Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Star Wars Birthday Party

Charles turned 8 this Monday! We had a friend birthday party the Saturday before with 6 of his friends: 2 from school, one from his church class and three from the neighborhood. Charles wanted a Star Wars cake and since he's really into legos now and has lots of Star Wars legos we tied that theme in as well.

The cake is mostly buttercream minus the 'star wars' logo, the number 8, stars and lego border which are in marshmallow fondant. I just traced the star wars logo off my computer and onto parchment paper (not easy to do with a touch screen computer), cut it out, laid it on a piece of fondant I'd rolled out and used an exacto knife and pizza cutter to cut out the logo.

Since the kids were out of school, Elisabeth offered to help which was so nice! I had her use my number 10 circle tip to cut out a bunch of little dots for the legos from the fondant. The legos took the longest time to make, by far. Cutting legos and placing dots on each lego was a very tedious task. Thanks Liz!

Here is the spread before everyone arrived. Some of the snacks were Star Wars themed and others were just random snacks Charles wanted like Taquitos, strawberries, grapes, chips and Izze drinks. Some of the Star Wars themed food were veggie straw light sabers (we just used the green and red ones),
 Dipped Pretzel Rod light sabers,

and star wars party chex mix (just dipped pretzels in colored candy melts). We let the kids snack whenever, but saved the cake and ice cream for later.

Before the kids arrived I wrote down all the games/activities we had planned for the two hour party. I planned quite a few because I wanted them to be busy, and I'm glad I did because it did just that and they were a big hit! I wanted to have my list of activities out and handy so that Scott and I could glance at it and remember what else we had to do. Seven, 8-year-old boys(or around there) plus my 4 girls could equal a lot of craziness if I was not on top of things and prepared so this helped a lot. We got to do everything except musical chairs.

When the boys first started to arrive we sent them to the kitchen table where they did a little craft. We had out art clay (like sculpey or femo) which they molded into palm sized light sabers (red, green and black for the handles and toothpicks to help keep handle and light together) and then placed them onto a cookie sheet. I had bought 2 green, 2 red and one black pack of clay and the boys and my girls each made two, and we still had lots of clay leftover; almost an entire pack of red and green and half of the black.

I told them once they were done with their clay molds they could grab a Star Wars coloring page or two to color and to be sure to write their name on it. Then we'd turned them into 'X-wing fighters' (actually just regular old paper airplanes) and had a flying contest.

Here they are holding their airplanes. We started flying them upstairs but after one knicked the corner of the cake I decided to have them finish their airplane flying down in the basement where Scott conducted a flying contest :).
Flying airplanes was pretty exciting. Afterward, we came upstairs and played "Master Yoda Says". Scott was Master Yoda standing up there on the staircase :).
They loved this and we did too because they had to be quiet to hear the commands and concentrate. Afterward I told Scott jokingly that we should've played this game a lot longer :). And Scott's comments here and there to the kids were perfect. He'd say things like, "Jedi's in training must be quiet so they can hear and learn to use the force." and when the boys started pretending they had imaginary light sabers in their hands and were pretending to hit each other Scott, I mean Master Yoda calmly said, "Jedi's in training are not yet ready to use the light saber." :) Perfect!

The last thing Yoda said was to sit on the floor cross-legged, in a circle, at which time we handed out Lego Star Wars Bingo cards. I found the Bingo cards free online here in case anyone is interested. We used black beans as our bingo markers instead of something like M&M's. Candy in hands can get very sticky and messy so this was a good alternative.

I had asked Scott before hand to conduct some of the games just because he's a guy and they are guys and I felt like they would like it better. He was happy to do so and it went really well. So here he is, calling out the Bingo Lego Star Wars characters. (BTW, I just cut up two extra star wars bingo cards and put them in a plastic baggie, making sure not to have any doubles, and Scott used those to call out the characters.)

Then we played our family favorite birthday party game. All you need is a medium/large mixing bowl, a large spoon, cotton balls and some sort of blindfold (I used a black scarf). Everyone sits in a circle except for the one in the middle. We blindfold him, dump out a bunch of cottonballs around him and then give him a minute to get as many into the bowl as possible. This game is hilarious and everyone is always laughing so hard because people think they are doing really well and then they look in their bowl after a minute and many times will only have 5 or so. I think our highest number out of 10 people was 15 and that was an oddly high number. When they did well the kids and adults would say things like, "the force is strong with this one" which would make them crack up even more ;), and when they were not doing so well they'd get a " use the force" comment. And many times the kids watching would joke around and say the person in the middle was doing so well, while laughing because really they had only gotten a few.  Fun party game.

Then was cake and ice cream!

And last was presents. We like to play hot potato when doing presents, so we have everyone sit in a circle and then play music (Star Wars for this party) and pass around a soft ball. When the music stops whoever it lands on can present their gift....but we only do this if everyone brought a gift of course; we wouldn't want anyone to feel left out. Charles loved spending a couple of hours with his buddies and getting to do the things he likes to do and eating the foods he likes to eat so overall I'd say it was a great success!
A couple of days later on Charles actual birthday he had a special breakfast which was store-bought vanilla almond crunch cereal from Target, his favorite(I only buy store-bought cereal on very special occasions). After breakfast he and Elisabeth played his new board game Battleship, then he went to dad's work for lunch and ate there with him in the cafeteria(cheeseburger and tatertots and rootbeer) while I took the girls to the mall down the street upon their request so they could find him a present. They finished eating before we were done shopping so Scott took him up to his office and showed him around.
After that we came home and he played with his new legos, they watched a movie called Alaska, and he went sledding with neighbors, Jacob and Wyatt. For dinner I made his favorite, Mr Pings Secret Ingredient Noodle Soup, and as per tradition at birthday dinners, we all went around the table and said something we love or are grateful for about our Charles. After dinner he opened family presents(when they turn 8 they get baptized so we get them a new leather bound quad with their name embossed on the cover;  a quad is a book of scriptures that has the Book of Mormon, New Testament, Old Testament and Pearl of Great Price) and ate leftover cake. 

 Annabelle and Elisabeth got Charles a new pj set and some boy colored rubberbands to make bracelets. All the kids their age are really into those right now.
 And the Millenium Falcon model plane from Granny:
 Jane just wanted a picture of Charles holding her. Sweet girl!
 Charles took this picture of Nora's awesome hair. Scott said her hair made her look like one of the characters from Dr. Seuss's books.

 Happy Birthday to my wonderful, loving, caring, considerate, smart, talented, pianist, sports player! We love you Charles!

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