Ben 10 Adventure 5yr - Paper Lanterns
Leanne in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
My son decided he wanted a Ben 10 party for his 5th birthday. I like to have an adventure party and the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it would lend itself well to something really messy!
This created a problem I didn’t want to risk destroying the outfits that the kids came in. Then I had a really neat idea we’d give each child a tshirt with their invitation to wear to the party. Invitations: In the Back-to-school sales, I bought a white polo shirt for each child for $2 each. I then found an image of Ben 10, and using Photoshop, erased his face and slipped the face of each boy in. So for my son’s shirt, it had a picture of him as Ben 10 and underneath I put his name and age (Nate 5) designed to look like the Ben 10 logo (I used Badaboom a free font). For the girls, I used a picture of Gwen. I then printed them out onto iron-on transfers and ironed it on to the shirt. They looked so cool!
For the invitation, I found a picture of an Omnitrix online. I then made a flap so that the circle opened and underneath it had the party details with a picture of Nate as Ben 10. The invite said It’s an alien invasion and Ben 10 needs your help at Nate’s 5th Birthday party. On (date) at (address). The adventure starts at 3.00! RSVP (date). It could get messy so I’ve included your party shirt!. There was also another flap under the square section that had a big picture of Ben 10 in front of all the aliens (since there were a lot of girls coming and not all of them are familiar with Ben 10). Again, Ben 10 had my son’s face and beside it, it said Nate 5. I attached a magnet to the back of the invitation too. I then bought Ben 10 giftbags and put the shirts and invitation for each family in them and had my son hand deliver them.
Decorations: We set up the back deck for the party. Along one side of the deck, we had Happy Birthday pennant flags in Ben 10 colours with a row of coloured fairy lights since it was a late afternoon party. Along the other edge, we had about 4 Ben 10 Happy Birthday banners that I’d picked up from a junk shop. I had some personalised banners made up that said Happy Birthday Nate 5 with a picture of him as Ben 10. We also had the pic that we’d used in the invitation (with the aliens) blown up and that spaced down the wall. There was also a poster of Chromastone on the wall that was both decorative and to be used later in a game. I bought a number of round paper lanterns in various sizes in green, blue and yellow. We hung several over the food table at varying heights and a line of them at varying heights directly over the kiddie table. We also hung bunches of black, yellow and green balloons all around the deck. We were going to have streamers in the same colour but it was raining heavily so we didn’t want the colours running over everything.
All the tables on the deck were covered in Ben 10 tablecloths. I cut up a tablecloth and attached it to the wall directly behind the food table with another of the Happy Birthday Nate 5 banners. We have an ugly BBQ right beside it which I also covered with a Ben 10 tablecloth and stored all the party prizes etc on it. The kiddie table was 3 Ikea tables pushed together and covered in Ben 10 tablecloths. I placed 15 kiddie chairs around the tables. The chairs weren’t the same colour so I bought green material and made simple chair covers. It looked great! I also bought the Ben 10 partyware from the junk shop and set the table with it. In the middle of the table, I placed a green bucket with a branch that I’d painted white. From the branches I hung a variety of Ben 10 alien keyrings that I’d picked up. I also had a couple of green buckets full of lollies along the table. Along one edge we set up a Ben 10 backdrop that I had painted to take photos of the kids in front of. We also had lifesize aliens that I’d painted up on the deck too.
Activities: We were going to have a jumping castle for the kids to play on as they arrived but it was raining so we had to come up with some contingency plans! We set up a table on the deck with a heap of Ben 10 colouring sheets that I’d photocopied from a colouring book with heaps of felt pens and pencils for them to colour as they arrived. We started off by getting all the kids together in front of the Ben 10 background and took a group photo before they got all messy. It was a good time to take the pic as they were quite agreeable. I then explained to the kids about the imminent alien invasion and asked if they would be willing to help Ben 10 stop the aliens. The told me they would be so I handed out their adventure backpacks.
For the backpacks I went and bought plain coloured environmental bags from Kmart. I bought black for the boys and pink for the girls. I then printed out a large Omnitrix symbol on to card and cut it out to use as a template. I then used the template to paint it directly on to the bag. I used the traditional colours for the boy ones and changed the green to purple on the girl ones to make them a little more girly. I also wrote their names on the bag with fabric paint. I then got lengths of ribbon and sewed them on the back to make straps. To keep it done up, I sewed a small strip of Velcro between the handles. Inside I placed a robot arm, water gun, binoculars and a disc shooter. We then ran to the edge of the deck and looked out into the yard.
Since it was pouring, we were lucky enough to have borrowed a marquee (green of course to match the theme!) from my husband’s work. I point out the alien eggs that have been falling from the sky all morning. (I had boiled up 18 eggs with blue/green food dye so that the eggs were now blue/green and thrown them on the grass under the marquee. I told the kids that eggs were toxic so we couldn’t touch them with our hands and asked if there was anything in their backpacks that could help us. They pulled out their robot arms and then went and collected the eggs from the yard. They picked them up and dropped the eggs into the wire basket. Some of the eggs cracked when they picked them up and given that the egg whites had also turned blue/green, the kids thought the eggs were hatching and they’d got them just in time they were squealing with delight!
As they gave me an egg, I gave them a packet of Mentos to reward them! We then headed inside for a game of pass-the-parcel. I told the kids that the Ben 10 Aliens had gotten trapped in the layers of paper and we needed to free them. In each layer, I had a Ben 10 Alien figurine keyring with lollies that I’d picked up from the junk shop. Of course we used the Ben 10 Theme song for the music which I had downloaded from the Internet. The prize was a Ben 10 Omnitrix that I’d picked up cheaply. Next we headed back outside and under the marquee. We found that the Goop aliens had been freezing Ben 10 Aliens and we needed to free them. For this activity I had bought mini Ben 10 figurines and put one each in a green plastic cup and topped it with green cordial before freezing them.
The kids were given an extra, empty green plastic cup and there was a big bucket of water on the opposite side of the marquee. We set the kids up around a table and I told them that they could use any means necessary to free their alien they could poor water over it to melt it, lick it or smash it. They had a BALL! There was green ice everywhere! The first one finished got to choose a prize from the stash (some Ben 10 toys I’d gotten on clearance as well as some makeup for the girls). I don’t like anyone to feel like they miss out, so each child was also given a prize of a rock candy lollipop that I’d picked up cheaply from Kmart once they managed to free their alien.
Next we headed back on to the deck. We went over to the poster of Chromostone and had to reattach his head. Prior to the party, I had printed out a head with the child’s name on it to be used. This made it so much easier to track who had put what head where! We blindfolded the kids and spun them around three times and let them pin the head on the poster. The winner got to choose a prize from the stash. Then each child got a prize of a Ben 10 figurine with jellybeans that I’d picked up on clearance from a toyshop. We headed back out off the deck and under the marquee where I had placed a bucket of water balloons, a bucket of green slime (jelly), a bucket of blue spaghetti, the eggs from the earlier game and a bucket of water to fill the water guns in their backpacks. We quickly filled the water guns.
In the meantime, my husband and another Dad put on disposable raincoats and picked up the life-size Aliens that I had painted off the deck. I told the kids that I had heard word that an attack was about to begin any minute and they needed to be on the lookout. They pulled out their binoculars to see if they could see the aliens and also pulled out their disc shooters (I had made stickers of their faces as Ben 10/Gwen and attached them to their disc so they would know which were theirs) to make sure they were ready. All of a sudden the aliens appeared and it was all out war as we tried to fend them off! The kids picked up the spaghetti, slime, water balloons and eggs and pegged them at the alien and shot the water guns. The dads kept poking their heads around the boards and the kids shrieked with glee as they took aim at them. Without a doubt, this was the most fun and messiest activity of the party!
The kids especially loved their first experience of water balloons. Eventually they succeeded in winning the war! They followed me back up on to the deck where I gave them their reward I had wrapped in green paper a gift for each of them (I had picked up eraser Omnitrix watches on clearance earlier in the year) as they earned their Omnitrix through fighting off the aliens. The kids LOVED getting a gift to unwrap and obviously loved that it was an Omnitrix! While I gave out the prizes, my husband had set up a piñata under the marquee. It seemed the Dragon alien lord was making a last ditch attempt at invading earth and we had to stop him! The piñata was a dragon and the kids took turns attacking it! I gave out Ben 10 loot bags for the kids to put their lollies in. Once the adventure was complete, we brought out all the food. The kids spent the rest of the afternoon playing and colouring.
Costumes: On the morning of the party (which was a couple of days before his birthday), we gave our son a special gift of an Omnitrix watch to wear at the party. The kids all came in their special shirts and looked fabulous! Since it was raining, I sent a message to all the mums asking them to bring a spare change of clothes just in case (and a few needed to use them).
Party Snacks: We had loads of yummy food! I made little UFOs by attaching a choc covered marshmallow biscuit to a choc wheaten biscuit and attached mini m&ms around the perimeter. We had rocket ship shaped fairy bread, green marshmallow with jelly balls, mini raspberry tarts, alien craters (Clinkers and malt biscuits crushed and covered in melted choc), lollies, homemade rocket shaped mini pizzas and Ben 10 omnitrix mini pizzas (round with olives for the black part and green capsicum for the green part), mini sandwich wraps etc. I also made the coolest cupcakes! I used fondant to make Ben 10 aliens and made it so they were exploding out of green eggs (fondant).
Cake: For the cake I made a two tier cake. The top tier was chocolate mud and the bottom tier was orange and almond cake. I covered the cake in fondant. The top tier was yellow and the bottom tier was lime green with lime green stars attached. I made a giant Ben 10 cut out in fondant that I painted with gel colours and it went over the two tiers. On top, I put exploding stars and a Ben 10 candle. I also cut Nate 5 out of fondant and attached it to the top tier.
Favors: The kids got to take home everything in their backpack as well as what they had collected along the adventure. They were also given a loot bag as they left. The loot bags were white paper bags and I had printed out the same image I had used for the shirts and attached them to the bags. In each of the bags, there was: a mystery bag (Ben 10 or Little Pony themed with 5 favors), a plaster of paris figurine with paint, a Ben 10 pez, Ben 10 badge, Ben 10 exercise book, felt pens, lollipop, stickers, whoppee cushion, tattoos, flashing yo-yo, chocolate bar (an Aero), mini rubix cube, jellybeans, phone drawing board thingy, ruler, omnitrix with lollies and a Ben 10 CD of Nate's favourite songs. The kids and parents all LOVED this party. It was so much fun for everyone involved!
There are photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63529985@N03/sets/72157626725678717/