Here is the before picture. There were 9 kids at the first party, 11 at the second, and 2 that needed to pick up houses to do at home. We had folding tables for bigger kids, and a shorter table for kids who couldn't reach the big tables. I made sure to have some of every candy at each table so the kids would stay put and not wander too much.
decorator bags* this year. They're disposable, so it's still easy clean up, and I just used a rubber band at the top to keep the bag closed. I didn't put any tips on the bags, just stacked them on a tray before the party, then snipped off the tip with scissors and handed them out when I was ready for everyone to start. Worked very well without any icing explosions.
9 boxes of dots (7oz)
2 bags of m&ms (19.2oz)
1 bag peppermints (24oz...this one surprised me, they were quite popular)
120 mini candy canes
2 bags marshmallows (10oz)
2 bags gummy bears (24oz)
2 bags chewy sprees
about 1/2 box corn chex
Update 12/16/13: This amount of candy worked out pretty well again for the 2013 party. I bought 12 boxes of dots and finally had enough. I bought two packages of sugar wafers (which was not enough) and left out the chex.
When session two rolled around, Secora had finally gotten comfortable enough with what was going on to get down and decorate her own house. I was kind of surprised, she actually decorated. I thought she'd just eat the candy, or do what Sedona did when she was 2 and lick every piece before she stuck it on.
If I were going to give out prizes, this would have been in the running for one of my favorite houses this year. One of our new neighbors did this one. She's 11 and came up with the idea all on her own and then told us her house was an anachronism....messy on one side:
I also liked this idea that one of the dads added to his kid's house...a chimney!
Here are our three girls with their houses. Secora (who is constantly sneaking candy now):
Sedona, who I told to smile:
A fun time was had by all. If you want step by step instructions on how to host your own party, including how to make the houses from scratch and how plan your timeline (since there are several "waiting" steps on making the houses), visit the tutorial I posted last year.