THE LEGO PARTY part 2

Welcome to the second instalment of ‘The Lego Party’!  
A quick run down on the games & activities …

I like to have “stations”.  Mostly because it takes the pressure off me but also because it cuts down a little of the awkwardness when you first arrive at the party and not everyone is there yet to start any group games and you can just get right into the fun!  If you’ve seen any of our other parties, you’ll know that we do this set up often!  There were a lot of kids at this party (27 in the end – what on earth was I thinking?!) so we had lots of stations and only 2 organised group games.

ACTIVITY STATIONS:
Sounds a bit formal doesn’t it, but it was really a very relaxed, play whatever takes your fancy, kind of set up.  

1.  Lego Tattoos –  I actually made my own tattoos.  I still love saying that!  These ones were made by photocopying a page from a sticker book onto tattoo paper.  You can find a full tutorial here.

2.  Lego man colouring table - I just googled ‘lego man printable’ to find this pic.  This activity was surprisingly popular with both boys and girls.

3.  Free play with Lego - I was so impressed with the things the kids created!  Many thanks to my mother-in-law who purchased the giant bargain bag of mismatched lego earlier this year!

4.  Pin the mouth on the Lego man - thanks to the great artistic skills of my friend Jess for helping me make this baby!  Made with coloured card stuck on a large piece of card.

5. Lego Straw game – move the Lego pieces into the cup only using a straw. 
Tip: small lego pieces and bendy straws made it a little easier for this age group.

6.  Lego Toss - How many lego pieces can you get to land in the plates.  Can you tell that it’s meant to look like a giant lego brick …. ? Probably should have given the kids a chance to score points and get prizes for this one, but ran out of time to organise it properly.  Not sure anyone minded though.


7.  How many lego pieces in the jar?  There were 109 lego pieces in that jar … 
8. Lego Man Photo booth – Thanks to the talented Jess once again for drawing this one! The kids and I had great fun painting the fridge box and on the day of the party the kids loved poking their heads through and getting their photo taken.  It is still a popular feature in our house (?!)

GROUP GAMES:
Pass the Parcel - We play this game a little differently than most.  There is no music and an activity written on each layer.  For eg. the person wearing the most items of clothing, the person who can stand on one leg for the longest, the person who has the next birthday, the person who can make the funniest face.  The person with the parcel at the time is the judge of that round.  In the pic below they are all doing crab impersonations!

Lego Hunt – Goose hid Lego all through our garden – front, back and sides.  Each child had to find four pieces of Lego – one of each colour – and exchange it for a small prize. A simple, but fun, game to get them running around and to tire them out a little!

The prizes for the lego hunt were chocolates that I made using a fantastic Lego man mould that I borrowed from a friend.  I forgot to take a picture of these on the day, so this pic below is of the ones that we made for Bear’s school friends on his actual birthday last week, all individually wrapped.  Tutorial on how to make these here and I just used white chocolate and yellow gel food dye.  I’m pretty sure they sell the moulds on ebay.
The take home goodies were simply a small lego set (a bargain on ebay) and some candy Lego bricks I purchased on my recent trip to the US that I popped in a treat tube (my new favourite thing).


You can find part 1 of the Lego Party here with the pics of the food & decos and pics of the invites & party prep here

You can also find more party ideas from previous Frog Goose & Bear parties over here


If you have any questions about preparing your own kids party, don’t be scared to ask – I’m always happy to help if I can!

A PIRATE PARTY TO REMEMBER – the activities

You’ve seen the food and now it’s time for the activities …  
In true pirate treasure map form, an ‘x’ marked the location of the party on our front gate along with a few red, white & black balloons.
When guests arrived they could don themselves with pirate scarves (stripy fabric cut into triangles) and eye patches as well as get a scar or moustache painted on their face with face paint and a pirate tattoo!

We set up a bit of a photo booth to take photos of all the little pirates, but to be honest, it didn’t really get used.  Next time, I’ll do it in a more obvious spot and make sure there is someone given the specific job of taking photos in the photo booth.  
Our pirate ship was made from an old plasma TV screen box (thanks to hard rubbish!) with enthusiastic help from Bear & Frog and the kids are still enjoying playing with it!

The children could then find their pirate ‘loot bag’* on the table and run around doing activities around the yard.  For each activity they received a prize for their loot bag…   
ACTIVITIES:

WALK THE PLANK

 walk the plank & receive some treasure for your loot bag.
KNOCK ‘EM DOWN

Knock down a tin can pyramid with rice bags and receive some treasure for your loot bag.
Small rice bags thrown at tin cans covered with some printable paper.

     

                                        
TOSS THE COIN

Toss large silver coins into treasure chest to receive some treasure for your loot bag. 
Coins made from cardboard circles (the portholes from our cardboard pirate ship!) covered in aluminium foil & frisbeed into a large box.

                                                       

DIG FOR BURIED TREASURE

Gold coins buried in the sandpit which were then swapped for chocolate coins.  We learned our lesson at an ‘underwater’ themed party a few years ago where we buried chocolate coins on a very hot day… you can imagine what happened!


WHERE IS THE TREASURE?

Place an ‘x’ sticker where you think the treasure is buried on the pirate treasure map.  No blindfold required!  I just placed an ‘x’ on the back of the map and the children had to guess where it was.

PINATA

A treasure chest pinata filled with treasure of chocolate coins and candy jewellery.  I have made pinatas in the past (well worth a go!), but when I saw this treasure chest at my local discount party shop I thought I’d save myself the effort.  

Purchased pinatas are a LOT harder to bust open!  After each child had multiple goes each, big sister Goose gave it an almighty whack…

and the hordes descended!

At the end of the party, their pirate ‘loot bag’ was their take home bag filled with the goodies they had collected during the party.  ‘Pirate’ is a very popular theme, so no trouble at all finding inexpensive pirate themed goodies!  
Had to include the following shot, ‘coz Grandpa & Uncle Thomas coming all the way from Adelaide for the party was pretty special.
 Always a little sad when party time is over – bring on the next one!

Pirate Party food – click here.
Pirate Party invitations – click here.

More FGB parties – click here.



* I purchased these muslin bags on etsy.com and then stamped a ship stamp and the child’s name.

A PIRATE PARTY TO REMEMBER – the food

We celebrated Bear’s fifth birthday on Sunday with a pirate party! Bear is particularly keen on pirates so it was the perfect theme for him!  He had an absolute ball which is, after all, why we go to all the effort!  As per usual, I’ll separate the party into two posts.  This one about the food and the next about the activities or we’d be here all day!
To put it into perspective our party was held at 2pm with roughly 20 children and 20 adults.  I usually seperate the food into two sittings, savoury while the activities are going and then dessert served with birthday cake at the end.

SAVOURY

popcorn in cones - I use this template to make my cone shape & I always use the sweet & salty flavoured popcorn premade at the supermarket.  It’s delicious!

octopus dip - hommus dip with capsicum octopus, olive & bread eyes secured with toothpicks – thanks kymmie & pinterest!  
sea salt chips - it’s just such a nautical flavour!

cabana & cheese - secured with pirate sword toothpicks that were purchased here.  

desert island dip - french onion dip over a block of cheese to secure the cabana skewer & toothpicks to secure the capsicum leaves.  Red capsicum ‘x’ marks the spot.  Saw it here & just had to try!  The dips looked awesome, but it’s never a popular party food :(


chicken sandwiches – recipe here. Thanks to my sister Lou for making them!

squid - thanks to my friend Susannah who inspired this one! You cut six slits into the bottom half of the hot dog prior to cooking and as soon as you pop them into the water to cook, they just curl right up.  These were a huge hit!

egg & bacon pies - we have these at every party.  The recipe is here and you can freeze them weeks in advance.

sausage rolls - you can make and freeze these weeks in advance also.  I can email if you’d like my recipe.
pirate fruit swords - thanks again Kymmie for the idea!
‘walk the plank’ bread - fairy bread cut into rectangle shape with choc sprinkles.

DRINKS
water bottles - decorated just like the invitations with old maps and twine.  Should I admit that I chose the bottles at the supermarket that had a little wave print on the bottle…it matched the theme…


white cups with red stripy straws - So much easier to find your drink if you name the cups and it saves on costs too!  We had a drink dispenser with fruit juice cordial in it alongside the cups for the kids to help themselves.


tea & coffee - set up for adults to help themselves along with kettle, milk, sugar, teaspoons & disposable mugs.  These teas are the Madame Flavour ones from the supermarket, ‘coz I think they look a little fancy…
There was a small amount of wine & beer for the adults as well, but no need for a photo of that one at a children’s party….

DESSERT

strawberries – served in stripy cupcake holders with little wooden forks.  You might recall seeing these at a certain fireman party a couple of weeks ago… Lou always has awesome party ideas and at this party, just like hers, they were a big hit with the kids and disappeared quickly…. this will become a new party staple!


pirate ship jellies – thanks to pinterest once again.


pirate swords – the new must have at every party, coz the kids love them.  Grissini bread sticks dipped in chocolate.  These swords were covered in gold and silver edible glitter.
lollypops – wrapped in pirate fabric scraps & twine.  Fabric leftover from the gorgeous bunting that my sister made last year for her son’s pirate party and kindly lent to us!



anchor biscuits - my faithful shortbread recipe can be found here.  These can be made days in advance which is always a winner!

cannon balls, pirate teeth & bullets - lollies in stripy bowls.  These were a steal at $2 each from kmart – bargain!

THE ‘TREASURE MAP’ BIRTHDAY CAKE – let’s face it, this is the most important part of the party as far as most kids are concerned and particularly for the birthday child.  This fact always causes me no end of stress at 1am the night before the party which is when I always seem to be decorating the cake!  Thanks to some awesome tips from Simmoney (you must check out her son’s neverland party!) one sister for baking the cake and the other for helping me style the ocean, this cake caused very little 1am stress (although it was still decorated at this time) and I was very happy with how to turned out!

I even followed Simmoney’s tip of hiding some treasure (smarties) under the ‘X’ on the cake!  It’s all about the extra touches ;)

 Just keeping it real – couldn’t have done it without the extra help in the kitchen!  As well as these two wonderful helpers, extra special thanks goes to both of my sisters for being ‘above & beyond’ party helpers who just ‘get it’.

After all the info in that post, you should have all you need to have your very own pirate party, but if you do have any party questions, you know I always love to help when it comes to parties so please feel free to email!

Stay tuned for the next post with the pirate party activities!
What’s the next party you are planning?  

If you’d like a squiz at previous parties here at Frog, Goose & Bear, just head over here.

DIY MINI MIKADO


Mikado, or pick-up sticks as it is also known, is a game that we played often as children. The game got its name from the highest scoring (blue) stick “Mikado“. Mikado is the name given to the Emperor of Japan. We played Giant Mikado at Goose’s Japanese birthday party last week and as a memento to send home, we made each child their own set of Mini Mikado. I think they will also work very well in our bon-bons/crackers next Christmas too!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN:

I personally think the game works better if you can find double pointed, round toothpicks, but you could also make the regular size in the same way by using bamboo skewers. My clever Mum made these ones for me and this is what she did:

1. Color 4 bowls of water, each with different colored food dyes – Mum used Edicol powder to get a strong color.
2. Add the right number of toothpicks into each bowl.
3. Take the toothpicks out after a couple of minutes or until color is right. You can take them out by using a pair of metal tongs.
4. Leave them to dry on some newspaper or paper towel.

I searched all over the net and there doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rule for which colors to use or how many of each color or even the score each stick is worth, so I just made up my own values and colors. Feel free to print these rules up and use for yourself.*

HOW TO PLAY “MIKADO”

1 Blue Mikado stick – 10 points

8 yellow sticks – 5 points

8 green sticks – 3 points

8 pink sticks – 1 point

Any number of people may play. Everyone sits in a circle.

One person holds the sticks upright touching the ground, then opens their hand to let the sticks fall. The sticks should all lay on top/under each other in a disarrayed fashion (the messier the better). Each person takes a turn at removing one stick from the pile, while trying not to move any of the other sticks.

If the player moves any other stick apart from the one they are trying to remove, it is the next person’s turn. But if he/she moves the stick without moving any others, they have another turn and keep going until they move a stick and then it is the next person’s turn.

When the Mikado stick has been lifted, it may be used for the removal of further sticks.

When all the sticks are gone, everyone counts the value of their sticks. The person with the highest score wins!



Up to your own discretion obviously, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that it’s probably a game for those 5yrs and up. Wouldn’t want anyone poking their eyes out!


* If anyone is tech savvy and could teach me how to attach this as a downloadable pdf document, I’d be ecstatic if you could explain it to me!

JAPANESE PARTY {the activities}

I like the idea of walking into a party and having something to get involved in right away, so I often have a number of different activities going on and the kids can do the rounds. It does involve having other adults to help you. These are the activities we had at Goose’s Japanese party.

CHERRY BLOSSOM TREE PICTURES
I painted a branch and photocopied it onto pieces of card. We provided some geisha girl stickers, some cherry blossom shaped cutouts (punched out using our origami scraps & some Japanese writing) and some leaf shaped stamps & Japanese symbol stamps (that I already had in my stash) along with some red ink and some pink tissue paper to scrunch up and make their own cherry blossom tree picture. This idea was borrowed from here.

ORIGAMI PAPER FOLDING
We had an origami paper folding table set up with origami paper and printed a few simple origami animal shapes from here and stuck them on the wall with one of each that Goose had already made up. This is the first activity most kids headed for. You can see the table in the background of the photo below.

PAPER FAN DECORATING
I found some blank paper fans at Riot Art and the kids decorated them with textas. Thanks Anna for the idea!

GIANT MIKADO (AKA ‘PICK UP STICKS’)
If you’ve never played this game, see here for more details. This was my Mum’s set that she has had for years, but I have seen them for sale at Australian Geographic.

FUKUWARAI
Translated “Lucky Laugh” in English and traditionally played around New Year in Japan. Just like Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, players are blindfolded & must try to stick the eyes, nose, mouth & cheeks in the correct places on the face. Thanks to my sister Clare for drawing the face!
You can find more information on the game of Fukuwarai here and some free Fukuwarai printables here.

We also did pass the parcel on the birthday girls request, which we played to the music of the 80′s classic ‘Turning Japanese’ by The Vapors and had a Guess How Many Japanese Lollies in the Jar competition.


P.S. Some other activities that I liked, but we didn’t end up doing are :
- writing your name in Japanese. You can type your name into this website and it tells you your name in Japanese.
- Get the kids to race each other using chopsticks to pick up cheerios or lollies and transfer them from one bowl to another.
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