I can't quite remember when I decided to forsake the ballerina theme for my daughter's third birthday but I believe it was around the time she really took a liking to Toy Story. Because this is the year the 3rd movie in the series was released, I figured it would be a perfect idea for a 3rd birthday. I always seem to go overboard when it comes to party or event planning and I usually stress myself right out before the party but I do enjoy getting everything ready.
For the invitation, a friend of mine showed me a Toy Story movie poster she had modified and had added her son's name to it as well as the date of his birthday. She is doing the same theme herself and her son was born soon after Olivia. I imported the poster into Adobe Photoshop and downloaded a Pixar font and added her name and her birth date to the poster. Then I took a picture of her and cut her out and added her in amongst the toys, trying to make it look like she was one of them. She actually asked me if she was in the movie after seeing the picture. I narrowed down the theme further to a Space Ranger party in light of the fact that she loves Buzz Lightyear and had asked for a cake topper of him instead of Woody.
The invitation read:
On August 2nd, Olivia the space ranger is turning 3 years old and wants to invite fellow space rangers to join her for a galactic pool party. Space dock is at ***** and Docking will begin at 2 pm with food and fun to follow. Please send a subspace message to her mom at email or call on the old fashioned telephone to let us know if you can attend. Make sure to bring your space (bathing) suits towels and space chairs to insure your comfort on the journey.
After the invitations were sent out, it was time to start on planning the cake, cupcakes, loot bags and games. For loot bags I shopped at the dollar store, it's called Dollarama in our area and found lots of little stickers, tattoos, little toys and a candy. I did buy the more expensive official Toy Story loot bags but that's one of the only extravagant purchases I made. Most of her presents themselves were dollar store or thrift store purchases.
I also started on a piñata. I blew up a 12 inch balloon and used paper mache to cover it with newspapers. I used a mixture of 1 part flour to 2 parts water and cut the strips of newspaper into 2x3 inches. It took about 5 layers of newspaper before the piñata was solid enough to pop the balloon inside. It was quite easy to remove the balloon after cutting a hole in the top to add the candy. Then I painted it gray to coincide with the Space Ranger idea and drew craters on it and voila, we had an asteroid piñata. We also used silver duct tape to add the strings to the piñata so that we could hang it. Unfortunately the strings didn't hold, I'm not sure what would have been a better idea. Then we added tons of candy bought at a bulk store and taped the hole shut.
As for the cake, I consulted with a friend whom I consider to be a cake expert. She sent me a picture of a Buzz cake topper on a meteor and gave me some tips as to how to make it. I borrowed the Wilton 3D ball cake pan from her and used my favorite cream cheese butter cream icing from cakecentral.com. I also got my Wilton food coloring gel from her in black and green. The gel color is the best to use that I've found because it produces a vivid color without using much of the gel itself which can dilute the icing. I baked the cake using a boxed mix and iced it first with a thin coat of butter cream as a crumb coat. I let that set in the refrigerator for a few hours and then iced it again with a thicker coat. Then I sprayed a spoon with cooking spray and lightly pressed in the craters. I then dipped my fingers in cornstarch and smoothed the craters out.
I also made Little Green Men cupcakes to surround the cake following the ideas of DisneyFamily.com.
I couldn't have asked for better weather on the day of the party. It was hot and sunny and the kids loved playing in the pool and running around the backyard. In order to be accommodating to all my guests small and not as small (the age range was from 15 months to 6 or 7 years old), as well as to be fair to my special guest Emma who is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, I had games that everyone could play. We had hot potato and a treasure hunt to look for aliens hidden in the back yard. For those, I printed a coloring page of the little green men, colored it and glued it to a piece of cardboard glued to a popsicle stick. I figured these could double as puppets. Along with the piñata, hot dogs, cake, cupcakes, watermelon and juice I think everyone had a blast including Miss Olivia who got many wonderful gifts.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Buzz Lightyear Space Party
I met Marissa Reedhead many years ago on one of the forums I frequent at DelphiForums. She is not a mom of many, but she is a mom. She lives in a small northern town in Ontario with her husband and two children where she says they "pretty much have to make" their "own fun since there isn't much to do." She also lives with two cats Gabe and Jeremiah and a guinea pig named Norm. Marissa recently posted some photos on Facebook of her daughter's birthday party. When I saw all of the effort she put into creating such a great Toy Story Buzz Lightyear "Space" party for her daughter's birthday, I asked her if she would mind guest posting about it here. She graciously agreed.