Archive for the 'Kid Parties' Category

My Brush With Celebrity: Little Red Monster

The last post had me thinking about our Elmo party and I just wanted to revisit what a worthwhile adventure renting a costume was. I had found this place online (I wish I remembered which one exactly) for $150, they rented you a “Little Red Monster” costume, a music cd and a small gift for the Birthday child (it was a plastic Elmo mug). The costume arrived in a big box the Thursday before the party.

Yours truly had the honor of being an Elmo. We had made several trips to Sesame Place before this Birthday and we knew that our little one loved seeing the characters in person. She was absolutley amazed to see Elmo walk out into the backyard. I had purchased one of those oversized crayon banks to give to her from Elmo. Elmo-afficiandos out there know Elmo loves to doodle.

We had so much fun with it that we even had Elmo visit again Sunday night before we had to ship him back on Monday. Now, you may think $150 is a bit steep. But, this would be a great present for family members to give or go in for. Toys come and go, but Staffer #1 is now on her way to 8 and still talks about how Elmo came to her party.

Important note: Not all kids love these big characters. One of the attendees at the party was very disturbed by Elmo’s presence. Later, I had to tell her it was me. She looked at me aghast and said, “Why would you do that?”

Party Blowers Part 4 (Pooper Barrio Mothers)

Yes, we did Elephant Party Blowers. And then Frog Party Blowers. And even Snake Party Blowers. And this Party Blower thing just keeps on giving — I give you the Party Blower that resembles the turtle/dragon thing in the popular video game that sounds very similar to Pooper Barrio Mothers.

Why am I being so cryptic? Well, I don’t want to step on any toes. I don’t need a multi-billion dollar company squashing me like a bug. (I mean I did have 10 views yesterday).

Staffer #1 loved Sesame Street when she was a little. We had a Elmo party for her — including renting a costume online.  This would be the “Little Red Monster” costume — so, I too, will play it safe.

But, I digress (as I often do), the Pooper Bario Mothers Turtle/Dragon Party Blower was a huge success. It gave 9 six-year-olds a break from tearing my house apart at a recent party. They were able to color it in any way they wanted and then assemble the blower (noiseless, of course).

There’s your covert party blower idea. I feel like a radical today — flying low under the radar (very low, because no one reads this blog). Got any sneaky Party Blower ideas send them in code….The Truth is Out There.

Bingo with a Twist (or a stick)

Where to begin on this one…Well, how about a Valentine’s Day party at school and yours truly is the party helper in charge of games.  Need a little, somum, somun  for 22 1st graders. 

I checked out Kaboose.com and found this Valentine Bingo idea:  http://holidays.kaboose.com/val-party.html  I liked the idea of using the names of the classmates as the items to be called.  They suggested using a blank card with boxes and have the kids fill in their names.  But,  I thought that may be a little challenging for 22 1st graders — so we made name stickers.

Name stickers? Intrigued well, a year and half ago I bought mailing address labels at my local warehouse club — 6000 to be exact.  I have been justifing this purchase ever since.  Using these mailing address label sheets on my computer, I’m able to fit 2 names per label.  Nine label sheets later, I cut them into strips with my paper cutter and wah-lah — 22 name stickers for each of the 22 kids.

I made a blank card of 5 by 5 boxes a total of 25 squares. Now there are only 22 students so I filled in three random spaces on the cards with a free space, a tiger because it happened to be Chinese New Year as well and the Chinese symbol for “Love”. (Yes, it was a Valentine’s/Chinese New Year Party).  I gave each student a blank card with their name on it, 22 name stickers and conversation heart candies to use as markers.  I then had them pass their cards around and fill in other’s Bingo Cards with their name stickers.

This proved a bit chaotic.  I would definitely not do this part again.  I think it would have been easier (saner) to give each students name stickers for all their classmates and just fill in their own card.  That aside, the kids loved hearing there names called out.  We gave a heart-shaped lollipop when someone got bingo and then continued till all the cards were filled — so everyone got their name called. As always everybody wins a PartyMOMster game.

OK, that’s it and regarding my promise of shorter and more frequent posts — I have done neither. So, with “progress not perfection”, I press on still a little wordy and tardy.

New Party MOMster lite/Here’s a favor…

As you may have figured out, I took a little break from blogging.

In my absence, I realized there were things I did enjoy. Writing and creating — the staff and I had a great time making things for the blog. So, we are getting back to basics. Short and sweet — I’m striving to keep posts under 250 words and keep ’em coming.

So with that in mind, we have had four birthday parties since I’ve last plugged in and here are my top five goodie bag picks:

  1. Stickers: These are easy to tie into your theme and all kids love stickers.  They offer them at the Doctor’s after shots — don’t underestimate the power of the sticker
  2. Glow sticks: an unexpected treat, gender neutral — there is something otherworldly about them (very trippy)
  3. Mini oreo snack bags: Oreos get the OK from our peanut free list from school  I haven’t met a kid that doesn’t love Oreos. Nice size — good bang for the buck.
  4. Bracelet/Sweat Band: My daughter is in the Crazy Band phase (It’s like smelly sticker and garbage pail kid cards, anyone with me?) We gave out these sweatband I got at Target a few weeks ago and I saw one of my son’s classmates wearing his for the third day in a row today.
  5. Balloon Punch Bags: It’s old school, but fun.  Maybe a little annoying for others at home. Hey, it’s not a whistle — I would not do that to anyone.

 Do me a favor and give your picks!

LPM is Back and it’s Beachy!


I know you are all waiting for this week’s Let’s Party Monday’s (a.k.a LPM) party theme — uh, waiting two weeks in fact. Last week, the staff and I were at an off-site meeting at the seashore doing some intensive team building and sandcastle making. We are back — well-rested, inspired and ready to present to you…

A BEACH PARTY

Decorations

Get ready to get your MacGyver on (and join me as I unpack the mini-van after vacation). Take everything you take with you to the beach and throw it all over the place: beach towels, shovels, beach chairs, plastic buckets, sandcastle forms, and inflatable whatever. What about stringing a clothes line and hanging swimsuits? (Maybe not my big granny-suit, but the staffer’s suits are fun and colorful)

You may be thinking — ugh, that sounds like a big mess. Well, check out this classy pic from the May issue of House Beautiful where they put those Beach towels to work as a great (and absorbent) tablecloth.

You can also purchase shells at a craft store to sprinkle around. And depending on how brave you are, get a little sand from the craft store or playsand at the hardware store.

In college, I went to a party at a Frat House with beach volleyball on the third floor – that’s right a couple of inches of sand covering the entire third floor. Those boys knew how to throw a party. I don’t know how they cleaned it up, but those aren’t the concerns of a college party-goer.

A more practical solution would be spreading the sand in a couple cookie sheets with some shells to create a zen garden/mini-seascape for the table. (That seems so lame compared to full scale beach volleyball indoors. Is a Frat House really the standard I’m striving for? I’m really struggling with this one.)

Activity

This activity came to me as I was preparing for our trip to the seashore and saw two days with rain clouds assigned to them. I ended up not having to break out the crafts (YEAH!), but it was great to do post va-ca and perfect for this week’s theme.

Take a frame cut out of cardboard and paint one side with Mod Podge.(You could probably use white glue, I’m just digging Mod Podge lately.) Then take the sticky side and drag it though some sand – maybe take advantage of your mini-seascape decoration. Then have party guests arrange shells on the now sandy frame. While they take part in another activity, hot glue the shells to the frame.

The weight of the shells and the amount of white glue necessary to hold them will take forever to dry. Hot glue will ensure your guest can take their handiwork home, instead of standing by your door weeping with gooey shells lying on the floor before them. (Trust me on this.)

Game

Leaving the beach is always a feat of endurance and now it’s a party game! Create a “Packing It Up” obstacle course by spreading out all types of beach gear: blankets, sand toys, beach ball, hat, sunglasses, boogie board. The contestant has to collect and carry all the gear across the finish line. Think John Candy in Summer Rental.

At the finish line, you can take a picture and if you have the A-team of party helpers, that picture can then be printed and put into the beachy frame created earlier. I love it when a plan comes together!

There you have it a Beach party to squeeze in before the end of the summer, but could also be a real stunner in the winter – so unexpected!

I’d love to sea your beachy ideas in the comments – they’re great I’m shore!

(That last line was desperate, but did you get my A-team reference and quote? Anyone? Come on that was gold, baby! Someone is fresh from vacation.)

Let’s Party Mondays: Start Your Engines, A Car Party!

Well, I was strolling the web and checking out Blogs last week and I hit the jackpot. How? I found inspiration for Let’s Party Mondays (I gotta tell ya, I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it another week. It seems to have the staying power of my last diet.) And I also found a kindred spirit – someone that loves kid parties too!

So, thank you Momma’s Gone Over the Wall your “Things That Go” Party has inspired today’s theme: Cars

Food

I think what I love most about Momma’s “Things That Go” Party is the food. Yeah sure,they had great cakes. But, extending the vehicle theme to the crudités (I could say cut-up vegetables, but I’m feeling fancy) and fruit – GENIUS! I would also like to point out the cookies offered. They are brilliant in their simplicity — Traffic Light Cookies with a red, yellow and green M&M. I am so pumped (and on my second cup of coffee) I’m going to hit you with a quick Haiku:

Things That Go Party
Garden bounty put on wheels
Cookies stop traffic

Brava Momma’s Gone Over the Wall!

Games

Momma’s party reminded of a Cars party we attended at our sister offices in eastern Pennsylvania. They created the “Tow Mater” game. They had paper cut outs of the different characters from the movie Cars with paper clips around the edges. Using a stick with a magnet hanging from it, guests “towed” cars out of the pile up. If only tow trucks were so popular in real life!

And because I can’t get my mind off those Traffic Light Cookies, there is the classic game, Red Light/Green Light. It is expertly detailed at Games Kids Play. They also have several rhymes that can be used in selecting who is “It” on the site. I have heard the staff chanting “Eenie Meenie” lately (another gift from camp) and they always seem accepting of the results – some sort of kid code.

Another activity that might be fun is a car race. My XY chromosome staffer is lousy with matchbox cars. As a group, it may be fun to determine the fastest with a ramp. So each guest takes turns grabbing a car and racing it against others. You keep going till you get it to the top few. Then to up the drama you might pull out a special car to compete – kind of like a “shill” or bad guy in Professional Wrestling (that is Sports Entertainment) – “El Diablo, the hot shot”. Get the kids all worked up to see if the cars they have raced can beat “El Diablo”. We are working on our track — we will keep you updated.

Books (Why books? Click here to find out and you can witness yet another Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Metaphor)

Of course any Disney Cars book would be a strong choice, but some other fun options would be:

  • Cars, Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scary
  • If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
  • Wheels On The Race Car by Alex Zane & James Warhola

Have some more Car ideas? Park them in the comments. And if you have a great idea for Let’s Party Mondays, cruise over to my email. (Enough car puns, I’m driving myself crazy – ugh, now I’m car sick – jeeze, it’s like I have no brakes — honk, if you’re done – Beep! Beep!)

Camp Continues: The Tracking Game

Now, the much anticipated Tracking Game for the Let’s Party Mondays, Camp theme .

The staff has always had a love of animals and the outdoors. We are members of the local zoo and have made frequent trips to our nearby arboretum. These two favorite haunts inspired the Tracking Game – I feel like someone got chocolate in my peanut butter and I came up the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of Camp party games. (Whoa, someone is a little full of themselves today).

Anywhoo, we received a small laminated tracking card of animals of the Northeast when we joined our local zoo. It has squirrels, deer, rabbits, etc. The staff loves to try to find muddy tracks along the wood line behind the house. (Let’s say that’s the “Peanut Butter”.) On our last trip to the arboretum, they handed out a sheet of paper with six boxes on it and a crayon. As you walked the trail, there were these informational signs and below the sign there was a rubbing plate with leaves one it. At each sign, you would rub the corresponding plate. At the end, all the boxes were filled in with cool leaf designs. (That would be the “Chocolate”.) So, I thought why not have rubbing plates with animal tracks and have the kids discover them as they search the backyard. (And there you have the “Peanut Butter Cup”.)

Using my tracking card as a guide, I created these rubbing plates which the staff helped me decorate. I tried two methods: 1) piling on glue as paint (which takes a while to dry) 2) cutting out paper and gluing (takes a while to cut out and doesn’t have as great of a raised effect). And if you don’t want your dishes and laundry to pile up while you are monkeying around with animal tracks, I found a great third option: buy them . They look great and you can have more of them – I could only squeeze out five on my own. I would still attach them to cardboard and decorate the board — it looks cool and the staff had fun decorating. I included a clue because some of the tracks look similar.

To play, scatter and hide the plates all over you backyard. Then give each participant a sheet (newsprint works the best because it is really thin and the rubbings show up very easily) with a space assigned for each animal. Here’s one way…

When they fill in their sheet, they can earn a prize or maybe a badge declaring they are a solid tracker. Okay, there you have it the Tracking Game – I’m open to a better name the “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of Camp Party Games” is a little wordy.

Gotta go, I have this overwhelming desire for candy.


Party Tableau from My Talented Staffers

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