Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cowabunga Dude!

I received a few messages about JAM's ninja turtle themed 5th birthday party so I thought I'd share the details. It was a big milestone birthday so I kind of went all out. I tried to research places to have an on-location birthday party, but many places were charging $200-$300 for an hour, which included pizza and playtime. The other catch was you had to have a minimum of about 10 kids and honestly, since his birthday was right before his kindergarten year, we didn't even know 10 kids to invite. Plus, I didn't like the limitation of 1 hour and just pizza. Thankfully, my aunt was nice enough to let me throw his birthday party at her house so it could be a pool party!

Instead of throwing a bunch of TMNT memorabilia around the house I thought I'd incorporate the colors of the ninja turtles and a few ninja turtle accents hear and there instead.

First off, the invitations. In this day and age, many people are technology savvy so I decided to send the invitations over the internet instead of through the post office. It allowed me to be a little more creative and invite as many people as I wanted. The best part, IT WAS FREE! I used the services of my favorite online invitation website Punchbowl.
click on the photo to see what I wrote

You can't have a ninja turtle party without pizza! It's their signature dish! Coming from Chicago we're all about the pizza, but in Vegas, our choices are fairly limited. We decided to go with Rosati's pizza to have a little taste of home. We also had Filipino and American dishes to fill out food table as well. Since it was a summer birthday party we had tons of bottled water to drink as well and pop (or soda for you non-midwesterners lol) and Capri sun. When the party first started out, I let the guests go swimming until all the other guests arrived. Once I knew everyone was there it was time to get the party started!

I gathered all the kids and asked them if they knew the story about the ninja turtles and how they became ninjas. Some of them actually knew that it was because of the ooze and I told them that I had the same green ooze to transform them too if they were willing. Of course everyone was up for it! My green ooze was green Hawaiian punch and I just ripped off the label and decorated the bottle with streamers hehe. I poured some of the punch into a little cup for each of them and they all drank it together. I started to hype them up a bit and asked them if they started to feel the change and they all agreed. I told them to run into the neighboring room so that their parents didn't watch them transform.

This is where I had the costumes I bought them. I bought a bunch of green tees from walmart for about $2 each and saved the receipts to return any extras. Also in Walmart, I bought brown felt fabric and colored fabric to cut out strips for the belt and headbands, which all cost about $5 total. I told the kids that I had uniforms for them now that they transformed so I dressed them up and sent them out one at a time so their parents could take pictures of them.

Once they were all dressed I sent them the another area when my nephew acted as a Master and tested them to see if they were really ninjas. He had them do a few karate exercises while I set up the games. I also provided foam swords that I purchased from Target's dollar spot for the exercises.

I set up a game that was similar to pin the tail on the donkey, but it was called "pin the mask on Leonardo". I just drew Leonardo's head on a poster board and cut out masks out of poster board as well. I then used double stick tape to stick them on. Silly me, I was so sleep deprived (I didn't sleep at all actually the night before) that I was spinning the kids for this game but I didn't start them off far away to walk to the poster and put on the mask. I had them within arms reach. I was wondering why all the kids were so good at the game! haha.

The next game I played was a ninja star toss. I had poster boards decorated like TMNT sewer covers and split the kids into 2 teams. I had my nephew make ninja stars out of paper and gave each team 5 stars. They had to take turns and the first team to get all 5 stars on the poster board won. This was actually a little harder than I expected. Surprisingly the little kids got the hang of it pretty easily though and won all the points for their teams.

I had prizes for all the kids in a prize bucket I bought in the Target dollar spot. All the kids got a prize so no one felt left out. I handed out the goodie bags and let them use it to collect their candy when we did the piñata. After that, we headed to the kitchen and sang "Happy Birthday" on the cake and cupcakes that I made for the party, and finished off by opening presents. I made the cake with a simple round cake pan. I just cut out an upside down U at the top, cut that piece in half, and rotated it back to back to make the sting part of his mask. I iced it and voilà! I ordered the TMNT cupcake rings off of ebay for super cheap, which they kept as a souvenir. The kids spent the rest of the day swimming and as souvenirs they got to keep everything they received throughout the day: TMNT costume I dressed them in (shirt, belt & mask), foam swords, goodie bags, and cupcake rings. Everyone had a blast and it was a party to remember.