>> Monday, February 28, 2011
This is my son - Jack. He is a total space nut! I originally posted this story on my personal blog, but I thought it was about time I shared it over here... This is what I had to say:
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Seeing as how I am the s-l-o-w-e-s-t blogger on the planet, it's looking like time I put up some information about the Space Party we had for my 5 year old a few weeks back.
Let me back up.... for Christmas this last year, "Santa" gave my son an astronaut suit, complete with helmet. He is a bit obsessed with "Star Wers, Dark Vader and Life Savors" (his words, not mine), so I thought we could broaden his horizons a bit and get him imagining space as a whole rather than just "Luke the Sky Walker".
What with the Paper & Cake printable partyware team being, well, ME, I made the executive decision to design a Space Printable Birthday Party collection. I figured if my son was into it, there was a good chance he was not alone.
So, here is the invite - and the beauty of it is that it's available in our store, so all you have to do is type your own info into it using Acrobat Reader, a free download from adobe.com. Easy, right?
I could not WAIT to share this part of the decorations with you all. Because it is budget central over here at the Barnes house (our family is on a mission to save save save wherever possible) I was really excited to have the opportunity to use a giant plastic bin full of Space related paraphernalia that my dad gave me from his days working at JPL. Pins, buttons, maps, photos, illustrations, you name it - the perfect bunch of stuff to choose from!
So, using two frames I had in the closet, I removed the glass and covered the cardboard filler with silver sparkly scrapbooking paper. The pins and buttons are just stuck in to the backing - no tape or glue needed. Two sets of 3M removable picture hangers did the trick to hang them above the table near the front door.
Next, I put together photo collages using brightly colored photographs of Saturn, various moons, and mars, to hang above the fireplaces. These were held together with Fotoclips (tiny plastic fasteners), and secured to the wall using some blue painters tape.
For some added interest, I placed this "Mars" book (from the plastic bin) and several space themed library books on tables around the house.
In addition, you can bet that I used pennant banners, lawn dots and garlands GALORE from our Space Printable Birthday Party collection. They are SO easy - just print on cardstock on your home color printer, and cut. For the lawn dots, I added wooden skewers to the back to stick them into the lawn along the front walkway.
garland - use 1", 2" and 3" punches and hang with silver ribbon
lawn dots can be assembled using kitchen skewers and hot glue
Usually I offer a craft project or two at the kids parties, but this time - and knowing the guest list, I put up activity tables instead. I ordered some small astronaut action figures from amazon and paired them with home made play dough. Neon food coloring is the secret to this popular activity.
Another inexpensive project for the kids to work on is legos - especially when you use the ones you already own. Just set them out in buckets on a big table, and that's it.
We were also fortunate that my husband was able to finish building the play structure in the backyard (the morning of the party!) just in time! I Wrapped it with 7 dollars worth of silver organza, and attached a few "control panels" with buttons and knobs on loan from some friends at his office.
And now, for the piéce de résistance... the moment you have all been waiting for....
the hover craft!
I'm not kidding. One of my husband's friends made a hover craft. Well, it's kind of more like a hover board because only one person can ride at a time, but still. The kids went CRAZY for it. Well here, let me show you:
Jack and his friends enjoyed themselves so much, that even Jack's preschool teacher had to try it out!
One word for you.... Cupcakes. When you have this much party planning to do, why not make it easy on yourself, for once! Here is my secret, please don't tell anyone! Use box-of-cake-mix (any kind will do) but make your own frosting. A nice vanilla cream cheese buttercream will do nicely, and make the cupcakes taste as though they are from scratch as well.
Now, because I was feeling a little guilty for not making a whole cake (have you seen my cakes? they can be a tad bit on the labor intensive side), I planned a really cool cupcake stand instead. I took two kraft paper "hat" boxes ($3.25 ea from the Fabric Barn), and one round cake board, and covered them in the same matching gray sparkly scrapbooking paper I've been using for other party items. I also took a little bit of the ribbon from the hanging garlands, and wrapped that around and around.
Leaving the silver foil baking cups on the cupcake, I frosted, added a matching cupcake pick, and set them around the hat boxes. The cupcake picks from this Space Printable Birthday set could not be easier! Print on cardstock and use a 2" punch (or scissors) to cut out, then tape or glue to a toothpick - that's it!
Did I mention the budget? So, how do you give party favors to 20 kids without spending a fortune? With a Space themed CD of course! I burned several CDs (one per family) with these great songs:
Star Wars Theme
Swinging on a Star, Bing Crosby
Fly Me to the Moon, Ralph's World
I Don't Want to Live on the Moon, Ernie from Sesame Street
Roger's Intergalactic Tour, Seth Decker & the Missing Piece
Moon Moon Moon, Laurie Berkner
The Ballad of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space), They Might Be Giants
Let's Take a Rocketship to Space, Danny and the Jaytones
The Imperial March (Star Wars)
We're Going to Mars, the Backyardigans
Rocketship Run, Laurie Berkner
When you Wish upon a Star, Cliff Edwards
2001: A Space Odyssey Theme
Avery has a label you can run through your ink jet printer and stick right on the front of your CD. Of course the label is also available on the Space Printable Birthday Party, wink wink. Package it in a silver CD bubble wrapper from here, and there you have it for about $2 per favor.
Food is not my favorite party item to plan/prepare/shop for, so I usually make a VERY simple spread. Stars and moon shaped sandwiches, giant platters of fruit, chips and salsa, Lemonade, Ice Tea and a super creative Cereal Bar.
ultra cool chip and dip belonged to my grandmother - so space age!
use any kind of cereal, and serve dry in a cup or paper cone
Okay, let me just say that the party was WAY easier and shorter for that matter than this blog post. I'll wrap up my 17 volume tome by saying, "I love a good party!". I really really love throwing a good party, especially one that is home made and on a budget.
Jack had a SPECTACULAR time at the party, in fact, we haven't even taken down the decorations yet (it's only been a month), and we listen to his space music EVERY day. Every. Day. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you have your own Space themed party to share.