Skylanders Party 6yr
MaryEllen in Marstons Mills, MA 02648
We just finished my son's birthday party, and it actually worked really well. I was on a really tight budget, so I wasn't sure how it would all turn out. I knew my son's priorities were the theme of Skylanders and a pinata. The one unique supply I had on hand was a set of 12 4-inch glitter-rimmed green flowerpots that I'd gotten in a yard sale for 50 cents. Armed with this information, the flowerpots, and maybe $35 tops, here is what I did for our 2-hour party, mostly with materials from around the house. ****CAKE: portal cake. I found some online examples of Skylanders portal cakes to look at, and bought Wilton's black food coloring spray, green and red decorating gel, sugar wafer cookies (which I cut in half), and fudge-covered graham cracker cookies. Then I made a round cake (two 8-inch layers, each with top cut flat) and frosted it with homemade white buttercream, making the top smooth and flat, and made the swirls you see on the top of the game's portal. Then I covered 8 graham cookies in frosting and 24 halves of sugar wafers in frosting, then sprayed them with the black food coloring. It made a neat rock effect! Around the bottom of the cake, I alternated a stack of two halves of the blackened wafers, then one half blackened wafer with a blackened graham above it, and those formed the stones of the portal. I used up the rest of the black spray to fill it all in. I finished with a circle of green gel around the very bottom of the cake, and the runes of the portal done on the blackened grahams in red gel. (In retrospect, it probably should have been white gel!) Two figures we were giving the birthday boy went on top (on top of platforms of cookie sunk into the frosting, because I didn't want frosting on the figures). Next, the sheep pinata. I figured the little sheep that the kids use to practice their new moves on (but which always recover from all blows!) would be a funny pinata idea. I bought a basic baseball pinata, and carefully tore away the red parts of it, leaving an all-white ball. I used hot glue and bits of cotton balls to cover any remaining red bits, and attached a clump of cotton balls to the back for a tail. Then I crumpled some black construction paper into a head shape and hot-glued it to the other end. I added some simple white paper circle eyes (drawn pupil) and thin, long black construction paper ears. Finally, I blackened 12 craft sticks with a Sharpie, and used about 2/3 length of each, with a stack of four glued together per leg, for the ridiculously spindly legs of the sheep. (I found Halloween candy to fill the pinata for great clearance prices - advantage of mid-November birthdays!) The major Skylanders fans that came to the party were very enthusiastic about how much the sheep resembled those in the game. I'd found some Halloween yo-yo's on clearance and remade them into Skylanders symbol ones (like for fire type, ground type, magic type, etc.) with symbols found online and printed, plus some Modge Podge. This gave me the idea of what to do with the flowerpots. I was able to find, print, and cut out color images of the Skylanders that measured about two inches high. With about 4 of these prepared per party guest, plus Modge Podge and brushes, the flowerpots I had on hand were ready to be decorated. When the kids arrived, they rolled dice to determine a line order (game theme, right?), then each went through in turn and picked a Skylanders picture. We ran the line through three more times to get more pictures, and then the kids sat down and were guided to decoupage the images onto their flowerpots. (They were far more delighted with this activity than I'd anticipated. And the pots were nice and dry by the end of the party!) After rerolling the dice for a new line order, they went outside for a Trigger Happy can shoot-out" (got this idea online from a fancy Skylanders party!). I'd enlisted my teen son to put up and maintain a line of cans up on the railing of the deck and he was willing to let the party guests use his Nerf guns to shoot them down. The kids enjoyed taking turns as "retriever" of the cans and Nerf bullets (they would sometimes get shot instead of the cans - which they thought was hilarious). Once again they rolled the dice for a line order this time for the pinata. There were lots of comments about the sheep again and the usual pinata fun was increased by these in-game-parallel jokes. We did the cake and ice cream and present opening and they played together. Then the last dice-rolled order was for choosing their yo-yo's (I was able to make a few more than there were guests for variety) and they went home with those the Skylanders pots and the candy.