Sunday, July 2, 2017

Spork's Banana Split Birthday Party

Around Christmas time, Spork gawked at a picture of a banana split.  He asked reverently, "When can I have one of those?"  I decided then and there that we would ring in his 6th year with a banana split party.  Since banana splits are a vintage dessert, I added in a sub theme of classic summer.

Thank You Cards
T-shirt - if you don't immediately think of Gwen Stefani and giggle when you see his shirt, I'm not sure we can be friends.

I cut a cardboard box into a 6 shape and decorated it with Neapolitan colored tissue.  Spork watched me carefully and noted his satisfaction several times.  We used it to decorate our front door for the occasion!

I found this adorable cone shaped vase at Target, and filled it and some ice cream dishes with carnations.  I popped sprinkle paper straws (also from Target) into the dishes to make them look like little ice cream sodas.  I reused the tropical leaves from the baby shower.  The banner, "6" balloon, and chalkboard are from Target too.  I don't get paid to blog, but I would love for Target to pick me up and sponsor all our parties!  I feel like the Target fairy reads my mind, because like Kelly's store on Handy Manny, they "always have just what I need."

Activities: Summer & Ice Cream Fun!

Our first party activity was just an open-ended play prompt.  Each child got a paper cone and a balloon.  I challenged the kids to throw and catch the balloon just using the cone.  This one turned out a bit too challenging for our 6yos, and I realized that the friends were way more interested in our zip line and dome climber.

We made ice cream play dough!  I set out all our little cones, dishes, and spoons.

Spork's big gift from us was this ice cream truck.  We set it out for the party with our pizza and ice cream sets.

We played Cone Crunch (a modified version of Silly Smash, in which each cone hides a little prize).  Under our cones, we hid non-fragile chocolates, adhesive mustaches, and cute erasers.  Then my party assistant invited each guest to smash 3 cones and keep the prizes!  (My early intervention work brain is insisting that I mention that this makes for fabulously fun proprioceptive input as well.). 

Water balloons are de rigueur for my summer birthday boys.  Here are some party tips for water balloons:
1.  Fill them up the night before and store in a cooler UNLESS you are using the bunch-o-balloons.  The bunch balloons close with a plastic ring, and they will leak if they sit for more than a few minutes.  I found this out the hard way when I opened my prepped cooler to see tiny sad deflated balloons floating on gallons of water last year, and those things aren't cheap!
2.  Make sure parents know to prep your little party guests with swimsuits and towels.  It can be more than a little inconvenient to send sopping wet kids home or to their next destination.  And even if you have easygoing party parents, some children have sensory issues that make damp clothes an absolute misery for them.
3.  With said sensory issues, some children are not down for the intensity of water balloons, so I always announce it first so they can evacuate the area if they so choose.  I set up an alternative activity inside for any kids who are sitting it out.
4.  Dollar Tree water balloons work just as well or possibly better than more expensive brands.

Menu - classic kid summer favorites:
Pizza - Daddy usually picks it up, but since he was freshly home from a work trip, we had it delivered and felt extra relaxed about life.
Banana Splits

I did take the Pinterest tip to prescoop the ice cream into a muffin tin, which made banana split assembly a breeze.

For favors, I used ice cream cone stamps on little Kraft bags and stuffed them with water balloons, punching balloons, bubbles in a popsicle shape, and beach balls (all from Dollar Tree).  I topped each bag with pink, white, or brown paper shred to use the Neapolitan color theme again.  Finally, I made some Shrinky Dink banana key rings to clip on the handles.  I used the bright white blanks with Sharpies.  If you feel less than confident about your free hand art, you can also run blank Shrinky Dink paper through a printer.  A regular size hole punch shrinks down to the perfect size for a ball chain.  These little banana guys turned out super cute, and I might just keep an extra for my purse!

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