If you follow me on Instagram then you know that Liam turned four last week. Back in August, I started to think about his party, yes I plan (in my head) that early. I wanted to start collecting my ideas and preparing my execution plan. Well, the kid wanted a Batman party. Hurray! Can you hear the sarcasm? Honestly, though I did have fun planning this party.
We took a family trip to the party store and together picked out the items that would be great for his party. We got all the party essentials: plates, cups, napkins, invitations and thank you cards. Then we selected a plastic backdrop where Batman is about to go to blows with the Penguin and Joker. I thought that would create a big impact somewhere, I just didn’t know where or how for that matter. We found a pack of Batman hanging decorations that I thought would be perfect over the food table and outside in our big tree. I threw bags of black, and three shades of blue balloons into the shopping cart. Again, not sure how I was going to use these, but I knew I would somehow. After the balloons mad their way into the cart, Liam selected one of two Batman piñatas.
When we got home from the party store and I put everything up in a closet and forgot about it all for a week or so. I had a girl’s weekend in California that I had on my mind. Again, follow on Instagram so you don’t miss the next trip.
Once I returned from California, realized I really needed to start preparing for this party. I always say the difference between a good-looking party and a great-looking party is the color scheme. I like to choose three colors and make everything I possibly can for the party in those colors. Liam likes the old school blue Batman, so I found a blue color that I like and went with black and yellow for my other two colors. Little hint here, go to Home Depot for your paint. You can get a sample color for only $3! You get a lot more than you do with a craft paint and you can select from hundreds of colors or have a custom color made. I found these three perfect Batman colors.
Now that I had my color scheme, I had to determine décor. If you saw my Don’t Overdo the Décor post, then you know my secrets. I focus on making areas or vignettes vs trying to decorate the entire house. I knew people would be either coming through the front door or the backyard gate, so I hung a small collection of helium-filled balloons at each.
I had the backdrop and I wanted it in the backyard because that is where the party would be taking place. All of the walls on the outside of our house have shrubs in front of them so I could attach it to a wall. Our fence is on top of a rock retaining wall so that won’t work either. As I was brainstorming (yes weeks before when I was still in the “up in my head” planning stage), I thought about this dilemma. Then it hit me one day, we have a moveable metal backdrop frame. Bingo. I’ll attach the Batman backdrop and cover the edges of the metal frame with balloons. The day of the party, I attached the plastic Batman backdrop using painters tape, then I started blowing up balloons. Using a fish wire and needle, I strung the balloons and tied off each end of the fish wire to the metal backdrop frame. Then I filled in the gaps with smaller balloons, which I attached with a low temp glue gun. I put the backdrop in the center of the yard and threw the Gotham City Building Blocks behind it. Keep reading if you want to find out about the blocks.
We have a big tree in the center of our back porch, and with it’s commanding presence I knew I needed to decorate it somehow. I hung some of the hanging Batman decoration on a few branches and tied the Batman piñata to it. Perfect. Next to our beloved tree is our outdoor table, which I threw a Batman tablecloth on.
In the kitchen, where people would be getting their food, I hung black and white fabric flags and the hanging Batman decorations (all but the five I saved for the tree out back). I set up the food: pizza, veggies, applesauce, and yogurt next to the Batman plates, cups, napkins. The décor was done now for the games.
The Party Games
I always say games should come in threes, so for this Batman Birthday party, we did the Gotham City Building Blocks, the Quest to Become a Superhero and a Batman Piñata.
Gotham City Building Blocks
Recently I did a post about a Leftover Moving Box Kid Activity. Liam and Jaxson loved the activity so I figured they would have fun with the party guests building Gotham City with the leftover moving boxes. I sponge painted blue, black and yellow brick patterns on the boxes. I figured Gotham needed some skyscrapers, so I paint two boxes that included bright yellow windows. The idea was for the kids to have fun building with these huge “blocks.”
The Gotham City building blocks were kind of a, “Hey kids, go play with those huge blocks and build something. Come get me when you’re done,” sort of a game. Which is great for the first game as guest arrive and before dinner.
Quest to Become a Superhero
Months ago, Thomas and I helped in Liam’s class with Pirate week. One of the activities was to find items from a treasure map. I stole that idea and created a Quest to Become a Super Hero game. I put my graphic design skills to work and created a superhero map. I placed characters on the map and added them to a second page. I cut out the characters from the second page and placed them through our yard and gathered the kids together, which as you know is like herding cats.
To get the kids all excited I asked, “Who wants to become a superhero?” They all screamed, “Me!” I told them that they were all on the quest. “Your quest to become a superhero starts here. These superheroes have lost their way. It is your job to discover where they are hiding and bring them back to headquarters.” I told the wide-eyed kids. I had so much fun running around the yard with them as they searched for the characters. When a child would find one, we all cheered and I ran to them and let them stick the superhero to the map. By the time we made our way around the yard and collected all the superheroes, I announced, “You have saved all the superheroes! Your quest is done and now you have become a superhero yourself!” At which point, I presented them each with a plastic Batman hat.
Super Hero Quest Map
This one was easy I purchased a piñata and filled it with candy. On the day of the party and after the quest was complete, I wanted to continue with the fun so I “herded the cats” to a space near the big Batman-decorated tree in our backyard and asked them to sit down. I asked Liam who should have the first turn and reminded him that it would be kind to let someone else go first. He, of course, chose his brother and Jaxson popped right up and was ready to go. It was piñata time! I gave Jax the bat and he hit that thing like a champ. Each child got two hits and then had to give the bat to the next person. Well, you know how that game ended. Candy induce comas for each smiling kid.
I really did have a fun time planning and executing this party. I was exhausted afterward, but like I told my mama friends,
“I did this party for Liam, but really I did it from myself. I want it so that near the end of my life I feel like I was a fun mom…for the most part.”
Thanks for reading till the end, this was a long one.