My middle son loves sports. This kid has always been happiest with a ball in hand (or on foot) and he plays on a variety of teams throughout the year. It really hasn’t been until the last year or two that he has had much of an interest in toys as he is constantly in motion. If trapped indoors, he is playing baseball or football. Kicked outdoors it’s basketball or kickball. His favorite team sport is soccer. He loves to jump rope, swim and run as well. He wakes up in the morning to watch Sports Center and when I make him turn off the TV, he asks to check scores on my phone. He saves his weekend TV time for games and rattles of scores and stats like no eight year old should. Not surprisingly, nearly all of his birthday parties have been sports themed.
So this year, I was in a bit of a quandary when he announced that he wanted to have an Angry Birds themed party. I wasn’t quite sure how we were going to pull this off, but thanks to a little bit of ‘net searching, we put together a pretty fun party. I love all of you who think that I need to market this party. You know how to flatter a mama. But really, like most of my parties, it’s all about the research.
I have to admit, this party ended up to be a comedy of errors.
The wheels for this party were set in motion way back in July. My kids are constantly planning parties but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to pull this party together until I saw the sets at our church VBS. Our church did the Pandamonium curriculum and part of the set was the Great Wall of China. See where I’m going? Yep. I snagged those boxes and got work researching a life-size Angry Bird game. Of course, someone already had this idea and so I was able to move pretty quickly. I even found the balls I needed to make the birds at our local Fred Meyer on sale for 75 cents a ball. I snagged a dozen and thought I was in most excellent shape. The next week, Michaels had acrylic paint on sale for 29 cents a bottle. The patterns I was planning to use called for just a bit of paint and so I only needed 3-4 bottles with plenty left over. Heck, it wasn’t even August yet and look how far ahead I was! And look at how inexpensive this party was turning out to be!
Like usual, we did an evite. I have to admit, my daughter recently received a themed paper invitation to a party and it really set the mood and got her excited. But, I’m just not that organized. Even though I sent the evite out a good month ahead of the party.
(Do you sense a theme here?)
Fast forward about three weeks. Things are still going well. My husband was on task to build a slingshot. My kiddo wanted root beer floats. Feeling rather inspired, I talked him into doing these cake balls too. Since we were butting up against dinner time, we decided to serve pizza and fruit too.
We are now about two weeks prior to the party. I decide to to a test bird ball. I used these templates and things tested out fine. I reminded my husband about the slingshot. He got to work. The first thing you should know about my husband is that he is an engineer. Apparently he missed the part of the conversation when I directed him to the link above about how to make a slingshot. So, being the nice wife that I am, I explained it to him and he kindly pointed out all of the flaws in my grand plans. He and I, we are a good team. I come up with crazy ideas and he figures out how to execute them. Sometimes he gets too engineer-y and I have to bring him back down to earth. This was one of those times. I think he forgot that we were just talking about a bunch of 7 and 8-year-old boys here. No state or national code to uphold at this party. But he got to work. I’ll show you pictures of what he created in a little bit.
Then things started falling apart. I thought I had a whole week to get ready. Three of those days would be sans kids.
But then, it happened. Again.
Our family has a knack for visiting the ER on birthdays. It’s always been for something minor, but it still takes time. This year, it was my turn. On my son’s actual birthday day, my dog decided to snag a rib bone and shattered it. I stupidly tried to fish the shards of bone from her mouth. Just a couple of stitches but a reasonably open wound and loss of motion definitely made for a more challenging week.
The bird balls got done. They turned out really well and were super easy.
I traced the templates onto the balls using a non-permanent marker. We had some primer left over from a house project so I used that to put a base coat on the ball. The primer was oil based but I don’t think that matters. Once that was dry, I painted the details with my acrylics and then used a paint marker to outline the face. Finally, I sprayed the face with a matte finish spray so that the paint wouldn’t chip off. We let each of the boys take one of the balls home as their party favor.
The slingshot got done too. My husband completely blew my party budget but guess what? This is probably the strongest, most industrial slingshot you’ve ever seen. It’ll end up in my backyard and I suspect it’ll get loads of use.
Here’s what my husband did. He purchased steel pipe pieces and their connectors and they all twist together. There is another piece at the base that connects pipes into 2×6 boards that he screwed together and into a sheet of plywood. For those of you less techy people like me, the sheet of plywood actually stabilizes the whole contraption so that it doesn’t tip over. That being said, we still had a grown up sit on the beam as the kids were able to pull the slingshot off the ground when they were launching their birds. Anyhow, he also taped the pipes with brown electrical tape and then spray painted the wood to give it a more authentic look. The “pouch” is made of burlap, doubled for extra strength. I taped the edges with a double layer of duct tape and then my husband punched holes in the corner to tied the medical tubing that served as the bands to attach the pouch to the “sticks.”
The cake balls did not get done. I tried, but they fell apart the night before party when I tried dipping the balls into the chocolate. I made rice krispy treats instead.
The night before the party, I also forgot to buy spoons for ice cream floats, ICE CREAM for ice cream floats and lord knows what else. I was not in good shape that night.
But, it didn’t matter. The party was crazy fun. We started with several games.
In this first game, we simply let the kids get used to the slingshot. If they hit the pig ball, they got to get back into line. If not, they had to go to “jail.” The next kid to hit the pig got everyone out of jail. The game was over when everyone was in jail, but I’m not sure that that happened. This game was a good game to start with because not only did the kids get some practice, it allowed us to get the slingshot set at the right distance for them to be able to actually knock the piggies over! I think they played this for half an hour, no kidding.
In the second game, we divided the kids into two teams: Pigs and Birds. The Pigs got about five minutes to build the best wall that they could (protecting the King Pig, of course) while the Birds ran themselves silly. Once the Pigs declared themselves ready, the Birds lined back up to try to knock that wall over. The wind blew in and made things quite challenging for the first team of Birds, but they all had a great time. We switched sides and started over…I think this game lasted 30 minutes too.
Like I said, I was able to snag the boxes from my church, but the concept was pretty simple (not to discredit the people who spent hours on all of these boxes). They were made of old packing boxes and spray painted with grey and black paint. They also used a textured paint which made them quite realistic. The boulders are made of paper grocery bags that were stuffed with newspaper and painted to match the boxes.
After games, we opened gifts and then had pizza and fruit. The kids ran around a played keep away while everyone finished up.
Our last game was supposed to be “Capture the Golden Egg” (aka, Capture the Flag) but due to a miscommunication between my son, husband and I, that didn’t happen. The kids elected to play kickball instead.
As our final schabang, we called the kids over for rootbeer floats and rice krispy treats. There isn’t much Angry Bird stuff out there, so I just used a plain black tablecloth and red plates and cups.
For their party favors, each of the kids took home a bird ball and a “golden egg.” Since I couldn’t find golden eggs, I wrapped a cup full of candy in shiny gold paper tied with gold ribbon.
Despite the mishaps along the way, the kids had a great time and that is all that matters!
Now, my husband’s birthday was this past weekend and my youngest decided that he too needed an Angry Bird birthday party. So my husband ended up with this birthday cake:
The cake was made by my five year old, just a simple cake mix and frosted with the leftover frosting from my cake ball disaster. We made the eyes out of full size Oreos and the eye ball is made from a mini oreo. My five year old was very proud to point out that he adhered the eyeball with a bit of red frosting so that it wouldn’t slide off 🙂 The fuse is made from a Cow Tail, which is a an inexpensive candy that was as gross as it sounds. I ran a skewer through the middle so that it’d be more stable in the cake.
And my son decorated the house with these birds. I am so irritated that I forgot to bring these out for the kid party. I made several of these last winter using this pattern. Pretty cool, eh?
I made a bunch of these stuffed Angry Birds back around Christmas and my boys enjoy throwing them at
each other things.
Another simple rendition of the original party. And now my five year old wants to throw it for his birthday. Indoors. Little boys + slingshot in my house? I dunno honey.