With a Sports Mad son like Dash, the only logical theme for his 6th birthday party was Sports.
Usually I prefer to have our kids' parties at home, but for this one, we decided on hiring the YMCA gym - we've had weather scares before at this time of the year, and there's just no way you can do a Sports Party for rowdy 6-year-old boys in your lounge if it turns to rain!
The plan was very simple: Lots of activity, competition and fun, followed by an easy-peasy afternoon tea and a Prizegiving (of course).
Dash had a vision for the party, and was involved every step of the way with its planning. He wanted teams and organised team challenges. There had to be a soccer game. He wanted some of his friends' dads to be "Coaches" and Daddy to be The Ref.
The birthday boy made a list organising his friends into two teams, and was very fair-minded, making sure that he spread the "best" players evenly. He even added his sister into his own team. He named his teams "England" (RED) and "New Zealand" (BLUE); complete with flags, mascots and headbands. We went shopping together at Geoffs Emporium and got some stretchy material to cut up into strips for the headbands. We got cool mini-Nike sipper bottles from an outlet store and stuck on sticky letters to name each one.
I made a special "Move It Music" compilation CD for background music and a score sheet for each team to record their points tally (click here for downloadable spreadsheets with details of the programme).
The kids all had a great time. To show how fair the teams were spread, Dash's team came second! There were no dramas though, because my son has been working on becoming a good sport. He was also pretty satisfied with a 4-4 draw in the soccer game: two goals scored by him, one from halfway down the pitch over everyone's heads into the top corner! Very impressive.
The food was simple and could all be prepared ahead of time: Fruit kebabs (red and white), jelly orange triangles, red and purple cocktail sausages, cheese balls, popcorn, watermelon and stunning Sports ball Cupcakes (kindly made by my good friend Gail); then finish off with some Mud'n'Grass Icecream sundaes.
There wasn't much time to decorate, as we could only get access to the room 15 minutes before the party started, so I settled for green plastic tablecloths and special plates that looked like soccer balls. There was also meant to be a bunch of six Red, White & Blue helium balloons in the middle of the table, but in the rush to get everything set up, three of them floated away when Mr G opened the car door!
The Cake was pretty easy - I baked a triple sized 1-egg chocolate sponge in a roasting dish; iced it with green butter icing and then used rolled strips of royal icing to mark out a soccer pitch. Then I sprinkled shaved coconut (dyed green with food colouring) for grass and a rolled up (oversized) soccer ball made of icing, also painted with food colouring.
After the food we had a "Prizegiving". Each "Coach" chose a person for Outstanding Effort, Fantastic Attitude and MVP from their team. Then Mr G chose two people for the Ref's All-Rounder Award, and we gave everyone their party bags, containing a medal and sweets.
The party bags were brown paper sacks; I made some labels with a soccer ball and added the words "Thanks for coming to my party"; then stuck them on with a glue stick, and sealed the bags with a NZ Flag Sticker. They looked great and cost next to nothing.
Altogether, lots of fun - a great theme for energetic boys!