I covered the table with a roll of brown paper and filled jars with crayons and markers for kids to draw with at the table.
I wanted the food to be part of the "artistic" experience, so we made our own miniature pizzas. I prepared the crust ahead of time and then had bowls with sauce and various toppings such as pineapple, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. Then I gave each person a ball of dough to roll out and use to create his or her own miniature pizza. We had a small group, so we were able to cook the pizzas in just two batches. This might be a little trickier with a large group.
Below is the recipe I used for the crust--this makes one large crust or about 3 mini pizzas, depending on how big you make the mini pizzas, so you might need to double or triple it depending on how many you are serving:
HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 t. salt
1 t. yeast (easy blend)
1 T olive oil
up to 2/3 c. hot water
Sift together flour and salt. Stir in easy-blend dried yeast. Make a well in the center and add olive oil, with enough hand-hot water to make a soft, malleable dough. The amount will vary according to the absorbency of the flour, but you should not need more than 2/3 c. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return it the clean bowl. Cover with clear film and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in bulk. Knock back the dough, turn it to a lightly floured surface and knead again for 2-3 minutes. Roll out and use as desired, pushing up the dough edges to make a rim before adding the topping.
To go along with the pizza, we had a fruit platter with a rainbow of colored fruits: strawberries, watermelon, oranges, pineapple, blueberries, and grapes. We also served cucumbers and carrots for vegetables.
We had several activities based around the artistic theme. I had a container of sidewalk chalk for kids to draw with outside. I also had our bounce house and sandbox outside for the kids to play in when they arrived. Then, after lunch, we had a few organized crafts.
First, we created our own art with Shrinky Dinks. I bought clear shrinky dink film at our local craft store and then gave each child a piece of shrinky dink paper as well as colored pencils.
The children decorated their shrinky dinks with colored pencils and I punched a hole in each shrinky dink page. Some of the shrinky dinks we also cut down into shapes that the kids wanted. Then, we baked the shrinky dink film in an oven. I turned on the oven light and let the kids watch it shrink--watching the film shrink was the most fun part of the project. When the film had shrunk I pulled the now small and hard plastic pieces of art out of the oven to let them cool. After the shrinky dinks had cooled, I put string through the holes I had punched so the kids could hang them from their doors at home or wear their shrinky dinks as a bracelet or necklace.
Above is my son's Shrinky Dink art--it was originally the size of a half-sheet of paper and shrunk small enough to fit in the palm of his hand.
Cake and Cupcakes
I created an art palette cake for my son. I baked the cake in a round pan and then let it cool. After the cake cooled, I cut out a small piece from one side to make the cake the shape of an artist's palette. I frosted it with white frosting and then added dobs of colored frosting to be like dobs of a paint. I finished off with putting a real paintbrush on the bottom of the cake to add to the effect.
In keeping with the artistic theme, I also let the kids decorate their own cupcakes if they so chose. I had leftover colored frosting from the cake as well as several different kinds of sprinkles that the kids could choose from to decorate their cupcakes.
I picked up some art supplies from our local 99 cent store, as well as some of my son's favorite types of candies to put in goody bags for each of the kids. I had my son draw a small picture for each one of his friends and attached those pictures to the bags as tags.