Sunday, January 22, 2012

lego and a tank cake

If you'd looked up the word apprehension in the dictionnary last week, there might have been a photo of myself and my husband. We were building up to panic through the week, at the prospect of 18 of our boy's 5 and 6 year old friends invading our house for a couple of hours. Yes, we'd invited them, but still, the prospect was daunting. We kept saying "it is only for 2 hours". It seems that kindergarden is a big year for birthdays and a few of our boy's friends have had parties for the whole class. Our boy really wanted to do that as well. I looked into various options for entertainment and venues but in the end I came up with this - a party at our house with entertainment for the children. I hired a fantastic guy who came with a ton of lego and a friend to help him to play with the kids for most of the time. (I'm not linking to his site mainly because he isn't currently booking parties but if you live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested just leave me a comment and I can forward you details.) I also begged some mum friends to stay while their kids played (ok, I also plied them with wine to make it more palatable).

So, the party has come and gone. Everyone seemed to have fun, no-one got hurt and my husband only had to use a bit of carpet cleaner solution afterwards. I think it also helped that I've learned a few things and applied them to this party. When I started planning the party, I was initially only going to ask the boys. But in speaking to a few mums about the idea of a lego party, they all seemed enthusiastic and it did seem a bit mean to not ask the girls in our boy's class as well. Especially, as my husband pointed out, that our boy had been to several of their parties. But I did think that I would set up a place where the girls could go if they go legoed out, with a roll of art paper and crayons. And as we moved the furniture in the living room mostly into the dining room to make a clear space for the lego to be, we had a big seating area in the dining room - very squashed but cosy. I kept it simple with the party food with things that had worked well at other kid parties - crackers (I went with the ever popular Cheese Bunnies), a veggie tray with dip, sliced fruit (melon, apple, strawberries and grapes), homemade bagel bites and a bowlful of yogurt tubes. I'd never seen yogurt served at a kids party before but it is one of our boy's favorite foods and I thought it might be a good idea as it is a self contained serving. They were very popular, especially with kids who'd never had them before.

The lego guys arrived early, and set up quickly with all kinds of fantastic lego creations - I'd requested the City set with airport and space add ons. They had lego apartment building, hospital, bank, police station, pizzeria, airport, airplanes, stations, a huge crane as well as all kinds of lego vehicles, people and an array of space plants, stations and robots. They also set up a lego train set with a set of controls and had trays of block for the children to build things with. It was quite an impressive set up.

 I did wonder how all the children would fit in but they all did. And after the initial excitement on seeing it all, the kids settled down to a dull roar. They played with the lego, some came and snacked and some made their way upstairs. The girls did a giant birthday card for our boy with the paper and crayons and some found a game to play.

The parents who stayed perched around and had wine and snacks and chatted. It was great. When the lego time was up, the kids moved to wash their hands and then onto the snacks. It was very crowded in our dining room but no-one seemd to mind. Once everyone was done with hand washing, I lit the cake candles and our boy (with the help of some of his friends) blew them out and the kids had cake.

And then it was time to go. They all got a balloon and a goodie bag and off they went.

Afterwards, we cleaned up, moved the furniture back to where it normally is and had a supper of mostly leftover veggies and fruit. One of our favorite moments from the party was when some of the boys (including mine) decided to put all the Lego girls in jail and one of the girls found out about it. "We have to rescue them!" and the girls all banded together and trooped in to rescue the Lego girls from the police jail.

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