May 31st, 2012
January 3rd, 2012
I had originally wanted to do his birthday at Insectropolis, the Bug Museum in Toms River, NJ, but I thought that many people would not come because it was over an hour away. I remembered the great show we had seen Rizzo’s Reptiles do over the summer, so we decided to go with them, which turned out to be wonderful! While the kids waited for Mr. Rizzo to set up, they made bug sticker scenes that I purchased from Oriental Trading. Mr. Rizzo himself did the show and he is quite the character. Not only did he entertain the children for an hour (and keeping the attention of 3 and 4 year olds for an hour is no joke!), but the adults, too. He presented the animals to the children, allowed them to touch and explore them and told them facts that were easy for them to understand. He goofed and joked with the kids and the parents along the way!
The first animal he brought out was a Hissing Cockroach.
Next – a scorpion. The Destroyer, surprisingly, wanted NOTHING to do with the bugs. He was so hell-bent on a bug party, but seemed freaked out by the bugs. Thankfully, there were only 2 and he warmed up much more to the other creatures.
The tiny crab was a HUGE hit! All the kids loved him.
The tomato frog was also cool. He hopped around with the kids.
As you can see, Mr. Rizzo is a funny guy!
The mini turtles were another big hit. These reminded me of the mini pets we see on the streets of Chinatown. I just giggle every time I see the pictures of them.
Next up was the big turtle – a box turtle, if I remember correctly.
Finally, out came the snakes. CheezWaster was the only volunteer brave enough to stick his hands into the snake bag.
Finally, was the GIANT snake. It took 4 adults to hold this thing and it was STILL heavy!
The kids loved the show and it was very reasonably priced. Many of the parents commented on how they couldn’t believe how long their children sat quietly and attentively.
I was torn on what to do about a cake. In the past, we’ve always had decorated bakery cakes and we wind up taking half of a cake home. So, this year, we went with simple cupcakes. I made CheezWaster a caterpillar for his candles. I used the basic picture from Eric Carle’s The Very HungryCaterpillar. It was simple and quick. I used colored sugar on top of the icing and twizzlers/m&ms for the facial decorations. I made all of the other cupcake different shades of green and inserted cupcake pics that I made from the printable rainbow bug party from Paper & Cake. I also used this printable file to make a banner, a paper chain and bug signs for the party.
I made bug cookies using Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, Wilton tube icing and the Wilton Bug Buddies Cookie Cutters. We also served normal party food such as chips, animal crackers, veggies and fruit. I purchased spider chip bowls on clearance after Halloween.
We did a Bug Hunt for the kids. We bought a ton of plastic bugs of all sizes (another great Halloween clearance bargain) and scattered them all over a room. Each child was given a big plastic cup and could take home whatever they “captured”.
The favors for the party consisted of mini eye spy bags that the very awesome Greathouse Women made in bug fabrics, Bug Coloring Book sets from Oriental Trading, and a Battle of Nara Battle Bug that I got on an awesome deal from Woot.com.
March 11th, 2011
I had full intentions of making this Lego Cake. However, Betty Crocker found a way to screw me the night before the party. Despite greasing up that pan, my cake middle somehow stuck and I was left with this cake disaster.
So, I decided to make Cake Ball Pops. No use in throwing away a mostly good cake! I had fully intended to make these all yellow and then use edible markers to draw on Lego man faces, however, I left them in the freezer too long and the chocolate froze on so fast, that the texture was not smooth enough. So, I just made them in yellow, red and blue to match the standard Lego colors.
To decorate the Lego Man cookies, I used these awesome Icing Writers. They made decorating so easy and I didn’t have to mix up any icing. Plus, they tasted great! I tried to make different versions of Lego Men for variety and presentation.
We chose again to host the party in our church’s fellowship hall. The room is quite spacious and allows the kids and adults some freedom. I set the tables up with tablecloths in basic Lego colors – red, blue, yellow and green. We purchased latex balloons in the same colors from the local Party City and supplemented with a few Lego foil balloons which I purchased online.
I used MegaBlocks to not only act as a centerpiece, but as the balloon holders as well. We made a little structure on each table and tied on the balloons.
I had saved some of my boys’ lego tubs which made great chip holders and added to the Lego themed decorations. I also had a few small Lego posters from the Lego Club Magazines which I hung around the food tables.
In light of the aforementioned cake disaster, we served a cake from Costco, as well as the Cake Pops, the Lego Man Cookies and regular homemade cupcakes (from a cake mix) decorated with custom Lego Cake Picks.
I used Blokz Candles, which look exactly like Legos, for the Costco Cake.
The first activity we did was a Lego Hunt (no pictures – kids too fast – sorry). We layed out and hid lego pieces in a room and gave each child a cup. Whoever found the most pieces won a prize. We also hid 2 lego treasure chests and whoever found those got a prize. The kids loved this and had a ton of fun, though, it was over super fast.
Because I’ve decided that until my kids tell me this game is lame, I’m going to make a custom Pin the Whatever On game for each party. For this one, I made a Lego Man and the kids had to pin on the Heads. I simply printed out large versions of some Lego Head graphics I found in Google Images.
Then, the kids moved onto building Lego cars. This was the main activity of the party. We purchased pieces from the Lego Brick Wall at the Lego Store and crafted a basic Lego car. I then had buckets of random Lego pieces so the kids could customize their cars.
To help the kids with directions, I took individual pictures of each step, had them printed as 5 x 7 pictures and put them on a presentation board which I tacked to the cork board so everyone could see it at once.
My husband crafted the most KICK-ASS car race ramp based on a design which we saw at a Lego promo event at Toys R Us. The top had a hinged piece so the kids could line up their cars and then raise the piece so they would all go down at once.
We used a Lego Font to make the Start and Finish signs on the ramp. The letters looked like they were made from Lego Blocks.
For the goodies bags, which I unfortunately don’t have a picture of, I used these yellow bags. I used a sharpie and made a simple Lego Man Face on the outside (Sharpies ROCK!). I included a Lego book which I purchased through Amazon’s 4 for 3 promotions, some Lego Block Candy which I purchased at a local candy shop, but it also available online here, a copy of the most current Lego club magazine, which Lego sent me for FREE (Call their customer service, they are SO nice!), and a Lego Truck or Airplane set from the Lego Favors pack(which I happened to get on sale, for half price, on the Lego website. I’ve also seen these favor packs at my local Toys R Us. The kids also got to take home the lego cars they built.
All in all, I think everyone had a great time – boys and girls……even the adults who decided to sit down and channel their inner child and play with Legos.
For more Lego party ideas to fit your needs, search the internet. There are a wealth of great Lego party sites out there that helped contribute to making this the great party that it was!
February 9th, 2011
As you can see in the back of this picture, we decorated with some very inexpensive inflatable crayons that I found on Amazon. Post-party these made great “swords”. The last craft was a self adhesive foam frame that was a blue base with snowflake and snowmen face decorations (also from Oriental Trading). This was a big hit with the adults, but also simple enough for the kids to do as all of the pieces were self-adhesive. They even came with magnets, so you could make them into a nice holiday gift. We also offered 2 free play tables. One was a playdough table. I scored a sweet deal on a 24 pack of playdough on Black Friday ($5.97 – Thank you TARGET!). We put out several canisters of playdough and all of our playdough tools from the 25th anniversary tub. The other free play table was a doodle table. Using a doodle paper roll that I found at the Christmas Tree Shop, we covered a long table and let the kids run wild with crayons. This was great for the younger set who loved scribbling with all of the colors.
For the cake, I made an artist’s palette cake. This was the first of 2 birthday cakes where I fully believe that Betty Crocker was out to get me. I baked 2 9-inch round cakes. I stacked and filled them with the Philadelphia Ready Made Cream Cheese Filling and fresh strawberries. When I went to frost them, THIS disaster happened. I never cut the domes off the cakes (BIG MISTAKE) and the weight of the frosting caused my cake to crack down the middle (I couldn’t get it to do this if I tried – though the more I thought, I think this would be awesome for a dinosaur cake to mimic the volcanic and seismic activity of the time periods).
With some quick assistance from my husband and A LOT of frosting, I managed to fill the cake crater and decorate it as an Artist’s Palette. The brush is a chocolate Twizzler that I frayed at the end with scissors. I also made cupcakes and topped them with crayon cupcake picks also found on Amazon.
The food for this party was nothing special. I had the usual pretzel tray, sandwiches, chips, veggie tray, cake & cupcakes. Unfortunately, there was only a small turn out due to the early December holiday frenzy. But, even with only a few guests, this party was still a big hit! Incidentally, The Destroyer is born on St. Nickolaus Day and being German, I LOVE THAT. Every year, when he wakes up on his birthday, he finds some extra treats in his shoes!!! Look at what he pulled out first this year – a chocolate Santa!