We had Ben’s birthday party Saturday morning. Seven 7-year old boys were able to come, and I was amazed at how well they played all the games! If you are new to my little world, you should know that I like birthday parties to run like a machine. Craft-games-cake-presents, that is my formula. Keep everything moving so there is not enough time for arguments to break out…or kids to break out.
Our theme was Phineas & Ferb. In fact, those two crazy brothers have kind of been our theme for the year, after we received tickets to the stage show Phineas & Ferb Live: The Best LIVE Tour Ever! from aunts & uncles as an early Christmas present. Then we went to Disneyland in January and saw them a bit there, too. And since the kids watch the show (via Netflix) any chance they get, it seemed like a great party idea. I didn’t mind too much either.
Activity #1 – The craft. This is becoming more of a challenge as Ben gets older. Trying to find something that is cool enough for the boys to be interested in, but still be simple enough for my minimalistic tastes can be a little difficult. Thankfully, Pinterest now exists! (You can follow me there – www.pinterest.com/ModernDayJane) There I found this cute project, but then of course I simplified it.
The original instructions say to cut 2 of all the head, hair, and eyeball pieces, glue them together, and then sandwich between two popsicle sticks. Since I had Leah do all the tracing of the templates, and we had hours until the party, I decided that the boy could color the sticks instead of painting them (no dry time!) and they could just do a single thickness of everything. It worked out great, and the boys sat and worked on them so nicely! The last time I had a party with a craft for boys, it devolved into a running-chasing-wrestling game, so I was very pleasantly surprised. I think it helped that I had them sit down right away with no craziness to distract them.
Then, I had a game for each of the major characters. The kids got to pick, and they chose Phineas & Ferb’s game – constructing towers out of mini marshmallows, toothpicks, and coffee stir straws. The original goal of “who can make the tallest tower” was quickly thrown out the window and the boys just had fun building.
Perry the Platypus/Agent P’s game was a laser tunnel. My Handy Husband set up the tunnel in the stairwell so he could wrap the yarn around the banisters on each side. The goal was for the kids to get through without touching the lasers, and get to the remote for the evil Dr. Doofenschmirtz’s latest “‘-inator” at the top.
It was easier for the littler guys than for the taller ones, like C above! But they all had fun with it, and it was kind of nice to have a game where brawn wasn’t necessarily an advantage. (Although another Mr. C said that he had been a spy in The Promised Land play at school – about Joshua & Jericho – so he was good at sneaking.)
The next game was ALL ABOUT brawn. Leah drew the Dr. Doofenschmirtz head to put on our “pinata”, another Pinterest idea. It’s just a paper bag that we roughly decorated. Again, the Handy Husband rigged it up in the “big room”.
We had each of the kids take a whack at the “pinata” while blindfolded, and since no progress was made on the destruction, had them take turns with full vision. It still took a while! The “pinata” was stuffed with Phineas & Ferb fruit snacks, splash balls & parachute guys for the goodie bags, and some random candy. We divided it up among the goodie bags (labeled with the names of guests) and moved to the last game. By this time we only had about 20 minutes until parents were supposed to return, and we still had cake & presents left!
Instead of having the kids do a relay to pop balloons, I had them all sit down (cause I was starting to panic at all of them rushing us) and then Aaron and I dumped 2 garbage bags of balloons all over. The goal? Pop them as fast as you can. The name of the game? “You’re So Busted!”, in honor of Phineas & Ferb’s big sister Candace.
Leah informed me that we hadn’t filled the balloons enough – they didn’t pop right away. Aaron even had to assist a bit!
FINALLY we had cake. Isn’t this the cutest teal platypus cake you’ve ever seen?!
I made copious amounts of orange fondant, half of which is leftover. The cake is a 9×13, cut in half and stacked. The eyes are marshmallows cut in half with an M&M stuck to them.
Ben ate his lunch while reading a new book, one of his presents. He is very studiously avoiding looking at the camera. But now you get a good photo of the cast of Phineas & Ferb. I got this set from the Disney Store, which has surprisingly good prices on this kind of toy, if you catch a sale. These guys were $10. They were originally going to go on the cake until I talked myself into making fondant again!
The boys all had fun, and as much as Aaron teases me about my “structured” birthday parties, he was the first to admit that as soon as there were 30 seconds of down time, there was a pile of boys trying to seriously injure each other. We probably could have cut out one of the activities and had a more leisurely pace, but reports from one guest was that it was “the best birthday party ever”. I’m counting it as a win!
Our other birthday traditions that I didn’t share here are a photo of the birthday kid and their cake with mom and dad – no siblings allowed! I get a balloon bouquet to match the theme, and that’s usually in the photo, too. (Bouquet: one mylar, 3 regular balloons.)
I also write a birthday quiz for the honoree. This year, since there weren’t any extra adults at the party – sometimes we have a family party the same day, but it didn’t work out this time – we decided to wait and do quizzes for both Leah and Ben when we celebrate her birthday in about a month.
Do you have a birthday tradition in your home?