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Welcome! My main blog is Notes to Self, where I write about my big, little life. This is a place in the margins to jot down reviews, finds, and ideas worth passing along. I only post about things that are of genuine interest and relevance to me, whether suggested or discovered. I disclose all gifts, sponsorships, favors owed, blood bonds, and other vested interests. Contact me at kyranp c/o gmail.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pokemon Themed Birthday Party

My freshly-minted nine-year-old had a birthday party this week, with a Pokemon theme. I've been living with thousands of Pokemon for the better part of a decade, and I'm still not sure whether they are animal, vegetable or mineral, so I went to the internet for ideas. I stumbled across one birthday party website where parents submit details of their own party planning. I was exhausted just reading a couple of these. Some of these moms are raising the bar too high, too early.

For the benefit of underachieving moms like me, here's what we did:

Guests: No more guests than the birthday child's age. Half this number for a sleepover.

Venue: My kids love hosting their birthday parties at home. After outsourcing several in the early years, I much prefer it too. The focus is more on socializing, less on the activity.

Decor: Pokemon tablecloth, paper plates, cups, napkins and helium balloon arrangement. Store bought from the local party supply depot.

Activities: The table was set with blank shrinky-dink sheets from the craft store and a bucket of multi-colored permanent markers. I was surprised how many kids needed an explanation of what shrinky-dinks are. I told them to use the markers to draw their own Pokemon card or character, and we would bake them in the oven for a keepsake. We had about a fifty percent fail rate in the baking, as some of the cards curled up on themselves or warped, but the kids were really into it, so it warrants some more research. Maybe the sheets (trimmed to 5X7) were too large?

We played stick the tail on the Pikachu with a large cut-out sketched by our resident graphic designer and colored by the birthday boy. Kids love this one. I always spin the contestant around a few times before sending them toward their target. The other players think it's a hoot to watch their pal stumble off blindly in the wrong direction.

I had a bunch of balloons for pumping up and twisting together into shapes, thinking the guests could make their own balloon Pokemon to take home, but we never got to it. My kids really liked the test run of this the night before though, so it's worth passing along.

Two ideas I borrowed from the party website were Guess how many Caterpies (gummy worms in a ziploc bag, which the winner got to keep), and Which Pokemon Am I, a kind of 20 questions game, which didn't really work out, because there are just too many Pokemon a person could be, as it turns out.

Prizes and favors were Pokemon trading cards.

Cake: my son requested a cake "shaped like a Pokeball," and I told him I'd do my best. I found a ball-shaped mold at the craft store, and covered it in marshmallow fondant, a vile concoction if ever there was one. But if you don't mind sacrificing taste to style, it was easy (if messy) to make, and can assume the shape of anything.



If this child of mine ever even so much as whispers a complaint of middle child deprivation, I plan to whip out this photo. Enough said.

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Blogger No New is Good News said...

My very first memory of a pin the tail on incident is at YOUR birthday on Armstrong. Must have been grade one or two! Love the detail in this story about making parties for your boys.

February 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

I bet my mom can produce a photo of that party. I remember you and your sis in matching dresses. Fancy!

February 17, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

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