Monday, January 2, 2012

When Geeks Celebrate

One of the reasons things have been so quiet over the last months is that whether we like it or not the onset of winter brings numerous celebrations.  And we don't go halfway when it's time to kick it up!  Having my oldest child on the day of our previously annual Christmas party, which we haven't had since, would make you think that I've got it in hand.  Yet, each year we step it up just a bit more and each year I fall just a bit further behind.

Since Ver1 is all into the idea of rainbows, that was what her starting theme was.  She decided that unicorns go with rainbows and my little academic analytical girl was looking at a rather fantasy girlie party (a bit different for her, although she's not full on tomboy).  To go a step further she wanted a couple things for certain, first there had to be a pinata.  Second, once it was settled that for the first time in 5 years she was going to have the party at home, she really wanted her dad to write a custom role playing game for the party.  And he did!

 To get the unicorn riding pose I had my daughter sit on the rocking horse her grampa made her when she was 1.
*Unicorn is from The Last Unicorn 
I got a late start on paper supplies and the invitation, but the later came together rather quickly.  The former, well, I screwed the pooch on that one, but learned my lesson for next time... web first, town second, especially since the local dollar store has gotten rid of pretty much all of its "themes" and only carries the basic colors for most items (and not even all the colors of the rainbow as we found out in our final touches shopping spree).

Since we didn't see the perfect supplies set that was available at Oriental Trading Co, we ended up hodgepodging tablecloths that had deceptively undecorative middles, and generic colorful party plates from Walmart with some handmade unicorn crafts (which it was surprisingly difficult to find silver and gold pipe cleaners with it being two weeks before that big silver and gold holiday....)  Later we decided that we would also be serving lunch, and then that lunch became a tea party type ordeal (minus the tea, but with lots of finger foods), so I filled that in with thematically appropriate clear plastic plates from the dollar store.

Since we weren't doing a theme based on a current movie, everything had to be hand constructed.  Isn't that just the way it goes when you don't let your kids be brainwashed by television and instead ask them to have their own minds, thoughts, and interests?  Better in the long run, but it sure adds to the short term work.  Still, I don't mind and I've learned lots I plan to show you all over the next few posts (you didn't think I was going to do all the tutorials right now did you?)

First up, I made the pinata in the evenings while my husband worked on the custom adventure.  I tried to include my daughter in the pinata making process (because I'm really bad about letting the kids help in building and making and I'm really trying to do better at that), but the reality worked out that several of the steps were done after her bedtime, and because I had to make it on the recently uncovered dining table (full write-up on the 2011 house changes coming soon, I hope), it just wasn't conductive to those good ol' slop it together in the driveway on a sunny afternoon pinatas we did when I was a kid.  Oh well, maybe we can pre-make some this summer!

Next up was the food! We went with fruit pizza style mini pies, finger sandwiches, pinwheels, and flower salads  Most of that I was able to at least start a few days ahead of time, some had to be pieced together that morning.  That just left the cake.

A rainbow party calls for rainbow cake, no eggs or milk, means it has to be vegan, and in the end I had a very happy 7 year old.  Even if it did mean I was up all night before the party finishing the decorating so that she could go to movie night at her school with her friends.  The inside is also rainbow, although she voted that the base would be tie-dye colors instead of layered, I think it was more fun that way and it was definitely more fun to put into the pan!

That left just some final little touches to take care of like, decorating and setting up the adventure games.  Oh and the costumes, because you can't tell a story without costumes.  Thankfully we found existing wardrobe options (and I got to reuse my Jedi cloak and vest).

How do kids respond when they meet this troll during the party?
In the end, taking the kids on a homemade LARP (Live Action Role Play) was a big risk.  It was not something other parents are doing and 7 year olds are starting to get into that age where they are a bit more unsure about what exactly is cool and what isn't.  The end result, LARPing for a birthday is very cool! The kids were a lot more imaginative than I had thought and really really got into the game.  Even though I was playing mulitiple characters, as was my husband, the kids played along.  They really got into the quest, they struggled through the games, and they achieved ultimate victory... and I hope the other parents learn that when I say an hour and a half I mean it, because we went over and some parents were showing up an hour early, when we were only halfway through the party, oh well!

Go Check Out Our Party Tutorials:
Making the Pinata
Making a Story Adventure
Making Kid Friendly Royal Treats
Making the Details Work

1 comment:

  1. Don't you just looooovvvve shopping in
    our neck of the woods!It's really frustrating for someone like me who loves to shop, but can never find exactly what she's looking for. Yes, I do frequently refer to myself in the third person:)


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