Dude Perfect Birthday Party…

Briggs was pretty decisive when it came to the theme of his friends birthday party this year – he knew he wanted a Dude Perfect party and there was no changing his mind.

I’m pretty sure, every week starting a month before his birthday he was asking when his party was going to be. But spring is busy and he had his trip to Disneyland and we had spring break and I kept hoping there would be a less busy time and we could throw it on the calendar – but less busy days don’t exist in a family our size so one morning while looking at the calendar, I realized the following day they were out of school and within an hour the invites were sent and everyone responded they could join.

I’m grateful to amazon who could deliver balloons, gift bags, lanyards and party favors just 12 hours after ordering. I also have a plethora of decor I’ve used for a number of parties so I was able to pull out the black and white banners and pinwheels and create a festive backdrop.

Briggs couldn’t care less about the decorations, he just wanted to do trick shots. We came up with a number of trick shots and assigned a point value to each – of course this included bottle flipping!

Every kid had a lanyard and as they would make shots, I would give them a small printed point value they would put in their pouch. We had shots where Steve, Bennett and Canner would be competing and the kids would have to choose whether they were team Steve/Bennett/Cannon and they happily collected their points when their team made their shots!

All these boys, except two, live in our neighborhood – they don’t know how lucky they have it to live so close to each other. However at this age they can be the best of friends and the worst of enemies in a matter of hours. Sometimes the distance is too close. 🙂

Lego Birthday Party…

I love when I get to repurpose something. We have lego costumes sitting in the attic collecting dust and I finally got to pull them out and use them again for Cannon’s Lego Birthday party. I’ve thrown a lego party before (for Hunter’s 6th birthday) and although the theme was the same, this group was older and we had different activities.

Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party

We had kids decorate their own lego people.

Lego Birthday Party

We had a building contest to see who could build the tallest tower in 10 minutes with the legos available. The tower had to be able to stand on its own for judging – the kids were very creative

Lego Birthday Party

We used m&ms and straws to see who could move their stack of candy the fastest. (They wanted to do this over and over again!) We also had relay races with legos and spoons outside. I got all the candy for the “candy bar game” and Hunter made every box look like a lego – and then we ran out of time and didn’t even play it. I’m realizing the older kids get, the less structure they want at a party and instead want free time to play. So the kids played. The played with legos, they played outside. They stayed busy!

Lego Birthday Party
Lego Birthday Party

Cannon’s bubble party…

I’m not one to reinvent the wheel so when I throw a successful kid’s birthday party, I mentally file it away and save it for another kid.

Hallie’s 6-year-old bubble party was a smashing success and I knew it would be the just right party for Cannon’s 6-year-old party.

I may have been wrong.

Despite what social media tells us, parties don’t always go as planned and it’s not always rainbows and butterflies and bubbles!

For the record, Cannon loved his party and had no clue that we were putting out fires left and right. It was almost comical. The kids loved all the activities but for whatever reason there was one problem or another and this kid was crying and then another was and so-and-so kept popping their bubbles, and this person isn’t sharing the wands…and that’s how it went.

I’m a photographer and I never have a problem hosting a party and shooting the photos, ever. But after this party, I had very few photos. We were just holding on until the end of the party!

Like I said before, Cannon was clueless and the kids walked away happy but Steve and I were both scratching our heads saying, “We’ve thrown this party before – but with much different results!” That’s just how it goes sometimes. At least we sent them home so fresh and so clean, clean!

Pirate Party…

Sometimes I feel like a rock star and I can take on the world. And other times, the list of to-dos is too daunting to wrap my head around. Lately, it’s been the latter. The list of to-dos is mostly trivial (with a few doctor appointments thrown in there) but none the less they occupy space in my mind which translates to taking up space in my day. We’ve had a busy few weeks and as much as I wanted to come up with new themed birthday for Cannon for his first friend party, I just didn’t have it in me. I kept putting it off and then his birthday was just days away.

Pirate Party

I was talking with Hallie trying to figure out what type of party it should be and it hit me – re-do Hunter’s 4-year-old pirate party. My heart kept telling me he needed a party personalized to him – but my head told me there were not enough hours in the day to reinvent the wheel. Two days later we threw his first friend party and he had no clue that the pirate flag had already been used before!

Pirate Party

We started with a special treasure hunt – I’d hid clues all around the front yard and back yard. We used a treasure map to update our route as we raced to find treasure: Pirate gear – bandanas, earnings and eye patches. Once they were dressed appropriately, they walked the plank and caught cannonballs (cheese balls) in large buckets. I made swords out of balloons (thank you youtube) and we had sword fighting lessons. The party was just as successful this year as it was 5 years ago and Cannon was a very happy boy.

Pirate Party

Pirate Party

Pirate Party

Pirate Party

Pirate Party

Pirate Party

Pirate Party

As a sidenote: There are benefits to having older siblings, even if you do get their leftover birthday parties. Hunter didn’t have anyone dress up as a pirate for his party but Cannon sure did. A couple years ago, we were a family of pirates for Halloween – so just before the party, I dug through the costume box and found my costume. Hunter saw what I was doing and asked if he could dress up. Before long, Hallie, Bennett and Steve also joined in the fun. I asked Cannon if he wanted to dress up but he was happy in his red striped shirt. Having all these helpers for birthday parties sure is nice!

Pirate Party Pirate Party Pirate Party

 

Fiesta Birthday Party…

Bennett participates in a dual language program at school with most of his friends so it only made sense to capitalize on his love for Mexico right now with a Fiesta birthday party. It was hard to find a day that his friends could join him and it just so happened that the best day only gave me two days to plan. Not ideal – but it really limited the amount of time and energy I spent on the party which I realized wasn’t all that bad!

I did make time to design an invite – that I then texted to all the mothers. I did this for the last two parties and it’s my favorite.

Fiesta Birthday Invite

Fiesta Birthday Party

Fiesta Birthday Party

Fiesta Birthday Party

Keeping 6-year-olds entertained can be difficult but we had enough activities that there wasn’t enough time for them to assemble their pitchforks. 😉

I designed “Fiesta Bingo” cards and we used black beans as the markers. We probably could have played this the entire time and the kids would’ve been happy.

Fiesta Birthday Party

Steve read the book Skippy Jon Jones in his best Spanish accent. He’s entertaining to listen to.

We did some taste testing. I went to a Mexican market and purchased several items for the kids to try. All the packaging is in Spanish so I really had no idea what I was purchasing – I relied on persuasive packaging. Out of all the things the kids tried – Mangoes were there favorite. Everything else was an unfamiliar taste and not nearly as sweet as what they are used to. Most the kids spit out the candy they tried, evidently they don’t like chili powder in their candy!

Fiesta Birthday Party

Fiesta Birthday Party

We played pin the tail on the donkey with a color engineering print from Staples. There was all sorts of giggling as they watched their friends place the tail in the wrong places.

Fiesta Birthday Party

And what’s a fiesta party without a piñata – filled with American candy of course! Here is Bennett’s poor hitting form – but he nailed the intensity!

Fiesta Birthday Party

He was happy as could be with his Jarritas soda and his deep fried tortillas with cinnamon/sugar posing as his cake – not to mention he was sporting his favorite shirt.

Fiesta Birthday Party

Fiesta Birthday Party

Fiesta Birthday Party

He talked about his birthday party for months. We planned it in two days. And within an hour and a half it was over. It was quite possibly one of the easiest birthday parties I’ve thrown together. Feliz cumpleaños Benito Panchito. (What his Spanish teacher calls him!)