Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bug-A-Boo's BRAVE Birthday Party

After months of planning, it was finally here!  Bug-A-Boo's BRAVE birthday party was happening.  First we had the family party on Saturday night and we did a few decorations.  The big event was happening on Sunday afternoon for all of her friends. 

Since it was an outdoor party I wanted to avoid having people coming through the house so I made a sign that we staked in the front lawn directing the guests to the side gate.

Upon seeing the sign they would follow the wisps (made from light blue tulle and fishing wire) to the side gate and into the back yard.

 When the guests entered the backyard they were transported to the Scottish Highlands (kind of) and to Merida's castle grounds.  We hung even more wisps overhead throughout the backyard with fishing wire from trees and the celebration tent was draped with plastic tablecloths that I cut.

As each child entered the "castle grounds" they drew a family crest from the bag.  This determined which family they would be competing for in the Highland games.  Each family was assigned a tartan sash.  I bought the tartan fabric at Joann's and made sashes out of the fabric.  The sashes were held together with the Make-Your-Own pin which I purchased at Hobby Lobby.

 The kids loved the idea of being on teams and it made for a fun favor for them to take home.  The kids played for a while and the parents chatted and snacked.  Because of the time of the party (11:00am-1:00pm) I didn't plan to serve a meal.  I just did snacks.  On the deck, under the grill canopy is where we put the food.  I used the table clothes here as well to make it look as if it were draped.  I also hung a no-sew fleece blanket that I made for Bug-A-Boo (as a birthday gift) to act as a tapestry, like in the film.

The snacks were pretty simple.  We had Gold"fish" and potato "chips", a fruit and nut platter, veggie arrows, watermelon, bear claw cookies and Scottish Pies.  There were also cupcakes.

The first organized game the kids played was corn hole.  I had worked really hard on making three corn hole boards that would represent the Triplets.  I placed them under a shady tree which was the perfect spot for them.  I often use Bug-A-Boo's toys as decorations at here birthday parties and this was no different.  While the Triplets in their human form were on the corn hole boards under a tree, they played from the tree branches in their bear form.  It was so cute.

The next game was probably the most fun to watch.  The Caber Toss.  I had found 5" thick foam at Joann and had them cut it 4' long.  I then cut it into 5" wide "logs" and covered them with fabric by Heidi Swapp that had a wood grain pattern and viola...cabers.  It was so funny to watch the kids try to toss these.  Lots of laughs!

 After playing games and snacking for a while we had Bug-A-Boo open her presents and then have cupcakes, cookies and Scottish pies.  Also, during this time I was directing her guests to make their way to the back of the yard where the Crafty Carver's (aka. Scaffy Witch) cottage was.   I made a sign using left over wood grain fabric and my Cricut and nailed it to the tree next to Bug-A-Boo's playhouse.  Then I set up an old log and put a black cauldron on it.  Next to the log was a little table I covered with burlap and I had a pen and some 3x5 cards along with a sign.  The sign asked people to "Write your wish for Sydney's fate on a card and drop it in the cauldron.  Make sure to write your name on the card so she knows whom it is from. - The Crafty Carver (aka Skaffy Witch)"

 This is probably one of my favorite things about the party.  We got some great responses and her friends loved being able to write their wishes.    I ran the cards through my printer and had "My wish for Sydney's fate is:" printed at the top.  Some of the wishes were priceless.  They included...

"My wish for Sydney's fate is:  BASEBALL" - from Drew
"My wish for Sydney's fate is:  SPIDERMAN" - from Dylan
"My wish for Sydney's fate is:  BRAVERY" - from Lexi
"My wish for Sydney's fate is:  A GOOD BIRTHDAY PARTY" - from Anna
"My wish for Sydney's fate is:  HAVE FUN IN KINDERGARTEN" - from Sophie

The grown-ups wrote a few more profound things but the ones from the kids are the best.

Last but not least was the archery contest.  We decided to do this absolutely last because we knew the kids would love it and then all they would do the rest of the time is be shooting arrows.  Each kid got their own bow and arrow set.  I had found a set online at a party discounter for really cheap but they were in packaging that had an Indian on it and each set also came with a plastic knife.  Well, I knew I couldn't give the kids a knife so I opened each set and recycled the knives.  Then I was left with 12 bows and a bunch of loose arrows.  What was I going to do?

I started saving empty paper towel rolls.  I covered each roll with brown construction paper and punched holes at each end and threaded twine through it to make a strap and created a sheath for the arrows that they could sling over their shoulder.  I also had to modify the arrows a bit.  It was impossible to shoot the arrows because there was no notch at the end to hook into the string of the bow, so I had to use scissors and cut notches in the end of each arrow so they were usable.  OY VEY!

We hung the target I made from an embroidery hoop and burlap in between two trees in the backyard.  It was absolutely the perfect spot for it.  The kids had a great time shooting at the target and when everyone had gotten a turn they ran around the yard shooting arrows at the shed, the fence, the playhouse and at anything else they could hit.

When all was said and done it was a great party.  The kids all had a great time and I had fun planning and executing it.  I have to say (and I'm on record here) that this was THE LAST party I will be hosting at home.  As much fun as it was and as much as everyone enjoyed it, these parties are becoming a lot of work.  I can't complain because I do it to myself.  I love my daughter and I love throwing a big themed party but I think next year we will be having it somewhere else.  I'm thinking a pirate themed party on the Santa Maria ship downtown Columbus or maybe a Wild Kratts themed party at the Columbus Zoo. Ideas are already coming to me.  Stay tuned.


  1. I'm going to try the caber throwing (out of pool noodles) at a cub scout camp but am worried they will be too light. If you were doing it for older kids would you have used weights?

  2. It is almost more fun having them be lighter. I suppose you could weigh it down somehow. Maybe by putting a dowel pole through the hole in the pool noodle?