My boy turned 7! Crazy! Since his little brother's birthday is less than a week before his, we combine their parties, so this party was a Blue's Clues /Army Party! Ha ha! This is our off year, since we only do friend parties every other year, so it was just family this year. I say just family, but we have a large family, so it was still for a crowd. :)
As I have said many times before (and I am sure I will say many times more) I just LOVE www.birthdaypartyideas.com. They have a huge congolomeration of party ideas for so so so many themes. You can search by theme, and then in each theme you can look for whatever age your birthday child will be, so you aren't looking at birthday party ideas for a 2yr old when your child is going to be 7. We found so many ideas there, more than we could ever use, and it gave us a starting point for some of our own ideas as well.
Here's the birthday boy, wearing his camo clothes and the pinata mask as a mouth mask. :)
We went pretty simple for our cake this year. Mr. T. wanted army guys fighting on the cake, and he placed them on. We used chocolate frosting as dirt, and a little bit of dyed green coconut foliage. We had bought the American Flag toothpicks and my son wanted to place them on the cake, and he wanted flags for the opposing army as well. I didn't want to offend anyone by picking a flag from a previous United States enemy, so we decided that most everyone still dislikes the Nazi's, so it would be a safe bet. I just found an online image and shrunk it down and taped them on some plain toothpicks. My hubs and I did joke about being placed on a watchlist for downloading Nazi flag images though.
We made a tank pinata. This was probably the easiest pinata we have made thus far. Mr T. was excited to start, but didn't want to finish, but I made him work on it, and I think he was proud of his work in the end.
Here are your needed supplies, a cereal box, a pasta box, and a tube (wrapping paper, paper towel, etc, I liked the wrapping paper tube because it is a bit skinnier)
To ensure that the logos did not show through I turned the boxes all inside out, and of course emptied the pasta into a bag. (Please ignore the mess behind the boxes, I tried all kinds of boxes to see which would look the best)
Fill boxes with candy, and tape closed.
Use masking tape to secure top and bottom box to each other. Cut a hole in top box and insert tube (you can cut the tube to desired length after), and tape all around it to secure it.
This is where my son helped the most. I gave him gift wrap tissue, a plate of elmer's glue, and a paint brush and had him glue it on the entire box, top, bottom, and sides.
Then after that dried we used tissue paper squares from Oriental Trading. I love these things, they cost very little, include a TON of squares, and we have used them on a number of projects, including these fun Stained Glass Butterflies. At this point the birthday boy was kind of burned out, so his sister and I did most of it. We just glued the different army colors (I have at least 2 different packs of the tissue squares) all over the tank. This was a nice pinata because I didn't have to make any newspaper paste and it took much less time, yet the end result was just as nice.
The hubs is always a great sport to hold the pinata. We keep trying to come up with something strong enough to not break after a few swings, so this time we threaded a coat hanger through it, but it was somewhat awkward to hold. One of my little boys was unhappy because his turn was not coming fast enough. It is hard to be two!
Decorations we went pretty simple, just found some Army themed and Flag themed items at the party store.
We also found this fun pin the tank sticker on the poster game there. The kids enjoyed it.
For loot bags I found these cute army vehicle boxes at OTC. The rolled army activity papers did not quite fit, but Mr. T. thought they made a good turret.
We stuffed them full, with some of the things from the Blue's Clues theme as well.
But here is what each kid got. I got a lot of it from OTC, and other things at the party store.
And here was the fun invitation we made up on the computer.
We had a box open to send letters and care items to my nephew who was in Korea at the time. He is in the Army, and thankfully stateside now. But it was a good excuse to collect things for him, and since all the family was gathered, it was easy for everyone to write him a letter.
and the back:
I like including a "bio" on the back of the card. I try to include clothing and shoe sizes if someone wants to buy those things, and sometimes we include what kind of things they birthday kid is into, to give family some gift ideas, if they need them.
This was a fun party, I think my boy quite liked it!
We had wanted to have someone come in real army clothes and do a miniature boot camp with the boys, but my "adopted" nephew had some other obligations to attend to that day, but I think that would make a fun activity if you have someone that can do it.