Balloon Party -7yr- Balloon Cake
Tori in Owosso
January 2012 Winner
Theme: For my son’s 7th birthday we chose balloons for our theme.
INVITATIONS: I purchased 8 ½ inch by 11 inch computer paper with a preprinted border on it. The border had three balloons and some confetti in the top left and bottom right corners. The balloons were green with white stripes, burgundy with white polka dots and blue with yellow stars. A thin burgundy line ran around the rest of the paper curling in the corners, giving the feeling of a scroll. Using curlz font we wrote: Please follow the clues in this little rhyme, They will lead you to a jolly good time. We are getting excited here at our place, There are plans for food, games and even a race. Our little guy is so happy he could just pop! He’s hoping his big day will be over the top. We hope you will float on over here To share in some good ol’ birthday cheer! If you haven’t guessed: Tyler’s birthday is soon To find out more, blow up the balloon! This was written in dark blue except for the words: pop, float, and blow up the balloon, were written in burgundy. We then enclosed a balloon that we had inflated, written the date, time and location of the party on with a sharpie, and then deflated to put in the envelope. The envelope was sealed with balloon stickers and we used stamps that said Celebrate and looked like they had little balloon shapes in the background.
DECORATIONS: In our front yard we had a lawn sign that said Happy Birthday with different colored balloons in the background. We covered our front door with a 7 ft. by 3 ½ ft. mural that was covered in balloons of every color and said The Party’s Here in big letters. In our foyer we have a half-round table that we placed the piñata on to use as a decoration until it was time to play. It was a large round one, the front and back had a picture of different colored balloons with the words Happy Birthday written in the center. The table was sprinkled with birthday themed confetti and in the corner were 2 clusters of balloons. We had made 12 clusters of 3 helium filled balloons each (red, yellow and blue) tied to cellophane bags printed with balloons on them. These were actually our favor bags, this way I was able to get double duty out of them as favors and decorations.
Also on this table were the party hats and blowouts (all of the party ware: hats, blowouts, cups, plates, napkins, table cloth and pennant banner were printed with balloons in all different colors with small stars and/or confetti in the background). In the living room was our gift table which had confetti and 3 balloon clusters on it. I also had balloon clusters on another table and around the fireplace in this room (which is where Tyler sat to open gifts). In the dining room was a balloon tablecloth with a balloon themed cupcake stand in the center (the cupcakes are described in food). Above that we hung crepe paper printed with balloons from the chandelier to the walls to form a canopy above the room. The doorway between the dining room and living room had a 7 ft. jointed banner that said Happy Birthday and had balloons peeking out from behind each letter. On the door to the basement we had a sign that said Happy Birthday with balloons on it.
The snack bar (where we served the pizzas from) had our party plates and napkins and a cluster of balloons in the middle. We have a long counter that runs along one wall in our kitchen. On one end I had the cake on display, more balloon clusters, the cake plates and napkins and a few balloon animals that we had made ahead of time. On the other end were the beverages, an ice bucket, small balloon printed cups and large blue cups. The games were played in our finished basement so that space also needed decorating. I hung two 12 foot pennant banners printed with balloons along the stairway down to the basement and placed another balloon cluster in the corner of the landing. The room is large, over 500 sq. ft., half has wood flooring and half has carpeting. The side that is wood is where we played our games and we set up seating to watch on the carpeted side.
After empting the game side of everything, we hung balloons that we had blown up and tied with curling ribbon from the drop ceiling throughout the whole space (including the bathroom). It was really easy, I just slid the curling ribbon up over the grid pieces that hold the tiles and let the curling ribbon hang from the other side (then they just slid out easily when it was time to take them down). This made a BIG impact with little effort. On the walls we hung small (about 5 inch round) balloon cutouts in red or blue that I had hot glued yellow curling ribbon onto (we had about 35 of them). We also blew up squiggly balloons and placed them randomly throughout the house.
FOOD: We served cherry size mozzarella balls that I stuck onto striped cocktail straws (to look like little balloons) on a birthday themed platter. I found the cutest little balloon pail and filled it with M&Ms and peanuts. We had mints in Happy Birthday wrappers and peanut M&Ms. I stuck sprinkle covered chocolate donut holes onto cocktail straws (also to look like balloons). We had a variety of different types of pizza, bread sticks and marinara sauce and veggies with dip. I made blue Jell-O and stuck 2 multicolored plastic balloon cluster picks into the center.
We also had cupcakes. The cupcakes were in balloon wrappers and I made my own picks. I used an oval cutter from my scrap booking supplies on red, blue and yellow paper. I made enough so that I had 2 ovals for every cupcake. I glued colored toothpicks between the ovals and then added the same stickers I had used on the back of my envelopes. It was a mix of balloon sizes and colors along with little stars. No two picks were the same and even each side was different (my brother-in-law was amazed, lol!). This is an idea that could be adapted to any party theme. The cupcakes were frosted with white icing; I sprinkled a 3rd of the cupcakes with either blue, red or green sugar crystals, and then topped all of them with multicolored nonpareils (sprinkle the nonpareils first then the colored sugar, it works much better that way).
GAMES: Our games were: Pass the Balloon, Pinkie Challenge, Static Cling Fling, Balloon Pop Relay, Air Dare, Pop the Piñata and Balloon Wars!
Pass the Balloon: We divided the players into two teams. They had to take off their shoes and sit on the floor in a line. The first player had to pick up a balloon with his/her feet and spin to pass it to the next player in line. They had to remain seated and could only use their feet to pass or move the balloon along. The first team to get all of their balloons to the other end won and got a squawker balloon. (I had taken all of the team prizes out of the original packaging and divided them up into snack size bags with a large balloon sticker on them and the name of the prize written in red, blue and green letters on the bag. To make it easy on myself I placed the prizes in paper lunch bags labeled with the name of each game.)
Pinkie Challenge: Players divided into teams of two. They had to turn back to back and link pinkies. We then placed a balloon between them. The team that could lower themselves until seated on the floor and then get back up fastest, without letting go of each other’s pinkies, dropping or popping the balloon, was declared the winner. We had them do this one team at a time. The winners of this game got either a lion or sea turtle punch balloon critter. (I could not find these where I live, but my mom found them at her local Kroger’s store in Lexington KY.)
Static Cling Fling: We divided the players into two teams, they had to rub the balloons on their hair or clothes to try to give them static cling and then get them to stay on the wall. The team who got all of their balloons up first won (we used small 3 inch balloons for this game and each team had 40); the prize was a tube of b’loonies and a small straw.
Balloon Pop Relay: Players divided into two teams. Each team had its own balloon color. The kids lined up, raced to the pile of balloons, found one in their color and popped it. They then returned to tag the next player and play continued until one team popped all of their balloons. We did not let them use their hands or mouths. The winners got a screaming balloon rocket.
Air Dare: Each player was given a balloon and had to keep the balloon in the air for one minute. If you dropped your balloon you were out. Players that succeeded were given a second balloon and had to keep up both for another minute. We just kept adding a balloon to each round until we had a winner. This winner received a giant neon punch balloon.
Pop the Piñata: Each player took a turn pulling a ribbon until one popped the bottom open and they scrambled for the candy! I also added small bottles of bubbles as a surprise. They were given a cellophane bag printed with different colored balloons with their name written on the bag to hold their loot.
Balloon Wars: This was our ultimate challenge game. Each player had a balloon tied to one ankle. The challenge was to pop your opponent’s balloon while protecting your own. We had them play in groups of three, with the winner then proceeding to the next round. The winners of the first rounds then competed in the championship round. The prize for this was a balloon helicopter. (I had prepared about ten more balloons than I needed for this game and some of the kids ended up playing their own wars later during the evening!)
ACTIVITIES: We had two activities: balloon animals and balloon car races. Balloon Animals: About three weeks before the party, I purchased a balloon animal kit. My husband, two oldest sons and I practiced until we could each make at least one animal. I bought 2 more kits (they included directions to make a bee, rabbit, swan, 2 dogs, flower and a mouse; a balloon pump and 24 skinny balloons) and 2 extra bags of twisty balloons. At the party we made balloon animals for anyone who wanted one and let the kids who wanted make their own. My daughter and niece made dozens of animals including beautiful flowers, I was really impressed! Balloon Car Races: I found balloon cars on clearance at Toys R Us for $1.48 each. I bought a red, yellow and blue one. Before the party we applied all of the stickers to decorate the cars. Then whoever wanted to race the cars would just blow up the balloons and let them go. They came with 2 balloons each, but we had bought tons of balloons, so I made sure we left extras for the races.
CAKE: I was inspired by a balloon cake I saw online. It was actually three small balloon cakes, but I wanted one large one, so a little more than a week before the party I started experimenting and this is what I came up with. I used a large 4 qt. glass bowl and sprayed it really well with non-stick cooking spray. I used a box cake mix. I followed the directions except the baking time took a lot longer. I checked it with a cake tester until it came out clean. It took about an hour. After it cooled, I leveled the cake. Then I made a triangle shape minus one point out of the part I had trimmed off. This ended up being the little tied part of the balloon. I frosted the whole thing in blue icing and added blue candy letters with white backgrounds to read Happy Birthday Tyler. I tied a bow, with one long end hanging down, from yellow curling ribbon and placed the bow where the little piece of cake attached to the round cake. It turned out really cute. We also had balloon shaped candles for the birthday boy to blow out. All of this was served on balloon cake plates along with choice of vanilla, moose tracks or chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (Tyler’s favorite).
FAVORS: I filled cellophane favor bags printed with different colored balloons with: 2 cherry blow pops, a bag of silly bands (that included a balloon shaped one), an orange sucker and a punch balloon. Each one was tied with three helium filled balloons (a red, yellow and blue one). I have to say this was one of the most fun parties we have had! Balloons are really inexpensive and the games you can come up with are almost limitless! Everyone really had fun; even the aunts, uncles and grandparents got into it by helping time the games and watching to see which teams finished first (not to mention egging on the players!). The best part was that night when the birthday boy looked at me with the most genuinely pleased face and said: Well that was a successful party!