Saturday, August 24, 2013

Super Mario Bros. Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Yellow's 8th birthday.  Yellow chose a Super Mario Bros. theme.  We did an online search to find a picture to use as the background for her invitation, and then we found a free font in the Super Mario Bros. style to add the party details.

I pinned several ideas here, but for the most part, Yellow and I came up with our own activities for the party.

Our guests were greeted by a "Welcome" sign on the door, which Yellow made after being inspired by the sticker that she received her with party shirt featuring her beloved Yoshi character.

I often will buy a special birthday party shirt for the birthday child, and this one fits Yellow's bright personality.

The first thing our guest did on arriving was to place their presents on the present table.

We were pretty low-key with the decorations.  There are some great handmade backdrop ideas out there (and here where I pinned a few), but due to a time/energy crunch, I opted for store-bought in the form of these wall decals   Note: The light, or lack thereof, washes out the colors in this photo, but I assure you the colors are bold and bright.

The best part was handing these over to Yellow and watching her arrange and rearrange, and rearrange, and rearrange the characters on the wall.

We next asked our guests to sign Yellow's birthday book, a tradition we started a couple years ago.

Yellow used some of the wall decals to decorate this space, too.  For the book-signing sign, we again used the free font in the Super Mario Bros. style.  And again for the party plan (I print and post this more for my benefit than for our guests).

First on the agenda is pizza.  The table was set with a blue dollar store tablecloth (best party accessory!), red plastic plates I bought on clearance from Target long ago, white napkins and clear cutlery.  For decoration I spread out gold coins .

We started our party at noon, and fed our guests as they arrived.  Once the guests had their fill, they could take a turn playing a Mario Bros. game on the Wii.  Yellow chose to play Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which was nice because we could have four players at a time, and it was a game that most of the kids hadn't played much, so the playing field was fairly level.

The pizza/Wii tournament set up worked well, as some guests eat quicker and/or more than others, and we also had some latecomers who "caught up" to the party quickly.

While the kids were busy with Wii, I snuck out to our front yard and hid the Yoshi eggs.  I had boiled the eggs the night before, and then used permanent marker to color the green spots.

I used my best Easter egg-hiding skills to stash each egg.  And in true Easter egg tradition, there is still one egg out there, waiting to be found.  Our winner, who found four eggs out of thirteen, took home a box of Mario fruit snacks (we also included fruit snacks in everyone's goody bag).

After the egg hunt we returned inside for the Reverse Coin Box.  Usually Mario will punch a coin box to pop out and claim a coin.  However, for our game, we tossed gold coins into a box (diaper box) wrapped in red wrapping paper, with a brick pattern drawn on it.  BTW, you can see the birthday banner that I happened to spot in Target the night before the party - I had looked online previously but never found anything I liked.  This one looks made for Mario.

The prize (a box of Mario Fruit Snacks again) was awarded to the kid who tossed the most coins out of ten into the box.  The birthday girl didn't win, so consoled herself by opening her presents.

Next was cake.

We had almost forgotten to order the cake.  We traditionally use the same local grocery store bakery.  We went in the afternoon before the party, handed over a bunch of Mario figures , and asked them for a white buttercream frosted cake, with yellow trim.  They did so much better than we imagined!

When the party drew to a close and it was "GAME OVER" we sent our players home with a bag filled with colored markers and treats.

We Can Pray As a Family

Prayer Arm Puppets

Materials Used:
For our Active Faith to accompany this LDS Primary lesson, We Can Pray As a Family, as taught to 3 year olds, were inspired by, of all things, a monkey praying.  Okay, it was a craft that I found in an online search here.  I exchanged the monkey for a couple different styles of male and female heads, to represent a mother, father, sister, brother.  Before class I assembled the arms onto the sticks, and cut out the faces.  During class I asked the children to color their "family" of faces, and then taped the finished faces to the sticks.

As a bonus, our treat that day was pretzels, and I pointed out that pretzels look like folded arms.