I vowed that each of my kids would have a homemade birthday cake and a party every year, no matter how many of them we ended up with. I'm not saying that every kid NEEDS that, just that it's something I personally decided I wanted to do for my kids.
Which was all fine and good until we ended up with four kids' birthdays in the thirty-seven days between October 26th and December 2nd. But, as a testament to my extraordinary doggedness, I have kept it up. We've moved parties early and late to accommodate the new arrivals, and for the past few years Bobby and Gus have shared a party since they have the same interests and friends and even I have limits. It turns out that one of those limits is throwing the same party for the same people two weekends in a row.
The shared party this year was The Lego Movie-themed. Unlike a certain wintery-type nonsensefest that Anita chose for HER party, I actually really, really love this movie. And the kids are old enough now that they took the lead on ideas for the party. It was a family undertaking.
And here's how it went down . . .
As per usual, pretty much all our party decorations are paper. I made a custom happy birthday banner in PicMonkey, and printed each image out as a 4x6 photograph on regular paper on our home printer, then I folded the top edge over to make a pocket for string, and cut them out with a rotary cutter.
I made a free download of the printable banner here. You can download the photo and letter images I made onto your computer. Just select each letter you'd like to print to spell whatever you'd like. If your child's name has letters in it that aren't in my banner, and you'd like to personalize it, you can open the blank one in PicMonkey and add whichever letters you need. There are little dots of color in the corner that you can grab to make the letters match the existing banner colors. The font I used is a free download here. If you download and install the font, it will show up in PicMonkey on the "yours" tab on the fonts page.
I also printed an Everything is Awesome sign for the door, from this free printable here. I've always used Publisher for that in the past, but now that we have a Mac, I found an app called PosteRazor that allowed me to print a saved photo out on multiple pages, then I trimmed the edges with my rotary cutter, and taped them together.
The rest of the decorations were tissue paper garland and fans and balls left over from previous parties. I love how cheap and reusable and festive and easy to store tissue paper decorations are.
Plates, cups, napkins, and utensils were all solid yellow from the dollar store.
The kids and I agreed that the AWESOMEST food table for this party would have included giant sausages, turkey legs, chicken wings AND tacos. But since that would be crazy, we just went with tacos for the main course.
We had some fun coming up with funny names for the other food items.
The little lego flame tags for the salsa, and chicken, cow, and turkey tags for the various meats were useful AND totally cracked me up.
Here's what we had . . .
1. Unikitty Chow: Lucky Charms + Skittles + Rainbow Twizzlers cut into two inch pieces
2. Pretzel Girl Pretzels: Synder's Old Time Pretzels
3. Benny's SpaceCHIP!: sour cream and onion chips, Bobby's favorite
4. Fruit Salad of Resistance: a hollowed out watermelon with a spray-painted soda box tooth-picked onto the back
5. Batman's Cheesy Batarangs: Cheetos
6. GoodCop Carrots: carrots + ranch dip
7. Business Taquitos: in beef or chicken
8. Tacos: It was Taco Tuesday even though it was a Saturday. Ground turkey and beef, hard taco shells and soft flour tortillas.
9. Condiments: lettuce, sour cream, and various salsas
Here are the food tags as printables. I printed them each as a 3X5 photograph on card stock, then cut them, scored them, and folded them. Voila.
For drinks for the kids we had water and sodas. THEMED sodas.
1. Wildstyle Strawberry Soda
2. Metalbeard Root Beer
3. Vitruvius Truly Lemon Lime
Here are the drink labels. I printed them 8.5x11 size, and folded them to be the same height as the existing labels on the soda bottles, then taped them on with packing tape all around, so the colors wouldn't run in the ice bucket.
We had two activities. The first, Bobby came up with himself: Pin the Pants on the Where Are My Pants Guy. Ingenious. It turns out this nice lady had the same idea, and I used her photos to make the poster and little pants-es. I added the movie title to it, and made it four pages. You can download it here.
The second game was Jack's idea. We have a big bin of Legos on the side of the house that I've been meaning to get rid of since our last major toy closet clean out. (Don't worry, we still have PLENTY.) Jack made up little baggies with a handful of Legos, one for each kid at the party. Then, with NO INSTRUCTIONS, each kid got to be a Masterbuilder and come up with his or her own little creation.
My kids love, love, love Legos, but even I was amazed at how enthralled the party guests all were by this activity. The party got REALLY quiet. As they finished, they each put their creation anonymously on a table. Then each kid and grownup at the party got two slips of paper with which to vote for their favorite creations. With dozens of people voting, every piece got a least one vote, so no one got their feelings hurt. But I tried to keep the kids away from the table anyway, once they had voted, and I only announced the one winner, so everyone else could figure he got second place.
The winner of each game got this The LEGO Movie Sticker Book .
Introducing . . . the Double Decker Couch Cake, so everyone can eat cake together and be buddies!
As far as I can tell (from one google image search) Bobby and Gus had the only Double Decker Couch Cake that has ever existed in the history of the world. It had cupholders.
My dad built me the little platform on which it sat. The cakes themselves were just two 9x5 loaves of poundcake, with a rectangle chunk cut out so they'd be couch-shaped. It was one of my easier cakes ever, but fun.
The words are melting chocolate. I printed out what I wanted to write, then put parchment paper over the printout, put the melted "chocolate" in a ziplock bag, cut a tiny corner off of the side of the bag, and traced the words a few times to make them strong enough to stand up on the cake.
Those shirts were Jack's gift to Bobby and Gus, he designed them on PicMonkey and I printed them onto inkjet iron on transfer paper and ironed them onto shirts. Bobby's says Honey, Where Are My Pants? You can download it here.
Want to make one? Here is the paper I used .
This part was all Jack. He found this Lego Man Head Piñata tutorial online. I helped him enlarge the template using the same PosteRazor app, and cut the yellow tissue paper for him, then he did the rest. He even had the idea to make it GoodCop / BadCop, which was the best part.
I absolutely do not feel obligated to give party favors, but my kids really enjoy coming up with a little something to thank their friends for coming to the party. There's something Hobbitish about giving other people presents for YOUR birthday, which I like. So we almost always send our guests home with a little something.
This year it was a Build Your Own Mini Fig (again rescued from our Lego discard pile), three un-inflated balloons, a Lego Movie Pencil , a super-flimsy little plastic hardhat , and an Emmet Head Marshmallow on a Stick. Plus their Lego creation and the rest of the Legos in their baggies. All in cute little Lego Bags .
And that was that.
Everything was awesome, if I do say so myself.
For more on our party philosophy see . . .
And to see more birthday parties, click here and scroll on through.