Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jak's Lego Party

I am so relieved that we have only committed to a birthday party every other year!! This party was so much work! Jakson told me it was "the best party EVER!" so I feel like it was definitely worth it, but still, not something I want to do again next year. I'm youth conference and party planned out.

Jak requested a Lego party quite a few months ago, so I had time to peruse the internet and gather all of my favorite ideas from other talented/creative people. Because Jak doesn't usually deal with play dates very well, let alone parties, I wanted to make sure the party was as structured and organized as possible. I wrote out the schedule and went over (and practiced) all of the games with Jakson beforehand so that he would be familiar with everything and we could try to avoid any upsets.

Unfortunately, I forgot that Jakson doesn't deal well with birthdays in general (case in point: last year was the first year that he didn't cry all the way through the birthday song). We had a little family party on Thursday night and Jakson got Legos from his grandma and grandpa. Jakson decided that the appropriate time to get out the instructions and put together the Lego set was 2am on Saturday morning. Needless to say, no one really got much sleep the night before the party. One of these days I will figure out the balance between giving him enough notice not to freak out and hyping him up so much that he won't sleep.

Thankfully, he took a nap on Saturday before the party so wasn't as grumpy as we had worried. In fact, he did remarkably well with the whole shbang. I am always thrilled when he surprises us that way.

We put this easel outside the door to greet everyone. I love that Jakson wrote "fax mom and dad" over top. Just in case you aren't good at translating these sorts of things, that's "thanks mom and dad."

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The Lego "wreath".

Before the party, I got a couple shots of Jakson in the Lego man shirt I made. I blew up one of the Lego men from this printable banner as an applique template.

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The banner and inside decor.

While we waited for everyone to arrive, each of the kids got a page to design his own Lego man. Get the printable here.

First game was a relay race. I'm not sure where I originally found the idea because it was on so many blogs, but it was a big hit with the boys. They had to carry a Lego block on a spoon across the yard, dump in a waiting bucket, and then run back to tag the next team member. There were a lot of dropped Legos and a lot of faces in deep concentration. I made sure to give the boys a little pep talk before we started about sore winners and losers. It doesn't matter who wins or loses, only that we have fun! Thankfully that seemed to set the mood for the party games and we didn't have any sportsmanship issues.

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The boys each got a small gift bag with the pieces to build their own Lego cars. We were able to get all of the loose pieces at the local Lego store. You can fill a small container for about $7, which was perfect for the amount of boys we had. It was much cheaper than buying the pre-made Lego kits. There were no instructions or wrong/right for building the cars, so the boys had fun being creative. After they built their cars, they then got to race them. We didn't do formal races, just let the boys race a car and then go back to the table and modify it by adding/taking off pieces. This was probably the biggest hit of the party. The cars then served as the "party favor" too.

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After that we went inside for "pin the smile on the Lego head" (not pictured). I wouldn't do this game if I was to do the party over. It was cute, but a little slower paced than the other games and the boys got tired of it quickly.

Zak then got out his timer and we gave the boys 90 seconds to build the tallest tower they could in teams. This was a little more competitive, but nothing that came to blows or tears. We played several rounds of the game as the kids seemed to enjoy it. Each time we switched to a new game, I mixed the teams up a bit.

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The last game was a last minute addition, mainly because I wasn't sure how Jakson would react to it. I thought it would be fun to have a relay race where the boys would pop a balloon. Only, balloon popping is loud. And Jakson hates loud. So we tried it out the night before and came up with a compromise. As long as I covered Jakson's ears for him, he was good with the noise.

We divided the kids into two groups and did it relay style. One boy from each team would run to the chairs set up in the middle. We'd place a balloon underneath him and he would pop it (with a little help from a push pin. Most of the boys, we discovered, didn't weigh quite enough to pop it), grab the hidden Lego piece (we put them inside when we blew them up), dump it in a bucket next to the chair, and then tag the next team member. I offered to cover anyone's ears that needed it and was surprised at how many of the boys took me up on the offer. Regardless of the noise, they loved the game and I think would have kept it going for awhile had I had more Lego laden balloons. Unfortunately, because I was covering ears, I wasn't able to take any photos of this one. So you'll just have to imagine how fun it was in your head.

After that, we went outside for the birthday song and some cake. My sister in law made the amazing Lego head cake (actually marshmallow) pops. She is amazingly talented. Pay no attention to the ridiculous looking Lego cake. It definitely doesn't compare. The Lord did not bless me with cake decorating talents.

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The finale was our Made-By-Zak Lego pinata. He asked me to take pictures of it from far away. I thought it was great, but he seems to think it looked really homemade. He built it out of a flat rate shipping box, four large plastic cups (think Solo), and some green spray paint we had sitting in the garage. It was perfect and took a beating!

The demise of the pinata.
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Overall I think the boys had a great time and best of all, Jakson loved it. I am so glad that he has these little friends. It does my heart good.

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Because it helped me to see links and get decoration details:
  • Lego head straw covers from the Lego head printable in this PDF
  • Marshmallow Lego Head Pops
  • Yellow cups with faces-drawn on by Sharpie marker.
  • Place cards with names on them were made by me and printed off at Walmart. Just FYI- the guy was hesitant to give them to me because I used the copyrighted Lego man image. Since I had made them myself and didn't purchase the custom cards (and wasn't selling them), he let it slide. This time. If I'm ever going to do something like this in the future, I would print them off myself. They were designed as wallet sized. If you'd like to make your own, I've uploaded the blank file here. To add a name, just use the free Lego font found on Urbanfonts. I used Photoshop, added a layer, and typed in each boys' name. I also made an extra card to put into their candy bags so we could keep track of whose was whose.

3 comments:

Lindsay said...

What a fun party! You are really so creative.

Crystal said...

So fun! I'm glad it all went well- and that cake looked great!!

Anne said...

I think the makers of LEGO should send you some products for the free advertising. Glad it went so well, you certainly put your all into it.

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