Sweet-smelling lotions and potions, multicolored manicures, and yummy treats: what better way to celebrate a special day? While guests get a chance to primp, chat, and slather on the goo, parents can stay stress-free, too, thanks to this party's perfectly easy prep and cleanup. Here are our simple step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for turning your home into an R & R retreat.
Treats definitely sweeten the spa experience. Knead 2/3 cup of flour into a 16 1/2-ounce roll of refrigerated sugar-cookie dough, then roll it out. Using our template (below), trace and cut out the masks. With a straw, poke holes for the ties. Bake the cookies according to the package instructions, spread on frosting (we added pearlized sprinkles), and attach red-licorice ties.
Fill a tub with warm water, have a partygoer place her tootsies in, then dump in a scoop of our Fizzing Foot Soak (see below). Let the giggles begin! Refill the tub with fresh water for each customer.
Fizzing Foot Soak: Mix together 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 cup citric acid, and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite fragrance oil. Store dry in a plastic bag (do not use a sealable container, as the mixture produces gas!). Use one scoop of powder per tubful of warm water.
Set out individual bowls of Honey Banana Mask (see next slide) and small unused paintbrushes. After the guests have painted the mask on each other's faces, they can chill out with rolled towels under their heads and some relaxing tunes. Place cool cucumber slices over their eyes for extra soothing.
In a blender, combine 1 cup plain yogurt (room temperature), 1 medium banana, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 drop of blue food coloring. Apply to the face with a brush, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Pat skin dry.
For this glamorous game, stock up on as many nail polish shades as you have guests (We like Piggy Paint, a line of nontoxic polish that's formulated for kids—lots of colors, no fumes! from $4, at Walmart or piggypaint.com) and cover a table with a plastic cloth. To play, each child selects a color and takes a place at the table. When the music begins, guests pass the polish around the circle. When the tune stops, each polishes one nail with the color she's holding (with an adult's help, if needed). The game continues until all ten nails are done.
For a posh party snack, serve these Blossom Tea Sandwiches. Shape cucumber and bread slices with cookie cutters (we used 2 1/4- and 1 1/2-inch sizes). Spread cream cheese on the bread, then top with a cuke slice and a halved cherry tomato.
For a spa vibe, string up some twinkling lights and outfit lamps with pink-tinted bulbs.
Crank a mellow playlist (think Enya and Norah Jones).
Ask invitees to come dressed in robes and flip-flops. Supply each with a stretchy headband from the dollar store.
Add aromatherapy! Set up incense diffusers or scented votives (placed away from the action).
Originally published in the December/January 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine