The night before the party, Ben and I stayed up late while I worked on the Princess cake and Ben and I decorated the house. We set up several stations around the house. First we planned to have the guests arrive and walk on a red carpet to enter the house. Next stop was the dressing room (our dining room was staged with princess tiaras, bangle bracelets, earings, rings and of course Pirate accessories - hats, knifes, hooks, coins, etc). In the dressing room the kids were also able to make their own fruit loop necklaces.
After choosing all of their accessories, the children were guided into the playroom where Princess and Pirate tatoos were applied. While the pizza was being picked up, I served the kids a snack mix of teddy grahams, m&m's, pretzels and goldfish in colored icecream cones (yep snack, pizza and cake were on the menu...sugar them up and send them home).
We then led them into the kitchen where the kids were able to color at the table and make foam, fans using geometrical stickers. Then it was pizza time! Most of the kids were too excited to eat much, but they looked so cute all dressed up sitting at the kid-sized tables in the playroom.
After a brief playtime, it was time for cake. The Princess doll cake was a big hit and the kids had fun blowing blow horns at Caroline while she blew out her "3" candles. We then moved the party to the living room for Caroline to open the presents. Of course, she did what any 3 year old would do and faced her chair toward the presents (as her friends all gathered around). The gift opening was a total free for all! Next time, I will know to have the kids all seated before starting the gift opening time. Caroline received lots of nice gifts -- a baby doll, click and dress puppy dog, princess gown, playdough set, stickers, princess game, computer game, and of course some Little Mermaid stuff!
Once the presents were all opened, we took the kids outside to dig for jewels and play in the backyard. The kids about wore Ben out having him give them chariot rides (in the wagon of course)!
All in all it was a successful party and Caroline had the BEST time -- even if she was "The Mermaid" at her Princess Party.