Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mario Brothers Birthday Party

A couple of weeks ago we held my son Samuel’s 5th birthday parties:  one for the family and one for his friends.  I had been toying with what theme to choose this year since Samuel doesn’t really have one single thing he loves anymore.  He loves playing Mario Kart on the DS and Mario Sluggers on the Wii so I thought a Mario themed party would be a fun time for him, his friends and all the grown ups reminiscing the old days.
So as I always do, I started with just simply research online - there are so many resources out there!  I had so much information that I lost track of where I took ideas!  They definitely inspired me and made the party planning process a joy!  Yes, you heard me right...it was F-U-N planning for this one.  Not only were the projects fun but I recruited the kids to help me out and in the process I found the tasks extremely relaxing.  Perhaps the fact that it cost almost nothing to prepare this helped with the relaxing part as well.
Here are some of the things we did:

Invitations:  I simply googled Mario Brothers and found a jpg file that was nice and encapsulated the theme well.  I then used pages (I use a mac) and created just simple cards.  Very easy!


Balloons:  I got white balloons to make Boo.  Super easy.  Get a marker and just draw the face!

Cake/Dessert Table:  Super easy - just got a light blue table cloth from the dollar store and placed all the Mario themed goodies on top (See below) - I found Mario Gummies, Chocolate Coins and Candies in regular stores.  I also made labels for the water bottles :)

 Cookie Favours:  Sugar cookies by Sandy’s Sweets again.  Made them in the shape of stars and trophies.

Cakes:  Of course, Sandy’s Sweets had to make cakes!  Because we had 2 parties, I made 2 small cakes this time.  Nothing big because I didn’t want any leftovers!  Samuel asked for a banana cake but I thought perhaps most people would not appreciate a banana cake so we compromised and made a chocolate banana cake with chocolate chips in it - it was delish!!!

 Yoshi Loot Bags:  found this online.  Basically found green paper bags at Michael’s, used my 40% off coupon (note: never go into this store without a coupon!) and the rest of the stuff was readily available in ANY household that has kids!  Just made templates for Yoshi’s big eyes, big nose and a tongue and cut them to size using the kids construction paper.  They were adorable!  The kids filled them with prizes as they played games

Mario Wall:  This was the big project.  First I collected empty Kleenex boxes a few weeks ahead and then used the kids washable paint.  In hindsight I would have invested in a brown acrylic paint because the kids paint was all primary colours.  I had to mix them...and it took several coats because they were not thick enough.  Anyways, after they dried, I used black paint to draw the lines to make them look like the bricks on the Super Mario Bros. games.  I also printed Mario and Luigi, and Princess Peach...and other characters.  I also pasted some of the chocolate coins I bought on top of some of the bricks.  Finally, I went to the local hardware store and bought plastic pipes and plastic spray paint (green) - I just wanted to play with that (I originally wanted to use them as the ‘vase’ to place cake pops on the dessert table) and they turned out awesome.  However, I can see it being way easier to just use construction paper and cutting them into shape.  The kids had a blast helping me cut, glue and decorate the wall. 

 Things to wear:

Mustaches:  I made these but the kids never used them as I first intended.  They were supposed to be lollipop mustaches.  That is, as they suck on the lollipops, the mustache would show...instead, the kids just took the cutout mustaches (construction paper) and just used tape to glue them for pictures.  Whatever works, right!?

Mushroom Pouches:  these were so cute and easy to make!!! Just make templates and buy felt.  Cut to shape, use the glue gun to glue in place and use a ribbon.  The kids placed their gold coins in these pouches
Mario and Luigi Hats: I wanted to find baseball caps but couldn’t find anything anywhere.   There were lots of sites that taught how to make a Mario hat but I wanted something easy - and they all looked pretty complicated to me.  So in the end I made visors.  I bought red and green foam and cut a template.  Bought some elastic from the dollar store....voila!  Super super easy.
Games:  we played 3 games though I had so many more in my mind!  I should note here that I never made any of the games a win-lose game.  Everyone was a winner -- that just put pressure off the kids and just helped them focus on good-old-fun.

Pin Mario’s Mo:  I drew a picture of Mario without his mustache on a large piece of paper I had (the kids have rolls I bought from Ikea).  Then I found a watercolour paint set Samuel had gotten from his best friends’ loot bag several months ago and just started colouring it with Samuel!!! it was such a good bonding time!  I then used construction paper and cut out noses and mustaches for the kids to try to place blindfolded.

Yoshi Egg Hunt:  I went to my basement to find Easter supplies - I didn’t find any plastic Easter eggs that were white so I had to settle with green.  The kids made sure I knew I had ‘made a mistake’ because Yoshi’s eggs are NOT white (LOL).  Anyways, they basically lined up and took turns to walk with Yoshi’s eggs on a spoon.  At the end, they were challenged to jump up (like the game) and punch a brick.  Of course, everyone’s egg fell but no one really cared!  They were just having fun

Yoshi Tongue:  I took 6 plastic cups and taped Mario characters I had printed off onto each one.  Then I built a pyramid with it and instructed the kids to use the blowers each one had as Yoshi’s tongue. They had to try to blow the pyramid down.

All in all, this was an awesome party (I hope the kids feel the same!) - oh, and I forgot to mention...of course...we had pizza for dinner!!! :)  What else!!!


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