Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A LEGO RACE CAR 5th Birthday Party

It was going to be difficult trying to top last year's Shark Party for our son's 4th birthday.  It was "fin"tastic and everyone had a blast.  Not to mention that I had a lot of fun designing and planning the party.  

This year we did a Lego Race Car themed party for our son's 5th birthday!



At the same time that I was trying to settle on a theme, my husband got word from his mom, when she was visiting with his sister, that they had discovered his old Legos from when he was a kid!  The best part is that these are the same Legos that my husband thought were given away and long since gone.  He was thrilled that they were found and we thought it would be a perfect idea to give them as a gift to our son during a Lego birthday party!  Thus, the Lego-themed party was born!


Once we'd decided on the Lego theme, I immediately started worrying about where to have the party, as we were in the midst of moving to a smaller place. A little later I was talking to a friend about our challenge of lack-of-space and where we would have the party, lamenting the fact that our place was so small and that we wouldn't be able to stuff everyone into the new house at once.

She suggested having an "open house style" party.  I had no idea about what she was talking about, so she explained that it's when you open your house to a party for a longer stretch of time than a normal party, which means instead of packing all the guests in at one time, the guests can come and go any time during the party hours, thus spreading out the crowd. Genius!

INVITATION:

I ended up sending an Evite again this year, mainly in the interest of time.  It's just so easy and fast!  Plus, time was a tickin'!  I used the "BDay Fun" template, which I found using the search term "Lego" on the Evite.com site.  I uploaded a photo of the birthday boy at Legoland, and used the following wording to explain how the open house style party worked:

Open house style party invitation wording: ______________________________________________________________  


This will be an OPEN HOUSE STYLE party!

Arrive when you like and stay as little or as long as you want! 

Our house will be open for the party from 10am and 4pm, on Sunday, December 9th.

Please stop by anytime between those hours and help us celebrate Christian turning 5 yrs old!

Loose schedule:
10am - Party starts
10:15am - Christian will open his "big gift"
Noon - Lunch will be served
1pm - Cake cutting and candles
4pm - Party concludes

* Snacks will be served throughout the day
* Cupcakes will be available throughout the day (in case guests arrive earlier or later than the 1pm cake cutting time frame)
* There will be hourly games and races
* Gifts, which are optional, can be unwrapped as they arrive 


______________________________________________________________

The "big gift" listed in the schedule above, was my husband's old Legos!  We wanted him to open this gift early so that he and his friends could play with them throughout the party.  I wrapped it up and it happened to be shaped like a Lego brick, so I cut out some circles out of cardstock, using THIS circle cutter and taped them onto the package.  I printed out Christian's name in Lego logo style and used it as a gift tag. 

Download the LegoThick font HERE

THEME & GAMES:
Now, what to do about keeping the kids entertained at the party?  Legos was the theme, but I didn't want to just dump a bunch of Legos on the floor and let them have at.  So I was searching for ideas on Pinterest and came across THIS Lego activity.  A Lego race track!

Perfect.

It was settled.

We were going to have a LEGO RACE CAR party!  

That table track reminded me of the Lego race tracks that some of the Lego stores have set up in the front or outside of their stores.

SOURCE

I remembered how much my son loved building and racing Lego cars each time we were there and never wanted to leave.  Having a "Lego Race Car" theme was perfect for the open house style birthday party, since the kids would be busy playing and building and racing, and in addition we could have "official" races at the top of every hour.

I borrowed a sturdy 6-foot folding table from my mom, and my husband made lanes and decorated it with checkered flag Duct tape, purchased at Micheal's.  I couldn't find checkered pennant banner flags to save my life!  But I do like how the Duct Tape looked along the edges of the table.

SOURCE

I also created some of these Lego "brick" templates that I used to print out onto 8"x10" red, green, blue and yellow cardstock.  Once they were printed and trimmed, I used them to decorate the house and table race track.  I also created a Lego brick pennant banner:


Here are the templates I created and used:



You can now purchase this template in my Etsy shop:  HERE

I "raced" down the the Lego store, to stock up on Lego pieces from their pick-a-brick wall.

Source

I grabbed a bucket and filled it with about 20 sets of Lego car bases, with the necessary car accessories, like the steering wheels, windshields, shifters, car seats, etc.

I fit them easily into the taller-sized wall-o-bricks bucket:

Source

This was me, trying to figure out what to buy at the wall-o-bricks.  Thank goodness the Lego store has such a helpful staff! 

Source
 I bought one car set per kid attending the party, which worked out to be about 20 sets:


 When we got home, Christian helped me sort and bag each set:


We bagged them into these tiny resealable plastic bags from the jewellery section of the craft store, which I purchased at Hobby Lobby:



Lego Pit Passes:

This is available in my Etsy shop HERE

UPDATE:  I've updated these Lego Pit Passes to have the "Lego Track Pit Pass" words to look like the Lego logo - see photo above! 

I made these "Lego Pit Passes" for the kids.  I handed them out with the sets of car parts, when each child arrived.  The kids felt so official with them on!

Downloadable PDF file of these pit passes available in my Etsy shop: HERE
I bought some lanyards in blue and red, with some plastic badge holders, printed them out on cardstock.  I found the lanyards at Hobby Lobby, and the badge holders were purchased from Staples. 


One of my ideas was to have gold, silver and bronze star stickers, and put them onto the backs of the pit passes as awards for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.  But I never made it to the store to pick up the stickers.  


These are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop: HERE

Lego Games:

There are a lot of Lego game ideas such as THESE on Pinterest or in Google search.  I had a couple of them lined up, like the Lego Tube Race, but it seemed that our 4- and 5-yr-olds guests were having a grand enough time with the Legos and with each other, so we didn't end up playing any of them. 

DECORATIONS:

Lego "Happy Birthday" Banner:


Mama Kat over at the Big K Little G blog, posted a free DIY Lego Birthday Banner like the one above.  I happen to have all of the materials at home and it only took me about an hour to put it together!




I also found these Lego men online and printed one out to put in between the "Happy" and "Birthday" portions of the Lego banner:


You can print your own color Lego man here:


Download this document for free HERE

Lego Soap Dispenser:

I saw THIS idea for the Lego bricks in the soap dispenser on Pinterest (of course) and I knew I had to do it:

SOURCE

I gave Christian a few of the bricks and let him stuff them into the dispenser himself.  I'm pretty sure this was his favorite job of the entire party set up.



Framed Lego Prints:

I came across a couple of really interesting Lego prints on Pinterest, when I was researching ideas for the Lego party.

I love these ads as a collage showing Lego bricks and their shadows reflecting how far your imagination can take you:

Download this Lego Ad for FREE: HERE

I especially love this print of the original Lego brick patent, and a quote about the patent:

Download this FREE Lego Patent Print: HERE
I rummaged around and managed to find these red and blue frames to put them in!  They matched the party decorations perfectly!  If I had the time I would have loved to have made two more frames in yellow and green, to complete the color theme in the frames! 


I thought that they would be interesting conversation pieces for the grown ups, while doubling as decorations for the party, as well!

Lego Crown:

I saw THIS Lego crown on Pinterest and knew that I had to make a similar one for my birthday boy:

SOURCE

Here's what I came up with:   



I've created a template to print, along with instructions, on how to make the crown and have added it to my Etsy shop HERE.




I found blue and red Lego printed 12"x12" scrapbooking paper at Joann's craft store.  However, I couldn't find any in yellow or green, so I created a Lego print on my computer (see photo below) and printed it off onto yellow and green cardstock paper.  I ended up with all four of the theme colors, with which to make the crown:


To make the crown, I measured my son's head and cut out four pieces in the four different colors, and then cut out 2" squares from the top of each section of paper, then glued the remaining pieces together, end-to-end, which measured out to just over 20".  

Then using a hand punch, I punched out four 1 1/2" circles from the scraps of each color sheet and pasted them onto the tops of the crown "spikes" to represent jewels in the crown, staggering the colors as I went around. 


I also printed out his name in the LegoThick font onto white paper and colored outside of the of the letters with a yellow marker, then cut it out and pasted it onto the front of his crown.

I also printed out a Lego minifigure race car driver (which is the lower case "t", from the LegoThick font set that you can download HERE).

Download HERE

I used the Keynote program on my Mac and layered a circle over the "T" on the race car driver's shirt, and then added a "LegoThick" number "5" in it.  I printed it out and colored it with some markers and glued it next to his name on the crown.

If you go to picmonkey.com, you can upload this picture of the Lego minifigure race car driver and super-impose the # of your choice into the circle on his shirt, then resave it and print it out onto white or different colored cardstock and use it for decorations!  


Balloons:

I loved the idea of keeping the party color pallet simple and down to just four colors: red, blue, yellow and green.  Thus, I purchased a dozen balloons from my local grocery store in those colors; 3 of each.  I did a little shopping around for balloon prices and I was surprised that they were less expensive to purchase at the floral section of a grocery store than they were at a party supply store, like Party City.



Lego Coloring Page Printables:

There were a ton of Lego-themed coloring available on the Lego site and several other sites on Google Image Search and Pinterest.  HERE and HERE.  I had them available in case some of the kids wanted to color with crayons instead.  

I also found this cute Lego man maze HERE, and then updated it to fit with the Lego birthday party theme and to make it printable onto 8 1/2" x 11" paper, so I could pass them out at the party:
Download this FREE maze HERE

Lego T-Shirts:

I love the idea of matching t-shirts for the birthday kids and parents at a birthday party.  We had matching shirts two years ago for our rocket party, and the year before that, for our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed party.  I'd forgotten that I'd done that, until I saw the t-shirts on THIS blog.  Which reminded me that I needed to make us t-shirts for the party! 

So, this year, I designed a Lego Race Car t-shirt for us, personalized them with our names, using printable iron-on transfer sheets that I picked up at Micheal's craft store.  I've seen them at Joann's, Hobby Lobby, Office Dept and Staples, as well.  Hobby Lobby had really nice plain white t-shirts, with 98% cotton and 2% spandex, for a low price.


For the words "CHRISTIAN", "MOMMY" & "DADDY", I used the LegoThick font, which is white with a black outline.  But I needed a yellow outline around it, on a red background, so that they would look just like the Lego logo.  

I found this tutorial to turn the LegoThick font to look like the Lego logo, but I didn't have Photoshop to complete it.  So I asked one of my handy friends to make the names for me.  She put the yellow outline around the black outline (with white in the middle), and then layered them over a red box/rectangle with a black outline.


Once I was ready to print onto the iron-on sheets, I flipped them horizontally since I wanted the print to be backwards when printed, so that when I laid the transfer sheet face down onto the shirt to iron it on, it would read correctly on our shirts.

I put the hubby to work!  :)
I Googled "finish line flags" and picked one for the back of the shirts, under our names, to tie in with the race car driver in the front.



FOOD:
I kept the food simple.  I wanted it to be simple and on the healthy side.  I figured we'd all be grazing all day. 

For breakfast, since the party started at 10am, I set out some homemade muffins, served coffee and orange juice.

Around 11am, I set out some hummus and pita chips from Trader Joe's, along with a yummy cranberry blue cheese dip with pita crackers.  

We had a cooler full of juice boxes, iced tea, lemonade and water bottles.

Here are the water bottle labels, or wraps, that I created to match the rest of the party decor:

 
To make the label "waterproof" I printed it out, then took some packing (wide clear) tape and laid it on top of the print out, then used my paper cutter to cut the labels out.  Then I removed the original label from the bottle (but not necessary) and wrapped these around them instead, securing with scotch tape.

These are available for purchase in my Etsy shop HERE

There's also a spot on the labels so that each kid was able to write their names on their own bottle.  


For lunch, I made a big vat of chicken salad (canned chicken, mayo, celery salt and pepper) and set out bread for sandwiches.  And I set out bowls of mini apples, Cuties and grapes, to go with the sandwiches, and to munch on as snacks.

Everyone seemed pretty happy with the food selection.  I'm bummed I didn't take any photos of the food table.  

CAKE & CUPCAKES:

After searching through many super cute Lego cakes on Google, Pinterest and in CakeCentral.com, I came across THIS cake and thought, "Wow, I can make that." Especially having never covered a square-shaped cake in fondant before, I thought this method was pretty clever by just cutting out and laying panels of fondant onto the sides and tops of the cake.  Brilliant!


It's two layers of cake, baked in a square pan, then I baked an additional one layer, and used it to cut out 2" circles with a pastry cutter.   Of course I waited until the night before to work on the cake, and wouldn't you know, I ran out of fondant.  All of the stores were closed!  So, I had to wait until the morning to go buy fondant.  I was at the door of Michael's Craft store as soon as it opened at 9am.  I was stressing out because the party started at 10am! 

I rolled out fondant and measured the sides and top of the cake and using a ruler, cut out corresponding rectangular shaped pieces to cover the cake with. I rolled long strips of fondant to wrap around the mini cakes on top. It turned out much sloppier than I'd wanted, but I'm glad I got it done. 

My son was thrilled with his Lego Brick cake. He and his friends had their eyes on the little round cakes on top and immediately grabbed all four of them, the moment the candles were blown out:


Pay no mind to the finger poking that went on behind the cake while we were singing "Happy Birthday"!  LOL!

Lego Man Poop Cupcakes:

"Lego man poop", anyone?

In addition to the cake, I also made enough cupcakes to feed the masses in case they came and left before or after we did the cake cutting.  And I figured that a bunch of 4 and 5 yr olds would get a huge kick out of having poop on their cupcakes, especially if it was from a Lego Minifigure.  ;)


I sprinkled them with mini M&M's.  I looked all over town for the large bags, but could only find the tiny vials of mini-M&Ms.  I finally found them in big bags at Walmart.  I could have been really obsessive and fish out the red, yellow, green and blue M&Ms, to match the party theme colors, but I decided not to, so just left the brown and orange ones in, because frankly, I was too tired.  Pooped, if you will.


I used my Grandma Jewel's never-fail recipe for the cake and Sprinkle's vanilla buttercream frosting recipe to top it off.



PARTY FAVORS:

I like to keep the party favor bags simple yet quality.  I try to keep it candy free, but I just couldn't resist making these Lego Man Poop bags of M&Ms.  They are just too funny! 


When I was at the Lego store picking up the car sets, it was around Christmas time, and I found those mini-figure mystery packs on sale for 50% off!  Even the store employee said he's never seen them on sale like that before.  I figured this would be the main "gift" in the favor bag. 


I also made Lego race car stickers and a bag of Lego-man Mini-figure "poop".



Lego Man Poop Bag Toppers:

What 5-yr-old wouldn't get a kick out of the idea that Lego-men (mini figures) actually poop?  And when they do, they would look like M&Ms, right?  I thought that a bunch of 4- and 5-year-olds would appreciate a bag full of Lego Man Poop.


I used the rest of the mini-M&M's to fill about twenty 3" wide (4" long) self-sealing bags, that I purchased in the jewelery section at Hobby Lobby.  I've also seen these bags at Joann's.  Here are the links:

Hobby Lobby's 3"x4" resealable bags:  Click HERE
Joann's 3"x4" resealable bags:  Click HERE

I created these Lego Man Poop toppers and printed them out onto red, blue, yellow and green card stock, cut them out and stapled them on to the tops of the bags. 


This Lego man poop bag topper is now available in my Etsy shop: HERE!


Lego Stickers:

I found some photos of these Lego Minifigure race car drivers.  I sized them to 1 1/2" circles and printed them out onto sticker paper that I purchased at Staples.


Then I embossed them, using clear embossing powder, to seal in the ink, so it wouldn't run.  And then I punched them out with my 1 1/2" Fiskars circle punch.  Both purchased at Joann's craft store, but I'm sure you can buy both at either Micheal's or Hobby Lobby, as well. 


I used the "Thank you for coming to my party!" stickers for the outside of the bag, and the plain ones I bagged up into those mini-self sealing bags to add to the take home bag as a party favor. 

The sticker template is now available in my Etsy shop: HERE

Polka Dot Bag (purchased from Target):



We handed out the bags to each kid as they left the party, but then they got wind that there were Minifigures inside, so everyone wanted their bags early!  It actually worked out since the kids were able to trade their Lego people if they didn't like them.  So I ended up putting each kid's name on the bags, and stashed them until they left. 




"Thank You" Postcards:

It was difficult keeping track of the gifts, since my son opened them right when they came in through the door.  He was thrilled with this idea, and I thought it was fun, but I sometimes didn't see when he was opening a gift and in turn didn't know who had bought him what gift.  But his joy in being able to open a gift right when he received it, made it all worth it. 


I made these postcard sized "Thank You" cards, to tie in with the theme of the party, and will be sending them out as a generic "thank you" notes!  I printed these off at my local Walmart as 4" x 6" prints, and then printed the postcard backs, and glued them back to back. 





All my son had to do was write his name next to the Lego heart.  Then I addressed them, he popped on the postcard stamps and then we dropped them into the mail.


The 4" x 6" .jpg file will also fit into a  4 3/4" x 6 1/2" specialty envelope, which can be purchased from Staples or any office store.

Wrap Up:

It seemed the kids had a really great time!  The Lego races didn't last the entire party because they soon figured out that they could slide down the table!  But, hey, whatever keeps them entertained!



Overall, it was a great party, and the open house style really made the party doable in such a small space.  We found that some folks came for 30 mins, and others stayed for the entire party!  Yes, 10am to 4pm!  I loved that flexibility.

FREE Lego Links and Downloads:
 
Here's a summary of all of the FREE Lego links and downloads listed in this blog posting:



DIY Lego Happy Birthday Banner: HERE
Lego Man in Color: HERE 
Lego Ad: HERE
Lego Patent Print: HERE
Lego Minifigure Race Car Driver Outline: HERE 
Lego Man Maze: HERE
LegoThick Font Set Download: HERE
Tutorial to to turn the LegoThick font to look like the Lego logo: HERE

Here is my Lego party Pinterest page.  You'll see several more ideas that I wanted to do for his party, that I thought were terrific, but I didn't have time to complete.

Link your LEGO party here!  I'd love to see your comments and links to your own blog postings about your Lego parties!  Thank you for reading my Lego Party posting! 

Enjoy! 


 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for all the amazing printables. definitely the best find in my search.

preeti said...

Lego race car theme sounds cool.. it seems that kid had an awesome birthday party..i loved all decorations..and thanks for sharing your experience.

toddler birthday parties los angeles

Unknown said...

This is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

-- Awit Carpio, Philippines

Adam McCollough said...

Wow - what a lot of effort you put into your son's party and blog!

Really great ideas, love the creativity and links.

Alex & Adrian's mommy said...

Everything was awesome. Thank you much for sharing as we are having Adrians 7th bday party a lego theme. I loved everything as so did Adrian.

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