Idea No.

20118

Space Party -5yr- Catch a Flying Comet

Award

Date

July 2009

From

Kimberly in Gladstone, MO USA

Special Mention

Space Party

My son likes to play with Planet Heroes.  So, this year, when he wanted to invite friends to his 5th birthday, I decided on a space party.  I looked at the ideas on this web site for inspiration. 

For INVITATIONS, I made a card out of a folded 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper.  On the front I used clip art of space with a moon.  I then got white cut-outs of astronauts from US Toy and add a flag and lines.  I took a picture of my son and put his head in the helmet.  I put the astronaut on the front standing on the moon.  It said 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 It's Time For Fun.  I got the idea for the inside from the web site.   It said You have been selected as part of the Launch Crew for a Mission to Outer Space! Mission Objective: Help Commander (child's name) have a Happy 5th Birthday!, Report For Duty: (date), Countdown Begins: (start time), Return To Earth: (end time), Launch Site: Space Station (last name), Coordinates: (address), Communicate with (mom) @ Mission Control to confirm your flight readiness by (RSVP date), (phone), Snacks, Drinks, and Cookies will be served.  I also put a map to the house with directions. 

For DECORATIONS, in the kitchen, I used a white table cloth with blue plates and red napkins.  I also had red, blue and silver, star balloons.  My son's birthday is in November, so we needed to play in the garage.  I taped blue plastic table clothes on the walls of the garage with star stickers taped to them.  I also hung paper mache planets that my son and I made to look like the planets in our solar system.  Lastly, I made a space shuttle.  I used a long table and covered it with white plastic table clothes.  I put 2 sheets of poster board on the front to make the tip of the shuttle.  I put 1 on the back with 3 strips of poster board taped together to make the cylinder engines.  I used red cellophane in the center of each engine for the fire.  I also made jet packs mentioned on this web site.  I painted cereal boxes with white craft paint.  I used duck tape to attach 1.5 pint pop bottles to the side.  To add fire, I taped red cellophane to the spout.  I then cut it to look like flames.  I made two holes at the center of the opening of the box and one at the bottom of each side.  I strung wide ribbon through the holes to make jet pack straps. 

For FOOD, I got a shuttle cookie cutter from The Space Store to use to make sugar cookies.  (My son doesn't like cake as much as cookies.  I did make a moon cake for the family.  I cooked a box cake in a glass bowl.   I then iced it gray and used a greased spoon to make craters.  I topped it with an astronaut who made foot prints in the icing.)  I decorated the cookies with white icing and used black gel icing to outline them.  I also served ice cream and Capri Suns. 

PARTY DAY:  As kids arrived we started astronaut training.  I took pictures of the kids to be used on the rest of the astronaut cut-outs in thank you notes.  Then they received their jet packs and name badges printed on white sticker address sheets.  They said Mission Specialist (child's name) or Payload Specialist (child's name).  Inside the packs were flag & NASA stickers to attach to their packs in a bag to be used later. 

Then they went to the ROBOTICS LAB where kids practiced picking up objects with Wall-E arms (I got at Toys R Us) and receive a sticker. 

Next was SURVIVAL TRAINING where kids get spun around in a space ship (swivel chair) & practice blowing bubbles to test lung capacity then receive a sticker. 

Lastly, was the LAUNCH STATUS CENTER where kids launch rockets and play with Planet Heroes & Tinker Toys (to build a space station) and receive a sticker. 

Then it was GAME/mission time in the garage.  Kids sat in the shuttle as I told them their mission. 

For Mission #1 I said To be an astronaut, you must prove you are really, really, really fast.  Your mission is to prove yourself by catching one of the comets flying towards the planets in our solar system.  You must work quickly before the comets hit any planets.  Catch them and return them to the shuttle, in your pack.  Comet balls (from US Toy) will be thrown toward the planets while kids try to catch them and return them to the shuttle in their pack and receive a sticker. 

For Mission #2 I said NASA scientists have been studying the inner planets surface, but have been forced to leave their work behind due to recent government budget cuts.  Astronauts, you must prove that you are helpful by traveling to the inner planets and retrieving the soil samples left by the scientists.  Remove the collection bag from your pack to use for this mission. Fill your bag with the soil sample using an astronaut shovel then return to the shuttle for a sticker.  Kids were divided into three teams.  Each team had a bucket with moon sand and a shovel for kids to use in filling bags. 

For Mission #3 I said, NASA is watching your activities.   They have discovered you are low on jet fuel & food.  You must collect 2 fuel tanks & a bag of space food.  You must use the robotic arms to avoid space germs.  Collect 2 fuel tanks and place them in the shuttle.  After everyone has collected their fuel tanks, collect a bag of space food and put it in your pack. Then you must report to the space station for additional food rations and a sticker.  Four kids, at a time, will use Wall-e arms to collect extra jet fuel (pop bottles) then extra food (Starburst & Milky Way in bags).  After everyone's turn, the kids will report to the kitchen/space station for cookies & ice cream.  

For Mission #4 I said, Aliens on a trip to learn about our planet have been captured by an evil scientist who has imprisoned them in cups which are hidden throughout space.  It is your job as astronauts is to be heroic by rescuing one alien prisoner each, place him in your pack to receive a sticker & return him to your shuttle until the alien ship can be repaired.  Aliens (from US Toy) will be removed from a cup.

Lastly, for Mission #5 I said, To be an astronaut, you must work as a team.  NASA has discovered some special packages have floated away from the space station.  You must work as a team to collect them using the space hoops.  All astronauts must hold the hoop together as they move to catch the packages.  Once you reach a package, place the hoop around it and Commander (birthday boy) will check the contents of each package before searching for more. 

I spread the presents throughout space.  My son opened each as the group found/circled the present with the hula hoop.  I also took a picture of the child who brought the gift with the opened present and birthday boy as a reminder for Thank you notes.  The THANK YOU notes were the white astronaut cut-out with the child's picture in the helmet.  I used the pictures I took as kids arrived.  Then I wrote on the back and had my son sign them. 

The TREAT BAGS were the jet packs covered in stickers collected throughout the party.  Inside their pack they had a comet ball, bag of moon sand, alien, coloring page of the planets, and a bag of snacks (Starburst & Milky Way bars).  I think that all the kids had a great time because one child kept saying so throughout the party.  Also, one parent told me later that their child still plays spaceman with their jet packs.  I am not sure I can top this party for next year.

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