This is going to be a long and picture heavy post. I've tried to cut down the pictures, but there are just so many!!! I took close to 300 pictures. :-) This is our Five in a Row Homeschool group's biggest event of the year. This is our 9th year hosting this event. One of the perks of having a big event on a Saturday is that it has allowed many of the Dads to get involved in some of the fun we were having as a group. Most of the Dads don't get the opportunity to go to many of our field trips and this is a neat way to include them!
Each year we host our event on a Saturday. The first year this was held in January and each subsequent year it has been in November. That is still a lovely time of year here and we have been blessed with great weather. We hold our event at a local park which graciously allows us to use their site for free!
A group meets in the summer to plan the event. We choose a theme and plan an outline of what the event will look like. We have a sign-up and once we know how many families are participating, we divide up the event into jobs. Each mom/family has a job and I LOVE seeing how this comes together. It's a great way to see so many of the different gifts within our group. I love too that the burden of the work is shared and thus not too much on any one person. Another thing I love is seeing how each person interprets her job. It often looks very different from the initial vision - and so much better with the collective creativity of the group!
This year our theme was The Clown of God. (This is a book title in the Five in a Row curriculum.)
We loved the idea of going back to a Renaissance theme. Our first event was also Renaissance. One of my friends also pointed out that for our current group of seniors - their first and last event will be of the same time period. (I'm hoping they may return again next year as this is the first group that has been with us from the beginning to graduate. I'm really going to miss them!) One of the fun aspects of the events is dressing to the theme. The children typically really enjoy coming in costume.
The adults often do too! (I'll admit it. It's fun to dress up!)
Everyone arrives early to set up for the day. The amazing decorating committee comes first to set up their creations. This year that included a castle, 2 wooden gondolas, racing lanes, colored balls and more! We also had set up for games, crafts and activities. A lot of work goes into the day - and it is very much worth it. Check out this amazing castle made from refrigerator boxes!
We start our day with a welcome and prayer. Our first activity was a drama of the book. Two of the students narrated the story while it was acted out by many others.
This part of the story got a good laugh. In the story, the juggler performs for a prince and a duke. Can you spot "the Duke"?
The rest of the morning was spent rotating from one activity to the next. The children were split into smaller groups and visited each station. One of the stations was a gondola race to the castle. These boats are beautiful! They are made from a light wood and even have detailed designs in gold. The races were a huge hit!
Yeah, I know. The hat doesn't fit with the time period. LOL It goes with him ... everywhere!
Yes, more gondola pictures. I couldn't resist though! I thought these captured the competitive spirit in my guys.
And the tender side too!
There was also an art activity. Each child had a chance to shoot 3 nerf arrows at a picture covered with post-it notes. There were 5 paintings under the post-its. They tried to see if they could identify the painting or the artist.
Another station was plate spinning.
The final one was juggling - with your choice of balls or real lemons!
We took a moment before lunch to get some group photos. We've learned over the years that this is a great time to get them. Everyone is motivated to eat - and nobody eats until we get our photos.
Here are all of the kids - 18 and under.
The kids and adults in costume.
Kids 12 and under.
Students 13 and up.
Now its time to eat! We have a potluck lunch with sign-ups in advance. We aim for period food (or ethnic if our theme is centered around a country or culture). The food is always plentiful and delicious!!!
Check out this amazing dessert!!!
After lunch we had a variety of activities and the children could choose what they wanted to do including face painting, juggling, and balls in a parachute.
Making masks and/or tamborines
Playing a game of "Defend the Castle" (which is similar to Capture the Flag). I LOVED seeing the wide range of ages enjoying this one!
There was also a free play area with playdoh, lawn bowling and cornhole.
Not a period activity - but a lot of fun was had playing football too. My oldest loves to play and at large events, there are always others willing to join him. It tickles me though to see my two "princesses" being a part of the game.
Whew! That is a lot of pictures! I've got many more too! I've been writing this over a couple of days and trying to load up the pictures. If I've written something that doesn't make sense (or gotten something wrong), please let me know and I'll fix it.
Thank you to all my friends at the Event. It was a wonderful day filled with sweet memories. I think these days will be ones we remember for a long, long time. I'm so thankful for friends who are willing to work to pull off an event like this. I look forward to doing it again next year.
Hope you enjoyed seeing our day!