Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home-made Parties: Angry Birds

We grow people and we celebrate them, with parties!

We enjoy planning our kids' birthday parties and work to keep them home-made.   When it came time to pick a theme for our youngest third birthday, it didn't take long to land on Angry Birds.  He was, and still is, pretty obsessed with this game and I am just sure that it is teaching him something valuable like physics!  So, this past October, we threw an Angry Birds party for a three year old! We didn't expect it to be so hard to find supplies for an Angry Birds, so it was a good thing we do home-made.  Unlike today, a few short months later, it was impossible to find almost anything that was Angry Birds, let alone for kids.

Here are the details of what we did and I hope it helps inspire your own Angry Birds Party:

1.  Theme:
Angry Birds: Jack's Party Edition

2. Color scheme:
Bird and Pig Colors- Red, Lime Green, Yellow, Blue.  I found dotted wrapping paper at Target and used that as the base for paper items.

3. Invitations:
I sent a picture of the wrapping paper to my Photoshop whiz brother, and he created a graphic complete with balloons and flying present boxes (this will be part of the wall later) for me.  I emailed out the invitations.  (Generally, I am anti the electronic invitation for birthday parties, but it just didn't seem right to send a snail mail invite to a party inspired by an app.)

4. Pig Wall!
I'm not sure how to have an Angry Birds Party without a wall the kids can knock down. We secured boxes of various sizes and wrapped them up. (We may have "borrowed" a few boxes from a shipping company that I intend to use later for mailing!) The traditional Angry Birds game walls are wooden boards and ice, with the occassional TNT box.  We mimicked those using "woodgrain" contact paper and the backside of wrapping paper (white).  Several of the boxes were wrapped as gifts in the polka dot paper to match the invitations and then some in red, Jack's favorite color.
I made four red birds, 1 from fleece and 3 from giant red bouncing balls from Target that I painted the face onto.  The kids threw these at the wall.  Since they were mostly 2, 3, and 4 year olds, we didn't think a slingshot was appropriate.
We had four pigs, two from fleece and two green bouncing balls I got from a dollar store.
I wanted the backdrop of the wall to look more like the game, so I used a sheet and painted grass across the bottom.  We used PVC to make the framed to hold it up.

Pig Wall
The components of this wall have all been put to later uses too.  The woodgrain contact paper boxes are stacked in our playroom and are regularly used for walls, bridges, and wedding ceremonies.  The pigs and birds  make random cameos.  That PVC frame has since been turned into pieces for the water park.

5. The Pig-nata

Instead of a traditional pinata, we had a Pig-nata!  This home-made beauty was made from paper mache and streamers, and it only took about two days to make.  I'm hoping to eventually blog a how-to on how I made it, but in the meantime, you can find tutorials all over the web.  My only caution is that 5 layers is too thick!  The kids couldn't break him so we had to tear into him.
I also made the eye mask and knowing that three year olds weren't going to be so psyched about being blindfolded (nor was it really going to impact their ability to bust the thing open), I made a mask to look like the Angry Bird eyes.  (The picture if of me sportin' the mask!)

6. Menu:
Pigs in a Blanket: Mini and Full-sized hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls
Pork and Beans: Baked Beans
Slop: Mac n Cheese
Bird Seed: Sunflower seeds
Cake!  I found an Angry Birds board game and used it to set up a scene around the cake.  Of course, the kids rearranged it every time I turned around, so I can't take all the credit!   The birds were trying to get the cake from the pigs who were clearly holding the present-shaped cake hostage.

7.  Decorations:
These were the easiest part!  I looked for the more quintessential party decorations I could find featuring balloons and primary colors, as well as balloons.  A last minute decoration idea was to include more of the Angry Bird Seasons, and I set up the picnic in the front yard.  I wished I had thought that up earlier and had more time to add more seasonal items and party decor.  Many of these were found at a local dollar store.

8. Favors:
Favors included punching balloons, so the kids could continue knocking things out at home as well as bouncing balls and other traditional birthday trinkets from the Pig-nata.

9. Outfits:
At the time of the party, Angry Birds shirts were only available for adults, and were limited in availability.  So, I picked up four red shirts and appliqued the face right on.  Seriously easy and now Target has kids shirt that looks almost exactly like the ones I made for us.  (I plan to do a post on applique too and you don't even have to be able to sew, although it will extend the life of your applique.  If you haven't tried this yet, you will love the flexibility and how easy it can be to create simple designs.)

Overall, my youngest had a ball.  We were so thankful for so many sweet friends who came to help us celebrate and we really enjoyed being able to work together to create this party for our little one.

(We got that cupcake for his First Birthday and take pictures by it each year.  I shared our Cupcake First Birthday Party here)

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