Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mario Birthday 6.0

My son has had a fascination with all things Mario for years. So, when I asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted, his answer was no surprise.

Now, you'd think that, since we did a Mario birthday party last year, having the same theme again would be a piece of cake. Um, hello. I'd like to introduce myself to you. I'm the one that likes to make things complicated.

First step, the invitations. Since I don't have a color printer (and I REALLY like to cut), I set out to make Mario faces out of card stock. A quick template made from a Google images search, a download of a free Mario font, and I had these guys made up in no time.
Once the invitations were sent, we got to work on the party itself. Connor had some specific ideas about things that he wanted at this party which made the planning go that much easier.

If someone would have asked me, "What's a party without a pinata?", I would have breezed past the fact that it was probably a rhetorical question and answered "A safe party!" But then I saw those pinatas that you pull on strings to open instead of swinging a bat and my brain stopped thinking of checking our homeowner's policy and instead started trying to come up with a creative pinata-esque solution.

We ended up taking a wine box (thanks, Costco) with dividers, large pieces of yellow cardstock, tissue paper, and a computer printout of the Mario question marks.

Since Connor was the genius that came up with the idea of covering peanut butter cups as well as Oreos with gold foil to make gold coins, he was nominated to help bring his vision to life. We picked up the gold foils in squares from our local cake & candy supply shop.
? Block Pinata
He tried to break a cookie so he could eat the "accident".
Our pile of gold coins
All filled up and ready to punch!

The next thing I went to work on was the fire/ice ball toss game. I cut out some Goombas, Koopas, and a Piranha Plant with card stock (much like with the invitations) and glued them to some old water bottles that I had filled partially with dried rice. For the fire and ice balls, just come craft felt and more dried rice after consulting my friend, Google images, for a fireball pattern.
Bad guys ready to be taken down.
I am lucky enough to have other creative people in my life. If I didn't, the pin-the-M-on-the-Mario game would not have been possible. My talented friend, Phaedra, drew freehand on a large piece of poster board and copied the Mario head from our invitation. After a few letter M's cut out, this portion of prep work was done.

And a party wouldn't be complete without a pinata party favors. We picked up some foam visors and crowns at the craft store, some white craft foam, and some adhesive jewels and made Mario and Luigi hats and Princess Peach crowns.  One of the things I did reuse from last year was the sticks from the chocolate mustaches. This time, I just used foam sticker mustaches and put them on the sticks. The wands were foam flower and heart stickers and some extra ribbon I had on hand. (Yes, I know Princess Peach doesn't have a wand, but not one of the girls complained about accuracy, so there.)

The favors on display.
Connor fills the treat bags.
Now, it was time to decorate. Cara requested to be a part of making the Boo balloons, so I let her take on this task herself. She found three Boo faces to copy and drew them freehand with permanent marker on the white balloons that I bought at Target. Once those were completed, we just used thread and tape and taped them to the ceiling of the living room.
Hiding Boo
Scary Boo
Banner reused from last year.
Games were set up. Decorations were in place. Treat bags were filled. And the cake was made. All that was left was party time.
It's Mario Party O'clock!
We started out with the games. While it seemed that all of the kids enjoyed the activities, I would probably look toward having more games where all of the kids got to participate at once. Everyone did very well taking turns, but not all 6 year olds are big fans of waiting.
Each kid had an M to try and get on Mario's hat.
Fire & ice ball toss.
Punch the ? block pinata.
I should add that this version of the pinata worked wonderfully! Since the object was to punch a hole in a section of the box, the targeted hitting was much safer than the indiscriminate swinging of a stick while blindfolded. Plus, each child had their own section to punch and, therefore, their own amount of candy. No one had to elbow anyone else to try and get to their candy. If I were to do a pinata again, I would definitely look for another one I could work similarly.

We did end up heading to the nearby park to burn some additional time (and energy) and we still had time for cake and ice cream, presents, and treat bags.
Star Power cake.
Another successful Mario birthday party!
Thanks to my helpers and a huge thanks to the parents of these amazing kids. It's because of them that Connor has some really great friends! 

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