Idea No.


Outer Space Party -4yr- Paper Tube Rocket Craft



March 2003


Leigh in Franklin, TN  USA

Honorable Mention

Space Party

When planning for my 4 year old's birthday this year I was informed he wanted an Outer Space Party.  At first I thought it was going to be a little difficult, but as I got into planning I not only found it easy, but actually more affordable than past parties.

Invitation:  I downloaded a photograph of a space shuttle blasting off from Cape Canavral (NASA website) and copied it onto a Microsoft Word document.  Days after I had finished designing the inviation, the Shuttle Columbia crashed.  With a desire to continue my son's party desire yet remain respectful of the tragedy, I searched for and found an icon of an American Flag flying at half-mast and typed the words "Remember the Astronauts - February 1, 2003."

I printed them out on my color printer and mailed in envelopes bought at Kinko's.  In future years, I hope my son looks back at his saved invitation and remembers the things we talked about as that tragedy unfolded.  

One Big Splurge: We did splurge on one item and rented an Astro Jump which was shaped like a space station with Space Shuttles on the corners.  As children arrived, they were greeted by this big fun thing to jump in and parents loved that they could stick them in and talk with other parents while their children played safely.  

Decorations & Crafts: After at least 30 minutes of jumping, kids came inside where our den had been decorated with black balloons (filled with helium), glow in the dark stars, tiny astronauts and rocket ships all hanging from the ceiling with fishing line and planets (a teaching set) pasted around the room. 

Everyone then headed to the craft table where they made rocket ships out of toilet paper tubes and colored contruction paper (I had pre-cut in the shapes necessary) and decorated with stickers and markers.

Cake/Hat Time: Our cake was store bought and after a conversation with the cake decorator, came home with an adorable cake that had the moon (complete with craters made of small cupcakes) planets, stars and rocket ships on it.  This was served with ice cream trail mix and moon juice (blue kool-aid). 

Hats were the traditional party hat bought half price and spray painted silver with a sparkly pipe cleaner curled and taped on top!  They looked like a bunch of little space aliens!  Considering that our dining room table was too small to seat all the children, we painted a canvas to put in the floor allowing the children to eat cake and ice cream "on the moon."  Not only was this fun for the kids, it was great for spills and easy clean up.  We commenced with opening presents and then headed back outside for more Astro Jump fun.  

More Games & Prizes (Goodie Buckets) Prior to the kids' arrival (I had found rocks at some nearby train tracks which surprisingly resembled moon rocks)we had hidden "moon rocks" around the yard and each child got a pair of $.79 kitchen tongs with which to pick up their moon rocks and bring to the central bucket. 

This was great fun as we have a big front yard and rocks were everywhere lots of running around and searching!  After all the rocks were found my son handed out their prizes (everyone got one) which was a bucket full of space goodies. 

I had found $1 metal buckets at BigLots and spray painted them silver and personalized each bucket with the child's name and space stickers.  Decorated with translucent "easter grass," I loaded them up with Milky Way bars, Pop Rocks, Moon Pies, glow in the dark stars, glitter gloss (for the girls), space stickers, silly straws and bouncy earth balls.  (the parents loved them as much as the kids!)

Without the Astro Jump, this party cost only about $150 making it the most economical and stress-free party we've thrown to date.  Happy Party Planning!

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