Idea No.


Super Mario Brothers -3yr- Activity Centers



July 2013


Kimberly in Butler, NJ, USA

July 2013 Winner

Mario & Zelda Party

This year my 3 year old son wanted a Super Mario Brothers birthday party.  In planning the party, my sister and I had to keep in mind that there would be a wide span of ages (from 1-12 years).

INVITATIONS: I made a yellow question box out of yellow and white paper.  I made a back to each one and hot glued it together on the two sides and the bottom. Then I printed the invite on a piece of white paper to fit in the paper box and attached a paper green 1-Up mushroom on the top.  Once the invite was inserted in the question box the green one-up stuck out of the top. The receiver then pulled up the one-up mushroom to read the invite.  Since my son was turning three, and there is a game that has a Tanooki Mario shadow in the shape of a 3 on one of the video games cover, I used that image and copied and pasted it to be a part of the invite. 

DECORATIONS/ACTIVITIES: I had 7 centers of activities each run by an adult.  My decorations for the party were basically the decorations used at each center in addition to the red and blue (Mario colors) balloons.  My sister and I decided to make 7 centers, each based off of a Mario video game. For each center I printed 2 pages. First was a picture of the video game cover and the second was the directions for the center with corresponding pictures found online. I laminated each page, taped them to gardening stakes and placed them at each location. 

While the kids arrived we put on Mario tattoos. Also when waiting for everyone to arrive, the kids went to look at each stake with the directions and were getting so excited!   We hung Mario party bags on the deck with a clothes line. The Mario bags each had a Mario face made out of construction paper on it.  Once everyone arrived, they got their Mario bag and in it was a chart with a picture of each video game center and a blank box next to each picture.  The kids were told that their mission was to complete each center.  Once one was completed, the adult at the station would stamp the chart. I got Mario stamps online, but really any stamps would do.  

1.MARIO KART:  Mission- Race around track and avoid obstacles. On the driveway I made a track in a figure 8 shape using sidewalk chalk.  In the two centers of the figure 8 I put a folding chair.  On them I taped a large Pokey character (Mario desert character) made out of construction paper to be obstacles on the track.  The kids then used a scooter board to drive on the track and race around each Pokey. 

2.MARIO SUPER SLUGGERS: Mission- Catch a baseballusing a buddy jump (jumping on another character’s head to jump higher).  My sister had a BOSU, which is half of a therapy ball on a base so it is stable enough to jump on.  If you cannot get one, a small trampoline would work too. The kids could run and jump on it (older kids), or just stand on it (younger ones) and catch a baseball tossed to them by the adult.  My sister made a Red Toad head out of thick construction paper that we secured on the ground in front of the base with gardening stakes. So when watching the kids, it looked like they were jumping on Toad’s head to catch the ball.  

3.SUPER SMASH BROS BRAWL: Mission- Knock down your enemies using fire power. I used two large cardboard boxes. On the front of each we taped large Mario characters (Bowser, Boo, Goomba) made out of construction paper.  Then I printed 7 different characters from the video game (Meta Knight, Kirby, etc.) from an online website, laminated them, and taped them each on large disposable cups.  The kids used fire balls (beach balls with flames on them) to knock down the characters. 

4.SUPER MARIO BROS Wii: Mission- Use your Yoshi tongue to knock down the apples. I made small Yoshi apples out of construction paper and taped them on Dixie cups. We stacked them into a pyramid.  For a table, I used a large cardboard box and made a Yoshi head out of construction paper taped on the front.  The kids used their Yoshi tongues aka red party blowers to knock down the stacked apples. 

5. MARIO Wii U.  Mission- Catch that Nabbit! The day before the party I blew up rocket balloons and clamped them shut with paper clip clamps.  Then I drew a simple Nabbit face (rabbit ears, eyes and mouth) on each with permanent marker.  Once dried, I took the clamps off.  At the party the balloons were blown up, let loose, and went flying everywhere and the kids tried to catch their Nabbit.  At the end, if the child wanted, their balloon was blown up and tied to keep. Made lots of extra because I knew throughout the day they would pop. 

6.PAPER MARIO STICKER STARS. Mission- Create your own Mario video game scene.  I printed out a bunch of different Mario background scenes (outside scene with question boxes, castle scene, lava scene) from an online website. Then I bought a few packs of Mario stickers. The kids then selected a background and placed stickers on it to create an original Mario scene. 

7. MARIO GALAXY. Mission- Collect ten star bits. I bought small plastic rocks (looked like crystal gems) at the dollar store.  We called them Star Bits and hid them in my sandboxes.  Each kid could dig with their hands or I left out shovels and sand sifters to find their star bits to place in their Mario goody bag.  Once set up, these centers were all the decorations needed to make it truly look like a Mario birthday party.  Amazingly all the kids, despite their ages, were involved and completed each center. Having the stamps really worked in getting the kids to do each activity (e.g. the 12 year old probably would not have made a sticker scene, but did so to get the stamp and complete his chart). Once we were finished with the centers I gave each kid a question box.  I ordered yellow boxes online and my mom cut and glued white question marks on the front of each and cut a slit on the top.  The next mission was to go to the front yard and collect 10 Star Coins, which were hidden before the party started and place them in their question boxes.  After everyone found the coins, we had lunch.

FOOD: We made simple picnic food- sandwiches (star shaped for the kids), salads, etc. Then we had a Mario PiƱata found at a party good store.

CAKE: After the Pinata we had a cake. It was made by my sister-in-law out of my son’s favorite character, Chain Chomp.  She made a sphere cake, covered in black fondant and decorated with fondant to look just like him- even included the chains that were spray painted silver.  Added were BoBomb cupcakes, made out of frosted malted milk balls, eyes out of frosting, feet out of orange tick tacks, top licorice and the wick made out of fondant.

FAVORS: By the end of the party, each kid had a sticker scene, star bits, a party blower, a Nabbit balloon, and candy from the Pinata in their Mario party bag.  For the final activity we took 3 question boxes and put a star coin in one.  One child would mix them up in front of another child who would then guess which box had the coin. The guesser then got a prize.  Then guesser would become the mixer until everyone had a turn.   For the prize/favor I bought the small Knex Mario single figures. They are sold in a bag, so you cannot see what you get until you opened it.  

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