Monday, June 15, 2015

A Super (Mario) 8th Birthday Party!

I got my sons Super Mario Wii for Christmas this year. I have to admit, it was quite the "sherrif's badge" because I have always LOVED the Super Mario series. It's really the only video game I really love to play to this day. In fact, we had lots of marathon game playing in the months that followed (much to my non-video-game-playing husband's chagrin). So I was very excited this year when the boys agreed to doing a Mario themed birthday party!!

As always, I started by creating some invitations in photoshop:

I like to do parties between lunch and dinner, so that I don't have to do lots of food, just light snacks to go with the cake and ice cream. 

This year I would tell the kids to "power-up" on snacks for completing the challenges, so I did snacks based on the power ups. Powdered doughnut holes for the Freeze Power and cheese ball puffs for the Fire power.

Sugar cookies with icing for the stars and marshmallows dipped in chocolate candy for the mushrooms.

I went back and forth on what I wanted to do for the cake, but honestly, I started running out of I decided to do a very simple cake. This is a two layer 9x13 vanilla cake (this is my white cake recipe I love...light and moist) with buttercream (my fav butter cream recipe, but I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening to make stiffer), and marshmallow fondant (recipe here). The little characters I got off I found an assortment of 18 two-inch characters for $8 with free shipping.


2:00- 2:15 - Costumes and snacks
All kids will receive their two sided Mario/Luigi visors (instructions here) and a fake mustache (I got 36 for $5 off amazon).

Supplies: red/green posterboard, elastic, gluestick

(Side note: I made Thing 1 & Thing 2 these personalized Mario shirts to wear for the party using solid color tees and iron on t-shirts for dark tees.)

2:15-2:45 Pin the mustache on Mario.
I designed the poster in photoshop and then printed it off for $6 at the university library's over-sized color plotter. Finished dimensions 24 in X 36 in.

Supplies: Mario Poster and black felt with adhesive back mustaches (approx 2 sheets at .99 a sheet at Joanne's), and bandanna.

2:45-3:15 Yoshi Egg Hunt
This past Halloween, Thing 2 was Yoshi. So, I just had him throw on his Yoshi costume and read the instructions for the game. Meanwhile, we had hidden 48 brightly colored eggs filled with gold coins in the backyard.

Supplies: Plastic Easter eggs, chocolate or plastic gold coins

3:15-3:30 Defeat Bowser's Castle
In the game, before you defeat Bowser, you have to defeat his castle full of bad guy traps. In this case, the kids had to beat the Chain Chompy pinata.

Supplies: Beach ball (Everything is a $1 sells these), newspaper, and pinata paste (flour, water, and dash of salt), crepe paper, foam sheets, glue, bat/stick, and candy

3:30-3:45 Cake
In the past, I always forget to do ice cream, but it was super hot this year! So I definitely remembered!

Supplies: Cake and ice cream

3:45-4:00 Defeat Bowser
Once the kids had "powered up" on cake, Bowser came out! The kids had to play a Red Light/Green Light type game (they could only run when Bowser wasn't looking at them) to run up and grab one power up at a time from the yellow 1-up boxes he was guarding. For not really being a Super Mario fan, my husband did an EXCELLENT job capturing Bowser's movement (crouched and slow) and growling sounds. Hint: This game is best for older kids. We had mostly 7 and 8 year olds at the party, but there were a few younger kids, and they were FREAKED out! My 4 year old niece would not run up, even after my husband raised his mask to show her his face. She said "No!"

Supplies: Bowser costume, prize boxes (cardboard covered in tissue paper), power ups on construction paper

But what my husband didn't know, was that after all the power ups were stolen, I yelled for the kids to "ATTACK BOWSER!" and they all tackled him to the ground!! He was a great sport!

All in all, I was happy how the party came out. My only major issue (besides the fact we were having AC issues), was that the games didn't take quite as long as I we finished about 30 minutes earlier than planned! What I'd do differently: 1. add one more game, 2. add a few layers to the pinata. (I used the same # of layers as the Death Star Pinata two years ago...but they are all 2 years older and much better hitters! Two years ago all the kids got 2-3 turns to hit the pinata, but this year only half the kids got a second hit before it busted open!), 3. some of the kids were *cheating* and grabbing multiple power ups during the Bowser game. I would station one adult to help manage the stop/go aspect of the game and one adult to collect the stolen power ups before the kids could re-run to grab one, making it more fair for the other kids that were following the one-power up rules given.

4:30-6:30 Naptime!
Clean up can wait! This momma took a long nap!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Minecraft 7th Birthday Party Mod.

While preparing for my boys' 8th birthday party coming up in less than two weeks, I started reminiscing about their past parties, and I realized that I posted the details on their Star Wars themed 6th Birthday Party, but I never posted about their Minecraft 7th Birthday Party Mod.

First, I made some invitations in photoshop:

Then I made a list of Minecraft themed snacks which I laid out on a snack table covered in a fake-grass tablecloth (Party City) and decorated with paper figurines from the animal mod (Target).
Thing 2 and the party snacks!
The cake was super easy to make with homemade marshmallow fondant

Blue jello jigglers. These went FAST! I should have made 3x as much!
Twizzlers wrapped with brown fondant

Then I came up with an Agenda:

2:00-2:15 - Make your own Minecraft skin

Just like in the game, each child made their own individual 8-bit character

Supplies: Cardboard w/ tongue depressors, color cardboard squares, glue, scissors

2:15-2:45 Pin the tail on the pig
I made the Pin the tail on the pig poster in photoshop and then because I work at a university, I printed it off at the university library for $4. But Kinkos also prints posters like these for pretty inexpensive.

Supplies: Printed pig poster, pink/red construction paper pig tails with 2-sided tape, Creeper cardboard head with covered eye holes.

2:45-3:15 Scavenger Hunt
I made sure to talk with my surrounding neighbors first, to get their permission to use their lawns as the different "Layers" that the ores would be hidden in. Then right before the party, I went and hid brown paper sacks with the ores and the clues. On each paper sack I had a picture of them ore inside, and a poem with a clue to the next one. I went in order of the ores by layer (Coal>Iron>Gold>Redstone>Lapiz Lazuli>Emerald>Diamond>Nether Quartz).

Supplies: ores (I used "pirate gems" I found on amazon and rocks painted black for "coal" and gold), a "map" of the layers (my neighbor's houses), brown paper bags with clues on them (forgot to take a picture!), and brown paper bags for each kid to gather their ores.

3:15-3:30 Kill the Creeper
Creeper pinatas are easy to just cover a brown cardboard box with crepe paper! Much easier than having to paper maiche an object!

Supplies: Creeper pinata filled with candy, bat/stick, Steve cardboard head with eyes covered

3:30-3:45 Cake time!
Birthday boys!

3:45-4:00 Presents!

The boys were very excited about their torches from Grandma

Monday, May 20, 2013

6th Birthday planning

Thank you for making planning for my sons' 6th birthday so fun and easy!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 have fallen in love, big time!, with Star Wars. So, it is fitting that for this year's party, we are doing a Jedi Training Academy for the boys' 6th birthday.

First, I made some invitations in photoshop:

Then, I came up with an agenda:

Padawan robes and light sabers
Agenda (3 pm - 5 pm)

3:00   Recruit Intake
As recruits arrive, they will draw pictures of their home planets and paste them on the map of the galaxy. Then they will receive their padawan robes to officially become Jedis in training. (Supplies: poster board, colored paper, crayons, scissors, tape, brown jedi robes, and yarn)

Recruit arrival
Issuing uniforms and light sabers
Our galaxy
The recruits
3:15   Light Saber Training

All Padawans will be given light sabers and will have to practice their skills by keeping a balloon afloat in the air. (Supplies: pool noodle light sabers, balloons)

3:30   Jedi Training Course

All Padawans will complete an obstacle course. Crawl under broken down spaceship,  jump over lava pit, run through storm troopers, and climb through trash chute. (Supplies: jeep top on picnic table, red plastic tablecloth, white helium balloons w/ storm trooper faces drawn on, giant cardboard box full of crumpled up newspaper and packing stuff.)
Crawl under broken down space ship
Cross lava pit
Jump over fire pit
Dodge storm troopers

3:45  Message from Princess Leia

Princess Leia needs your help! She has been captured by The Emperor and Darth Vader and only you can rescue her. All Padawans will work together to pop open the balloons hidden in a box until they find the Princess Leia hidden inside. (Supplies: balloons and letters spelling Princess Leia)
"Help me Padawans, you're my only hope!"
Bust open balloons with lightsabers to find the letters...
(Lost the "N" somewhere)

4:00 Destroy the Death Star
Padawans will take turns hitting the Death Star pinata until it explodes. (Supplies: pinata filled with candy, bandanas, broomstick light sabers)
Death Star Pinata

4:15  Refueling Station
Padawans will refuel on R2D2 cake and Yoda juice. (Supplies: cake, plates, forks, napkins, cups, green punch, bottles of water, pretzels, carrot sticks)
100% edible R2D2 cake (6 layers!)
4:30  Defeat Darth Vader
When Darth Vader crashes the party, only the Padawans can destroy him. (Supplies: Darth Vader helmet, all black clothes, black cape, and black gloves)

4:45   Jedi Certificates
All Padawans have completed their training and are officially promoted to Jedis by Princess Leia in this ceremony.