March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
Those who know me well know that I really enjoy planning my children’s birthday parties. It started when my eldest two turned three (Princess party and Spiderman party respectively) and has continued through the years with Barbie’s Three Musketeers, Super Mario, Care Bears, Pokemon, Puffles, Pirate party and most recently, an Angry Birds theme.
Now Angry Birds hasn’t been around as long as some of those other characters, so I had to get resourceful with most of the planning. I didn’t mind – that’s my typical MO anyway as it is so much more fun (and a nice challenge for this stay-at-home-mom).
I always begin my party planning with a quick perusal of the merchandise (and available coupons) at www.birthdayexpress.com. With a little luck you can find table decorations for almost any character or theme. In this case, they did have an Angry Birds package, but unfortunately the only licensed Angry Birds items were the plates, cups and napkins (the usual balloons, table cloth, mylar and centrepiece were in the right colours but were nothing more than what I could get at Dollarama for much cheaper). So I ordered the basic package, supplemented with a few items from Party Packagers, and went to work creating my own Angry Birds flavour for the party.
Googling Angry Birds Birthday party themes brought me to www.ThePartyAnimal-blog.org at which I discovered (in my opinion) the best feature of the party! They had created an Angry Birds template of faces to cut out and tape onto appropriately coloured balloons to make the characters from Angry Birds! They looked amazing. I also used them on the loot bags – see below.
Even though my son was turning nine and thus a little old for the stereotypical “pin the tail on the donkey” game, it is now tradition in our home that we have that game in the theme of the party (pin the sword on the musketeer, pin the hat on Mario, pin the patch on the pirate and so on….). Envisioning the green bristol board I had seen previously at Dollarama, I opted for pin the nose on the King Pig!
Scavenger hunts are always fun and a necessity for a young boys party (if you want to save your hearing and sanity) as it gets them all running around outside. Given the Easter season, there were loads of “egg” options available, so I picked up six fist sized golden eggs and labeled them with each of the boys names. They were hidden in various places outside for the boys to find (had to find their own egg, and keep it a secret if they found someone else’s!). Once found, they were placed into their loot bags to take home later.
Next up was Angry Birds Bingo! This one took a little more effort as I needed to make them myself (I have attached them below to save other Mom’s the time it took to put them together – pay it forward!). I scoured the internet looking for enough pictures to fill a bingo card (thank goodness for Angry Birds Seasons edition!) I printed them out, laminated them and (back to Dollarama) used circle stickers for the kids to mark them.
Finally, in true Angry Birds fashion, we set up an Angry Birds structure in the garage using empty boxes, styrofoam and a broken old wooden CD rack. I placed green balls (thank you, Dollarama!) throughout the structure to represent the pigs, and used small plastic red and yellow balls from one of our “ball pit” type toys. Inspired by some of the ideas I found online for this initiative, I selected the fitness band from my Wii Fit game (comes with handles – perfect!… truthfully, it wasn’t getting much use anyway). The kids each took turns slingshotting the red and yellow balls into the structure in an attempt to hit the pigs (again, awesome energy burner for a young boys party).
My husband had purchased a Wag Jag for cupcakes at a local cupcakery so I inquired as to whether they could do Angry Birds – they said yes, but only two characters. I chose the trademark red bird, and my son’s favourite: Bomb Bird!
On the actual day of my son’s birthday (not the same day as the party) I tackled an Angry Birds themed treat myself and created a Bomb Bird Birthday Brownie! Brownie mix baked in a circular cake pan, coloured icing, a few smarties and voila!
I used the templates from www.ThePartyAnimal-blog.org on the loot bags as well as the balloons to create these beauts:
Inside each bag, I included the golden egg from the Scavenger hunt plus a few of those small foil wrapped golden eggs (which I picked up at, you guessed it, Dollarama!), as well as a toy. Each friend also took home one of the helium-filled character balloons pictured above.
The final loot bag item was my own creation. I courageously went to Bulk Barn (I say courageously as this is a very dangerous place for me – it turns my discipline for avoiding junk food into a shrivelling mess), and purchased M&Ms in yellow, red, blue, green and brown, as well as a handful of white and yellow mini eggs. I placed a few of each in small Ziploc bags and labelled them accordingly:
All in all, a great day! Thanks to all the inspiration and resources I found online (referenced throughout). I have attached the AB bingo cards as well. Enjoy!
March 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
“Listen, Mommy needs a time out. You sit quietly with your snack and watch this show.”
“Here’s an idea! How about you see who can run around the house 10 times the fastest?”
“Okay, you don’t have to have a nap but you do need to have quiet time”
“It’s very important you stay in bed. You can look at a book or listen to music but you must stay in bed”
Any of these sound familiar? This is code for “you are about to see a side of Mommy that may scare you, so you’d better do as I ask”.
Driving home the other night on the 401 I noticed a sign outside of a service centre that was being renovated. It said in very large letters “ Rebuilding To Serve You Better”. Immediatley, I laughed out loud. What a great slogan for parents! Wouldn’t that be a terrific approach, when you feel yourself getting a little too close to the edge, to be able to hang a sign around your neck that says “Rebuilding to Serve You Better. Thank you for your patience and sorry for the inconvenience”. Automatically, everyone knows to steer clear; not open for business! Or perhaps a “yield” sign – a big bright red triangle, easily recognized by toddlers: “ Yield young ones, Mommy’s grumpy train is comin’ through!”.
We all want to be terrific parents, to set a good example for our children, to recognize those teachable moments that will build integrity and good values. We yell at our kids, hearing the voice in the back of our heads saying “stop yelling, they deserve patience”, or we grump and groan about having to tidy up after everyone else, when we know the time will come when we will long for it in our empty nest. As I was recently reminded: “The days are long but the years are short!”
Rebuilding to better serve… Mine is in the form of a french vanilla cappucino, in my reading chair for 30 minutes during a well-negotiated “quiet time”, while I find my way back to center again.