Small Hands in the Big World

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Super Boy's 5th Birthday

When William said he wanted to invite all of his preschool and neighborhood friends to his birthday party, I figured no problem.  How often do 95% of guests RSVP Yes? Well… apparently often because our guest list quickly grew to 26 kids!
Dressing up is one of his favorite pastimes and he requested a Superhero party so we decided that costumes would be the activity (decorating capes, belts, wrist cuffs and masks) and the party favors all in one.

Capes:  I found a polyester blend that was inexpensive, silky and flowing (but not too slippery), came in bright colors, and didn’t fray at the edges. No sewing required! Using an existing store bought cape, I made a pattern from newspaper. Then, with multiple folds and tolerance of some ragged edges, was able to cut four capes out at a time. Securing them in the front proved more challenging (snaps or little hooks work great but there is too much stitching involved, sticky Velcro won’t stay stuck, a glue gun would secure string but it might also create a rough surface against kids’ necks…. Hmmm. Finally, I remembered that snaps can be “installed” if you have the right tools and the Dritz Snap-A-Plier did the trick!)

Masks:  Stiffened felt is a godsend! All I did was make a little pattern then start folding and cutting. I was originally going to sew elastic on each one but when the headcount exceeded 25, I had to think of something easier. The same tool I used for installing snaps also punches holes in fabric so I could tie elastic cord on each side.
Superhero Cuffs:  Stick-on Velcro is my friend. I used rolls of 100% acetate firm ribbon, cut strips on a diagonal, and then used that sticky Velcro to make them stay put.

Belts:  Much to my surprise, the scraps left behind from the cape-cutting were just right for tie-on belts!

At the party, sticky felt (another good friend of mine) shapes gave the kids all kinds of ways to decorate their super-outfits however they liked! Stars, butterflies, smiley faces, and peace symbols were available pre-cut and I cut lightning bolts out myself from sheets of the sticky felt.
Big pictures of the Joker and the Riddler provided the perfect villans for "Blast the Bad Guy!"

We offered tattoos and face painting but the favorite activity was “Blast the Bad Guy!” The big refrigerator box we’ve been playing with for months became a target for bean bags thrown by super-kids. I had a couple coloring book pages enlarged then glued them to the cardboard and cut around them so they’d fall down when hit by a bean bag. The kids loved it and they got creative about shooting stomp rockets into it as well.  Stomp rocket play got a little crazy but as I look up, I keep telling myself, the bright green rocket sitting up on the skylight is proof that the party was a hit!
My Mom's dog (appropriately named Happy) was given lots of love at the party. The face painting almost turned to body painting but we managed to put it away before anyone got beyond their arms.

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