Friday, October 1, 2010
Its been two weeks since we had Alex's superhero themed birthday party, but its taken me that long to recover and process everything.
I enjoy going all out for birthdays - I figure with two boys, I've got a limited number of years where I get to do this and then I probably won't even be invited to the party, let alone get to plan it. So I'm cramming it all in while I can.
I posted about the invites a few weeks back. I had done a lot of Internet sleuthing, and found lots of great ideas for the party. Turns out there are other parents that get even crazier about this than we do.
Like this mom, that in addition to dressing as Batgirl herself, felt the need to serve "Wonder Woman Cosmos" at her child's party... with little drink umbrellas handcrafted from vintage comic books. Who the hell has time in their life to do this kind of thing??
And this party... wow. Talk about blowing me away. I loved the cupcakes, and I tried to find a bakery here in Austin to make me some like that. I did... for $4 per cupcake. Seriously. I ended up with Walmart cupcakes, where the Batman, Superman, and Spiderman rings were included at my $5 for a dozen price. That's what I'm talking about.
Once we (okay I, with a bit of input from Alex and Carl) had settled on our theme for the party, the decision about whether to do costumes began. Since we have a pool, and its hard to keep the kids out of the pool, I thought costumes plus swim suits plus regular clothes was a lot to have people bring. So we decided on providing capes to the kids, and letting them wear them with their regular clothes and/or swim suits. The trick was how to make it not break the bank. If you search around etsy, there are plenty of crafty folks ready to sell you capes and masks for around $10 / child. That wasn't going to happen. But then I found the idea of using plastic tablecloths, and it worked beautifully.
My mother-in-law is a talented, crafty sort - the opposite of me. So she helped us out (massively) by creating these capes for the kids to wear, and the masks. The capes were cut from plastic table cloths bought at the dollar store, or the party store for the pink and black which the dollar store didn't stock. The masks came from foam sheets, and I bought a tub of these cool foam glitter stars for the masks. To make the initials, she used construction paper and then clear packaging tape to affix them.
I'm in love with the capes... the kids all looked so cute wearing them.
For decorations, Carl made these cool giant superhero emblems out of cardboard being thrown out at Ryan's preschool: Superman's "S", the Bat signal, and Captain America's shield. Captain America is currently Alex's favorite superhero, so we needed him to be well represented. We had red, yellow, and blue balloons and streamers, and I had found some cool blue and red stars garlands.
As the children arrived, we gave them their capes and masks to wear. Carl was our M.C. and after everyone was there, we gathered outside. He explained to them that while they may look like superheroes, they won't officially be superheroes until they undergo superhero training.
First up was Attacking the Villains - each child threw two water balloons at the Villain target.
Second was the Tug of War, to test their Super Strength.
Next was the Obstacle Course, to test their Super Agility. Carl spent most of the night before the party planning and diagramming. This is what happens when you marry an engineer. ;)
And finally, the pinata - a Superman which Carl, Alex and Ryan were all quick to tell me looks NOTHING like Superman when I brought it home. Fine. Next time they can go to East Austin to buy a pinata.
I even found a bunch of Marvel superheroes and Spiderman candy for the pinata at the dollar store. Score!
After the pinata, it was pool time.
They swam and played for about 45 minutes, and then we brought the cupcakes out.
It was a lot of work, but Alex had a blast and truly enjoyed himself. And we all had a "Super" time. :)