Turning 8 is a big deal. In my culture it’s the moment a child is old enough to understand his depravity and choose Christ for his savior. Before that time he cannot sin, since he is too young to fully understand the law. Around here, 8 is a BIG celebration. Dub wanted to invite everyone from Dub’s class at school, Sunday school, family worship, cousins, and Boy Scouts and that ended up being a list of 40 kids! I had to limit him to 8.
When I was thinking about this day earlier in the summer and making little plans my mind was giddy with happiness, because we would be hosting this party in our brand new kitchen space. Things didn’t work out as I planned, but it was wonderful anyway.
We started by clearing out the tools and materials for the construction project. Then rehanging the doors to hide the garage and closets. (Heidi and DH were finishing up the closet door in the picture below. You can barely see his fingers wrapping around the door as he ran the drill from inside.)
We used the wide open space to our full advantage and the carpet squares warmed things up in a
homely homey way. One of the large round tables came with the house and the other we bought off Craigslist last Christmas when we hosted 35 guests. The tablecloths were leftover from DHs 40th birthday in August. Knowing this party was coming, we carefully washed down the Dollar Tree cloths and folded them up after everyone had gone home. (That saved $10) The banners were from previous celebrations too. I have a little bin of birthday decor that we save from year to year. Most things were gathered from Dollar Tree, and even though those items are only $1 each, it can add up when there’s a cart full.
I bought a blue twin sheet from Wal-mart ($5) and my Mom made the buildings out of cardboard boxes and a homemade stencil. She said it took her about 6 hours to make them. Thanks, Mom! The star-burst cut outs were in packs of 30 at Dollar Tree. Heidi had fun thinking of things to say on them. My brain was stuck at “pow” but she thought of fun stuff like: ”Where’s my Sidekick?” and “You, wait here.” Which she assures me is what most super heroes say to their sidekick. We used it for a backdrop for the start of the party, then the boxes became a hurdle training relay for learning to jump over buildings in a single bound. At the end we spread it all on the floor to take flying pictures of the kids.
I let the kids decorate pretty much how they wanted. I was feeling stressed and decided to wave perfection for plenty of attention on the birthday boy. It was the right choice. This open space was perfect for our building leaping relay later.
These are our “Bad Guy” Targets. I trace the outlines from our Front-Sight range targets and drew a mask on with a marker. I didn’t get things lined up very well….but none of the kids noticed it was wonky. We used silly string on these targets for “web shooting” practice. I stuck them to the doors in case the silly string left greasy marks behind on my freshly painted walls. We got string EVERYWHERE! My heart jumped up in my throat a bit when I saw bits of it all over the newly laid carpet squares. But everything vacuumed up wonderfully…It really was a breeze to clean-up. (I’m super excited to paint these doors and trim white….Every time I see a picture this direction I think about it. And all our furniture is just shoved in that room beyond….)
The first activity of the night was choosing an alter ego, with name and super power. Then designing a mask and cape to match. I cut the masks out of craft foam and then tied an elastic cord (from my craft bin–I saved them from new pairs of shoes that were tied together) We cut the cords a little too small which made the masks delicate. If you try this at home, be careful with the length. I bought a bag foam pieces from Dollar Tree that the kids could cut any shape and then glue or self-stick on their mask.
The best part is when the guests arrive
Right after Mask and Cape Creation, we had a Super Hero Buffet. Our guest here is wearing a post it so we can remember his Super name and Super power. A mom who planned ahead better would have had real name tags .
With Hero Sandwiches.
Homeopathic Kryptonite (Lime Jello with Crushed Pineapple.)
Veggies and Dip
Chips (Don’t mind the random Nerf gun. I have 4 boys–they are everywhere.)
And washed it all down with Power-ade. I cut the tiny capes out of the scraps leftover from the big capes and stuck a glitter foam sticker on the back. The bottles were the fruit flavored water from Aldi and a new “Pow!” label completed the look.
We have tables–but no chairs. Baby steps.
Dub designed his own cake and my mom made it for him. The base cake is an 11×15 chocolate sheet cake and the mountain is a vanilla cake baked in a bowl. She made blue jello in a small round pan and cut a hole in the cake to drop in the “lake.” Dub gathered up the trees and lego men from his collection of toys.
I had plans for an on theme super hero cake, but this is what Dub wanted. And the day was not about planning my perfect party–but his.
After eating, we played a round of Dodge Bomb. I blew up 24 black balloons then one person who was it, threw them at the others. Once a person was hit, they could grab a bomb and start lobbing it at the rest. The last person to be hit, was it for the next round.
Then we saved the black balloons to take their part in the super hero relay.
Heidi set up a laser trap with red yarn and painter’s tape in our small pass through. The relay began here. Two teams competed by going through the laser trap (if they touched a laser they had to pause for 3 seconds before continuing) Then running around to the building hurdles (hoping my sister in law got a picture of this), then detonating a bomb (popping a black halloon) while containing the blast so no one was hurt. Then webbing their target in the face with silly string and back to the beginning to high five their next team member so they could go.
After that we took flying photos to prove it was possible.
My nephew, Sean.
My 6 yo boy, Brandon.
The birthday boy, Dub.
This giant hero was in my choir last year and graduated. Sad for us, happy for him. My kids have all adopted him and made sure he knew he had to come out for the super hero training camp. He was a great sport.
To finish out the day, we turned out every light in the house and passed out glow sticks (They come in huge packs at Wal-mart for $3 which beats out the Dollar Tree prices.) They tested their night vision with a rousing game of glow hide and seek.
The guests took home their mask and cape and glow-sticks as party favors.
Sources: Cape Pattern (I cut mine from Polar Fleece and could fit 2 capes on 3/4 yard. There was no sewing involved at all since polar fleece doesn’t ravel. Then I hot glued velcro at the neck using fabric hot glue–though regular would probably work too.)
Flying Photos We used a twin flat bed sheet, cardboard box buildings, and polyfil for clouds
Mask Template I cut my masks from packs of foam sheets