I spent 2 hours yesterday filling 75 water balloons (while Ryan "helped," resulting in many, many balloon casualties) and it took the kids 20-30 seconds to destroy them all. I also planned ahead and made each child a lunch sack with a PB&J sandwich, pretzels, grapes, and a juice box. I highly suggest this to all of my mommy friends! It made it super easy on the parents and everything was contained for the kids to just grab a sack, plop down somewhere and eat. I did cupcakes instead of a huge cake which helped simplify that process as well. I was really into making things EASY so I could also enjoy the party. And can I say how much I LOVE paper products? Not as environmentally friendly as I'd like to be, but cleanup was a breeze.
We opened presents after most everyone had left, as a measure to control tantrums and over-excitement. Sure enough, as Ryan opened each gift, he wanted to play with it. So the gift opening process went quickly. Grandma and Grandpa got him an easel with all sorts of accessories and he got lots of games and pool toys from his friends. Ryan was SO excited to have all of his friends over all at the same time. Friends from church, our friends' kids that he plays with all the time and especially our little neighbor, Morgan. Considering the house was filled with two 5 year olds, a 4 year old, four 3 year olds, a 2 year old, three 1 year olds and Kaylin, the chaos was minimal and the party was a success!