Welcome to the party! It was my Sons Birthday party over the weekend. I thought I'd share some of the fun stuff with you all (surprisingly this is not all the details). My Son is in a Batman phase (we've already been through Superman and Spiderman phases!) I had so much fun going with black and yellow for the colors as they are not your usual Birthday colors! The other thing throughout the party was my cute bat shape. I got this from Anjeanette. I made this banner myself. I really love how it turned out! We also were fortunate to have so many of us receive batman shirts and capes from Anjeanette as gifts for Christmas (she didn't even know that was going to be my Son's theme for his party!). So perfect. I asked everyone to wear their batman stuff. We had even many adults with Anjeanette's awesome stenciled batman shirts. It made it all the more fun (and the pictures so cool with all the batman attire).
This was the walkway to my party. I say you always have to have stuff outside, to make sure everyone can easily tell where the party is!
These were the gift bags we gave out. I made the bags myself, as well. I cut out batman shapes on one side and then the #4 on the other side. I also made bat name tags for each bag so the kids could tell their bags apart. We also have kids of all ages in our family so it helps in making gift bags be appropriate for each kid. You can also see my felt bats in this picture. I used Anjeanette's fantastic idea on sewing shapes using felt! It worked brilliantly! I used that technique to make bat shaped bean bags as well as bat shapes that I just stuffed with soft batting (these I gave to the younger kids in place of items they couldn't have).
Also in the gift bags were bat shaped cookies that I made. They aren't chocolate, just colored black! I put them in those cute cellophane bags. These were placed behind the cut out bat shapes on the bags, so that you could see the cookies peeking through the bags.
On the back side of the cookies I closed the bags off with cute bat stickers that I made. I love how this turned out.
Here is how my table was set. So many details and really there were other "tablescapes" set up around the house. Other set ups included pudding in sampler cups that were black and yellow. These were set up on a cupcake stand that had 4 or 5 layers. We also had the gift area and another area with my Sons Batman toys set up.
I made bat shaped rolls. I put them next to a pizza sauce to dip the rolls into. They were a surprising hit.
More fun foods were the oreos that come with yellow filling, and some were taken one step further by being dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with yellow sprinkles (thank you to my best friend for surprising me with those for the party!). We also always have fresh salsa (though I believe it's really more of a pico de gallo then a true salsa) and guacamole. This is a staple at our family parties. The best tasting are the ones that all ingredients except the garlic, are from my own garden! Something is so yummy about homegrown veggies! Though I do get my lemons or limes for it, from my Mom's citrus trees! So fun. My kids will just sit and munch at the bowl full of salsa!
My latest find are these awesome cupcake wrappers. I loved making these for this parties and can't wait to use them in all different fun papers!! Also I prefer cupcakes instead of cakes, so I have had fun over the years with different themed cupcake toppers. These matched so well.
The centerpiece was really fun to have. It is also made from paper and the design was made up by Dad himself (not my Dad, my kids Dad!!)! That batmobile was so cool and my Son really loved it! Look for it in the picture further above-of the whole table. Love it!
I always dangle something from my chandelier above my table. These I actually cut out of fun foam. I was trying to use different textures for the party. I dangled these lower than usual so that they were more on my Son's level.
A fun tip for parties is to have stickers on hand with each guest's names on them, to put on their drinks to keep them straight! Love this idea (came from my best friend, again!). These were extras that I had made up for the cupcake toppers.
Now let's talk games! My family really prefers parties at home. We also prefer old fashioned Birthday games. You know the ones, The Clothes Pin Drop, Duck Duck Goose, etc. When we were little my parents had made a cu-ute bean bag toss game out of a cardboard box. I loved that game! I can still picture it in my mind. These bats were my version of a bean bag game. Growing up our parties were always the ones to go to because my parents always did such fun stuff. I guess that's why we continue doing our parties the same way they did. We always had THE best Treasure Hunts. My Dad would do these. His clues were so well made to our age level. He would split us into 2 teams and they would have names based on what we were into at that time. I remember having My Little Pony named teams one year! You could tell when you were getting older as the clues would allow us to search further and further away from the house, to the point of even driving around town in our cars (obviously after we hit 16!). Those ones he even had us looking for clues at the local mall. So you can see why most of our parties have to also have the Treasure Hunts. Oh, and the prize has to be a large bag of Milky Ways so that there is enough for everyone to end up with some! Maybe this is where my love of Milky Ways comes from?...hmmm... We have added a few new fun things like a small bounce house that we own (nothing like tiring the kids out), a jacuzzi for cooling off in, geo tracks and other train tracks set up for kids who would prefer it to the organized games, etc. I find it's always a good idea to have toys set up in other rooms of the house (my kids bedroom and their playroom) to help ease the overcrowding of the house into one room. It also gives kids rooms to escape to if they are feeling overwhelmed. Other more modern things that we have added to our parties (though not this one) is Wii challenges, dancing to music with a disco light going on (somehow the light makes young teenage boys ok with dancing to music, I guess it's kind of like a mosh pit...). We have many more fun themed games that the all the family are adding to their fun parties. You'll have to wait for posts of these other parties, to find out about those but they include making your own fossils, hunting Dinosaur Eggs, superhero obstacle challenges, etc.
Ok, more games. We love The Package game! It's where you find a cute (small) prize and wrap it with newspaper. Keep wrapping it until it's HUGE! The last layer is wrapped in cartoons so you can tell when you are down to the last layer (it's up to you if you want to cheat and pick who gets the prize...we always do!). It's basically a version of musical chairs. You have all the kids sit in a large circle. Sit adults between the kids if the kids are young and need help. The package gets passed around the circle while the music plays. When the music stops, that child unwraps a layer. Then, the music starts back up and the package continues being passed. When you wrap it you put smaller gifts, stickers, candy, gum in each layer. That way everyone ends up with a lap full of goodies. One tip is to keep a trash bag on hand to scoop up the thrown away paper layers as you go! Once I found out the truth about how every child ended up getting a turn (or 2 or 3-evenly) at unwrapping a layer. I was surprised because the parent that worked the music control had their back to us so that they couldn't cheat. That's when I learned the magic of mirrors. See, we are telling you that our parents are genius'! Or you could go the route of my best friend who puts good gifts in each layer that is specific to each child and has a list of who the present will land on, for each layer! She is far more organized then I will ever be, but it's fun to be a part of her twist on our Package Game!
I know that everyone had a fantastic time. We had way too much food, too many people, too much time...wait a minute, no. There is no "too much" on parties! It was so much fun. I can't believe my Son is getting so old. I love seeing the new things he can do and new experiences that are coming into his life. But I will forever miss the little boy he was! Thank you to everyone who celebrated my little boy with us, for all help that was given to me, and for all readers who have made it this far through this LOOONG post! =)
And of course, don't forget about our give-away for the party banner! Just leave a comment by tomorrow!