Fall in the Forest- a spontaneous “welcome fall” event.

It was a couple of Thursdays ago when Alexander came up to me after several minutes of playing by himself (gasp!) and asked.

“Muma- what can we do?” “I don’t know, what would you like to do?” “We should have a party!”

We occasionally have little pretend birthday parties for the choice character of the day- sometimes more or less elaborate, so this was not an uncommon request.  But being up for a real event of some kind and knowing Grammy & Grandpapa were coming for the weekend anyhow, I decided to go with it, and make some fun out of it.  “Okay, what kind of party- what would you like to do?”  “Let’s make a list!” said Alex.

And so it began.  I let him pick pretty much everything.  Who should we invite? What food would you like to serve?  What decorations should we have?  When should we have it?  Do we need invitations?  What games do you want to play?  And we themed it Fall in the Forest, and transformed our cluttered classroom into a festive little autumn party lounge.  (We even got Papa to finally move his weight bench, so now we really can use it as a classroom!)

And I also made Alexander help with as much as he could.  Muma printed a picture for the front of the invitations but Alex ‘wrote’ everyone’s name inside.  He helped paint big green and brown papers, tape them together, muma cut a tree, and Papa taped it to the wall.  He called Nana and asked her to bring forest stuffed animals and a couple items on the ‘menu’.  He helped place decorations, directed the ceiling streamers, set up chairs, picked out foods in the store and poured chips into the bowl.

And wow- was he excited!  Even Nana said it just kindof perked him up and brought him ‘to life’.  He talked about it all day Friday telling everyone the details, and kept asking- ‘when is it time for my party?’  We left it pretty open to ‘sometime Saturday night’ but when Miss Sammy said they’d be over about 7:30- we figured that was just about right.

It was a laid back but grand time.  The twinkle lights set the mood for pin the tail on the raccoon, a forest treasure tray memory game, and of course the Elefun game (elephants live in the forest right?)  We dined on chips, pretzels, dips, m&m’s, popcorn, and strawberries & bananas.  We had some good grown-up chatting time while kids played in the other room.  And we topped off the evening with fun fall cupcakes complete with Welcome Fall signs that Alex & Nana picked out.  It was just a really good time for grown-ups and kids too.

Yesterday we finally got around to taking down the streamers from Alexander’s little event.  It was just as fun to watch him run around in the dangling crepes as they hung half-down, then run and jump into the pile as if it were a pile of leaves, have them dangle all over his head, toss them up into the air, then ‘rake’ them together and do it all again.  Even Muma got into the action.

And now, fall is here indeed.  We’ve been watching out for colorful trees as we’re out and about and are looking forward to spending some real time in the forest’s autumn splendor.  Welcome, welcome fall!

-act. Sept11,2010