Beauty is in the Eye of the Holder

We are lucky to have a phone that rings often. Blessed with the Nickelodeon Parents' Pick Award as Best Kids Party Place in Chicago, many of these calls are about birthday parties. Our artsy, craftsy, super-duper-silly parties. The kind of parties that kids don't want to leave. Or when they do, they are still walking on sunshine. Seriously. We've been called "angels in aprons." A relative remarked that perhaps we've been drinking highlighter fluid for breakfast...and it was a compliment. Our workshop is a like a little Willy-Wonkavator of creative fun.

I suppose it's a fair question: "So, what do the kids do at a craft party?" Maybe another way to ask the question would be, "What craft activities do kids do at your parties?" And the answer is simultaneously easy and complex. You ask us this question, and we will ask you three or more questions in return before supplying an answer. Why? Maybe once it was because the phone call was too early on a Monday morning, but it's usually because there is no one answer. There may be a finite number of art supplies and craft materials that immediately come to mind, but the combinations are infinite and when you throw trash* into the never know what's going to come out on the other end. As easy as it would be to have a standard set of projects, a menu to choose from, we really prefer to know the guest-of-honor a bit before suggesting an activity to help celebrate a big day. And even when a project is perfectly planned and facilitated, you still never know what's going to come out on the other end. That's the beauty of it.
We wouldn't have it any other way. The visible self-esteem of a young artist that believes that they really are an artist. The beauty in the eye of the holder, as they proudly present their creation to a parent or caregiver. If it could be bottled... well that would be highlighter fluid. It's why we do what we do every day. It's why things so often erupt into spontaneous dance-parties of joy. It's the Everlasting Gobstopper of the work week that never ends. As tired as I might be this Sunday eve, I can't wait to get to work in the morning and cook up new ways to make fun.
*We don't make much of it. Keep an eye open for how every piece of packaging can be repurposed and the materials almost craft themselves.