Today was the Orange Festival. This was the 6th annual Orange Festival. It started as a celebration of our orange harvest and was a time for kids to play and celebrate orange and parents to try to juice some oranges. Since then, I have learned that it's too hard to juice oranges and provide an awesome extravaganza for the kids. And this year, I strayed from our usual all orange day and did a wild and messy day. It was different, but I'm pretty sure it is going down in these kids' life long memories.
This is 2008
Look at these babies. We thought we had our hands full then....(of course not everyone is pictured, but in 2008 we had 15 participants with 5 adults and Lilly)
(I've also realized my backyard is not as beautiful as it once was - it's called no winter grass and I just don't have the time and money to spend on it like I once did. I like how my yard looks with green winter grass, but I also realized I probably wouldn't have wanted a messy day if our backyard looked pristine.).
Flash forward 6 years. We had 27 participants and the same 5 adults and an awesome aunt Lilly.
We started off with cloud dough (8 parts flour- 1 part oil). The kids made different shapes and then eventually made 'snowballs' out of them and had a snowball fight with Lilly.
There was some extra flour in our water table that a few of the kiddos got into.
Then we did donuts on a string, hanging from the trees. Leta may have cheated a bit.
Next we did a shaving cream and Cheetos game of catch. It turned into a shaving cream fight and Cheeto eating fest.
We also had our play with snot session (or it's call goo, or flubber, or homemade silly putty....)
Not pictured is the find the 8 objects in the tub of mud session. I was too worried about my camera at that point.
After cleaning some of the earlier messes, and attempting to wash up a bit, it was food time. There were no plates and no common utensils. We just dumped the spaghetti right on the tables and gave the kids weird utensils and had them go to town. Some opted for the use of their funny utensil, some just chowed using their face, as evidenced below. Elsa used her utensil to aid in holding her drink. Parker had a whisk as his funny utensil and was very handy for those needing their sauce mixed in better with their noodles. One kid would scream "MIX" and he was to the rescue. The food was the only thing that was more traditional orange festival: orange drink, oranges to eat, and food that turned their faces orange.
After the meal we did our Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. I had never done it before. This was truly a huge hit. I'm glad I had bought four Diet Cokes. Kids were dancing in the raining Coke. It shot as high as the trees. Some even got their cups out to catch some pop to drink.
We also did Alka-Seltzer rockets, which the kids liked because they all got a turn to put their Alka-Seltzer into the container and watch the top explode off.
I didn't get a picture of the highest point. It shot up into the tree.
Look at this big crew. It was a crazy messy day. I had to use my loud voice all morning long to be heard over the roar of the crowd and I felt like a constant nagging rule reminder, but they seemed to all love it and were excited to go home and try some of the experiments at home. We are chalking this one up to a successful day! No major injuries. Nothing broke. Everything could be cleaned up (although it did take awhile) and the kids were all excited.
Oh, and of course we had to finish with our usual orange juliuses. My dad had to work though, so these were blended using my new BlendTec and not my dad's gas powered blender. Vroom Vroom.
Aunt Karyn kept the Orange Festival traditional alive by dressing her kids all in orange. Even their hair had orange hair spray! (Kent came with an orange shirt, but got covered in mud so we had to switch his shirt before eating) Orange power.
My little crew.
And of course we couldn't just leave orange festival at that. After everyone else went home, those remaining got to play with our food paint. After you finish painting, you microwave the paper and the paint puffs up and dries. All of these activities today turned out really fun and I want to try them all again.
(Mallory got to stay because she is spending the night and then Eldon got to stay to play with Aaron that I babysit. Lilly stayed because she is awesome. )
So my kids are much smarter with all the sensory activities we fit in today. Our house is still standing. We even had an outdoor movie tonight projected onto our garage with a few of our neighbors and now all the girls are having their slumber party in our living room. We definitely started Spring Break with a bang! Now I might need tomorrow to recoup.