's little blow-up pools set up as well as his water table and a sprinkler the kids could run through. I also pinned up some bubblewrap across the fence and set out some fingerpaints. Ethan loves bubblewrap fingerpainting and, of course, it wouldn't be a playdate at Ethan's house without one single "get messy" activity.
It ended up being more of a "teddy bear and water play" party than a picnic, but it was still a fun time. I totally love the chaos and mess and fun of having a backyard and house filled with kids running around and playing. Ethan said his favorite part wasn't the teddy bears, but making a "big mess" with his friends. (Cue maniacal laughter.) I've got to agree with him. It's always nice filling our little home with a whole lot of fun! This will definitely be an activity to plan again when the cooler months start to roll in.