Friday, July 6, 2012

Hockey Birthday Party

We have started celebrating my oldest son's summer birthday at the end of June instead of mid-summer. It is a lot easier to get in touch with all of his school friends instead of trying to coordinate with everyone's summer vacation plans. This year my almost 8 year old wanted a hockey party. This was by far the easiest kids party we have had yet. We set the theme right away with the invitation. I used a ticket template at Print With My Pic. I highly recommend that site. It is so easy to use and customize - my son loved it. I added a note on the back letting the kids know to bring along their hockey gear for the afternoon.

Next up for me was designing the cake. I love making my kids birthday cakes. As simple as this one should have been, it turned out to be one of the more frustrating ones. I wanted it to look like a Vancouver Canucks jersey (my son's favorite team). I used the same marshmallow fondant recipe I had used for my younger son's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake. I don't know what I did wrong, but I ended up throwing out the lot of it and starting it all over again the day of the party. Thank goodness the second batch worked! I'm pretty pleased with it. Just seeing my son's reaction when he saw it made it worth it for me - it was declared "awesome!"
I set about decorating the house a bit too.  I kept the Canucks blue, green and white colours throughout.  I tried to keep the cost down and found most of what I needed at the Dollarama.  I made a Happy Birthday window banner, pennant style.  For this I cut triangles out of tag board, alternating green and blue.  I then cut the circles out of white tag board, printing the letters of "Happy Birthday Elijah!" on them.  I attached them with tape.  I then laid the whole message down, upside down and took a piece of green wrapping ribbon to stretch across the back, taping it down as I went.  The effect was prettty cool and my husband was surprised to find out I had made it myself.
Of course we used green and blue plates, cups and cutlery for the table.  For snacks we had Lay's chips (because Mark Messier eats them) and "Hockey Pucks" (aka Joe Louis).
My husband made a pinata for use later in the party.  He made it out of cardboard, duct tape and printed off a Canucks picture for one side and an NHL one for the other.  It was in the shape of a puck.
I took this idea off Pinterest, using dollar store plastic table cloths, cut into long strips instead of streamers to hang over the ceiling.  I added a balloon bouquet of blue and white in the centre.  On the windows were cut outs of my son and his friends favorite hockey team logos.
Outside, I hung a Canadian flag (easy to find because of Canada Day), a few balloons and a blow up Stanley Cup.  The Stanley Cup was courtesy of my parents who picked it up from a store display last year celebrating Vancouver's run for the Cup.
Once the kids started arriving, it was "Game On".  They all jumped in with their gear, many of them toted jerseys and hats of their favorite teams too (quickly abandoned to the side in the hot weather).  And we just let them play.  And they played for about an hour and half.  I think they would have played for the full 3 hours if we hadn't stopped them :)  We did stop them for Gatorade Breaks, and made sure they were all wearing sunscreen and bug spray.
The post-game handshakes too!
Post-game the kids decorated their party bags with NHL stickers I had picked up.

Then it was time for the pinata, but we tried it with a hockey twist - a slapshot to break it.  The kids loved this!

(My 2 year old out of the watching the festivities and having a bit of Daddy's Gatorade)
Breaking the pinata didn't quite work with the slaphots (though they did get it a little bit damaged), so we moved to a more traditional pinata game (still using the hockey sticks).
When the pinata slipped off the rope, they all had a good hack at it!
We moved inside for one game before supper.  I divided the kids into 2 teams (blue and white).  Each had an equal amount of balloon and inside each balloon was a letter.  They had to break all of their balloons to find their letters.  Once they had all the letters they had to unscramble the letters to make the name of an NHL team.  One had the Toronto Maple Leafs and the other the Chicago Black Hawks (both have 17 letters).

Spaghetti supper was followed by presents and cake.
And a team picture.
Post-food they all wanted back out to play more hockey until their parents got them.  It was difficult for their parents to convince them to leave, which gave me a good visit with the adults :)
We had a little lacrosse time at the end too.
All in all this turned into a great party.  I know I have the weather to thank in a large part.  I did have some indoor alternates planned just in case of rain.
Here are the the alternate plans:
-We would have kept the ballooon game and the pinata of course.
-Blank goalie masks  for a design a mask contest.
-Hockey Version of BINGO
-Hockey Freeze Dance (I had a playlist of my son's favorite Goal/Sports songs on it)
-Hockey Limbo (use a hockey stick as the pole)
-Mini-sticks tournament


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