Monday, August 10, 2015

A Pokemon Birthday Party for Eight Year Old

This year I had hoped to skip the birthday party thing altogether but NOOOO, the little monkey not only wanted a party, she wanted a "POKEMON" party, which I realised in a few short moments, was one of the most difficult to plan for. There is very little on the net on Pokemon parties, and even less in the market. So no party theme decor, or plates or even return gifts. 
Even worse was, she wanted a PINATA.
Pikachu Pinata:
Now pinata is not an Indian thing and is not available cheap in India. Online one can get it at exorbitant prices. However, there are tutorials on both and on the web one can follow and even if one is not crafty (I am not, believe me), and you are desperate enough to make one, you can make it quite easily. I will post a full tutorial on the pinata soon but here I am giving a brief on how to prepare a Pikachu Pinata which looks (almost like!!) Pikachu. 
  • You need- A balloon or inflatable ball, newspaper, flour and water for glue, yellow crepe paper, black red and white chart paper. Plenty of candy and knick knacks for fillers. 
  • I used a balloon, but for either Pikachu or for a Pokeball Pinata, it is better to use an inflatable beach ball or a cheap plastic inflatable ball to get a round shape and because the balloon may burst before the casing dries. 
  • The first thing is to prepare home made gum from atta/ plain flour and water. Just mix at 1:1 proportion and heat it up to mix well. Then cool it down. Change consistency if required adding more water. Make sure it comes to a glue consistency. 
  • Tear newspaper into strips. On the balloon/ ball, paste the strips lengthwise from the tied end to the round end, after dipping them in paste. Make sure the strips overlie on one another, there should be no gaps. It is a messy affair so make sure you are sitting on the floor or in a place you can clean easily and on plenty of newspapers. Put two-three layers of strips. Let it harden overnight. My balloon burst twice. The first time the strips were all wet and the casing didnt stay, but second time, it was almost dry and I just put another balloon inside and blew it up to keep the shape. 
  • Once the casing is dry just burst the balloon and take it out.Where there were gaps I put sellotape. It wont be seen so you need not be worried about looks at this point. 
  • Then I cut yellow crepe paper into strips and cut fringes. The fringes went around the casing. Then just stick eyes and mouth and ears, according to Pikachu pictures on the net. 
  • String ropes or strong string on top to hang. Our Pinata did not survive the pulling by the children and no one got to beat it up, so make sure you have at least 3 layers of paper, if not more and make the holes for the string extra strong with tape. Dont worry about looks, it wont be seen and it will be down in no time anyway.

The Invite: 

Came from an online printable. There are a few good one available on the net and this one had the means for me to print out the name and address etc directly on the laptop.
The Decor: 
was very generic. Plain or polka dotted yellow and red paper plates and glasses, and napkins. An old black bed sheet used as a table cloth and red, yellow and black balloons. I didnt want to waste too much printer ink on the banner so I bought a general colourful birthday banner. I also prepared some cut out pokemon characters from chart paper, after printing them. The little stuffed Pikachu was bought for the "Pass the Pikachu" game.

The Games: 
Count the Pokeballs: At the entrance I had a case with pokeballs which the children and to count. I made note of their number on a paper. During dinner I announced the winner (there were two who counted correctly and made an exact guess). I made the pokeballs by buying small plastic balls in the market and making the pokeball symbol on it by black permanent marker. It looks better if one does it with ping pong balls. I did not get ping pong balls. You will get tutorials to make pokeballs with ping pong balls on the net.

Colouring pages: I had put out some Pokemon colouring pages, prints I had taken from freely available printables on the net. What I didnt foresee what that some of the colouring pages would be a hit and there would quite a demand for them. So have a variety ready. This works to fill the time when all the kids are not there for the party yet. Keep crayons and colour pencils handy. For smaller children this is also a very good way to start off. They usually enjoy colouring and some of them are quite knowledgeable about Pokemon characters. Keep extra to stuff into their goody bags. Makes for cheap (free actually if you dont count the paper and the ink) return gifts.

Pin the tail on Pikachu: This is a very fun game for children of all ages. I pasted yellow chart paper on black in the shape of Pikachu and added eyes and other details. Cut out tails for all kids and wrote the names on each tail. The kids were then blindfolded and asked to pin the tail. Closest tail won and farthest tail got a consolation prize!

Pass the Pikachu: Required- a small stuff toy Pikachu. The children sat in a circle and I played music on my phone for this game. With rowdy kids one needs to keep a bit of discipline, but otherwise this game is a lot of fun for kids of all ages.

By this time it was time to cut the cake, and the pizzas had arrived. The cake was also Pokemon themed of course.
After dinner, it was time for some active games which would have the kids up and expending their energy. So we had the Pikachu Stomp, where we filled the floor area with balloons and the kids had to stomp on them to burst them. This will not only get the children to jump around, something they do best, it is also one of the favourite games and tried and tested last year too. Get ready for a lot of noise and shouting, especially if you live in an apartment. Best to have some music and keep doors closed.
Pokemon Bowling: I have a longish corridor in the house and I also have an old toy bowling set of my daughters, which served as a perfect tool for a bowling game. Which child does not like bowling. Just to make it relevant to the theme, I printed and stuck the evil Pokemon on them. What was supposed to be two rounds of bowling, turned out to be never ending, until I had to stop them because it was getting late and the Pinata was still left.

We ended with the Pinata. As mentioned earlier, the moment it was hung up the children started pulling and pushing at it and before even one child could raise a bat, it was down and torn. When you have a pinata, be ready for the rush when it breaks. Have enough candy and dont keep anything segregated inside the pinata. Keep things anyone can grab and everyone can get some of.

Gift Bags/ Goody Bags/ Party Favors: I didnt get any paper bags in the market, so I got plastic bags and painted them with permanent marker.
In it went

  • All the candy and toys from the pinata as well as prizes from the games (fun stationery, badges, etc)
  • Some stationery, stickers, home printed and laminated bookmarks, home printed coloring pages 
  • Sketch pen sets  
  • Water bottles (frozen and spiderman, children could choose). This was of course because I didnt get any Pokemon theme bottles, but then who does not love Frozen or superheroes.

Cost in Rupees for 12 children:
Food and cake: 6000 (Pizza, drinks, chips, garlic bread, ice cream) We had adult guests too, so ordered extra food.
Return gifts and prizes: 5000
Candy and decor: 4000

Total cost: Rupees 15000 (approx, maybe a thousand or so more)

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