15 October 2012

A School Holiday Impromptu Lego Party

It's Monday and the kids are back to school. The holidays are over, term Four has begun. 
Part of me heaves a sigh of relief; part of me misses them already.

A large part of the hols were taken up with recovering from jetlag and the painful effects of the switch to Daylight Saving. I have lost count of all the movies we watched in our pyjamas. 
We did make it out of the house eventually (to the Mall, to visit friends, to the park).
We even did some gardening, planting vegies and strawberries ready for a summer of home-grown salads.
But by far the coolest thing we did was throwing an impromptu neighbourhood Lego party.

OK, it wasn't exactly impromptu, because we did actually invite people ahead of time, but when you consider that at 9am I was still in my PJs, surveying a messy house, un-iced biscuits and no baking... it was impromptu.

So here's how to put together a Lego party in under an hour (and have the best day of the holidays for no money at all)...

1. Invite some very cool people
This is very important and the key to your impromptu party's success. Invite people who are (a) easygoing and relaxed (b) intelligent, funny and nice (c) mothers to very nice children.
I invited three of my favourite people, the best of company. Between us we had twelve children ranging in ages from 3 to 10, so there were playmates for everybody. Basically we never saw the kids cos they were off playing with their friends leaving us to laugh, talk and hang out in blissful peace.

[My Lego party Pinterest Board]

2. Pin cool ideas on Pinterest (and then don't get around to doing them)
I was impressed with all the cool Lego food ideas to be found on Pinterest, but ended up borrowing only two of the ideas, which I managed to pull off in under an hour. I love Pinterest and all the creativity to be found there, but in the end you only need a couple of cute creative touches to give your impromptu party some pizzazz. 

[Dairy free banana choc chip muffins]

3. Stay up late the night before and then sleep in the next day
If you want a truly impromptu party, then you need to leave absolutely everything to the last minute. Don't bake muffins the day before like a sensible person. Don't ice the biscuits or create the lego straw holders. Make sure your house is a bomb site and then at 9am ... PANIC!

4. Get the kids to help you
Since you have prepared absolutely nothing (apart from ordering in some sweets and biscuits on the shopping) you are going to need all the help you can get, which means dragging your kids off the computer, kicking them off the Wii and enlisting their help to clean, bake, decorate and create your party. If they complain remind them that you are doing this FOR THEM. You have ONE HOUR.

[homemade fizzy lemonade]

5. Just roll with it
You may have envisaged something like this that you spotted on Pinterest...

but when your son builds you something like this to put your straws and sweets in...

...just roll with it. Creativity is to be encouraged, right?

Since you now have no time to bake and frost cupcakes before your guests arrive in ONE HOUR, you're going to have to opt for banana muffins and ditch the frosting. Just as well you bought that packet of Arnotts Nice biscuits; just whip up some icing, smear some on, and add Skittles to create Lego bumps. The kids will be impressed and one little darling will even come up and say, "Thankyou Simone for making this lovely party food". Awwwwwww. See what happens when you invite friends with lovely kids?

6. Dairy free can be easy if you plan ahead
If one of your special little guests is dairy intolerant make sure you have some dairy free options available. This is easier than it sounds and only requires ordering some soy milk, Skittles and dark chocolate chips. Always keep Olivani spread in the fridge and substitute it for butter. 

Arnotts "Nice" biscuits contain only traces of dairy, so by using your dairy-free Olivani in the frosting and Skittles to decorate instead of Smarties you now have some cool dairy free lego biscuits. Your special guest will appreciate the extra effort and the other kids won't know the difference. 

(You can also ask his clever mum to make some dairy-free Lego minifigures and bring them along - the ones you spotted on her blog, which gave you the idea for this impromptu Lego party)

7. Leave the kids to it
Set the kids' party food out on the table in the kitchen, the one with the easily-cleaned wooden floor and let them dig in. Retreat with your mummy friends to the calm of the lounge where you can eat fat-free brownie and asparagus with hummus, sip tea and chat for hours while the kids entertain themselves. 

Don't worry about the mess. Crumbs can be swept, spilled water can be mopped... later. Just block out the noise and enjoy hanging with your very cool friends.

8. Entertainment is unnecessary when you have a house full of kids (and Lego Creationary)
If you are lucky enough to have Lego Creationary put it somewhere the kids can see it, and hope that they will take the hint. If your little guests discover it only at the end of the party and start complaining that they didn't get the chance to play it, offer to send it home with them... if they can take your kids along too to play it with them (you will probably overhear them asking their mum if they can get it for Christmas). It really is a very cool game (like Pictionary, but with Lego).

(Lego Creationary... played Later)

See, wasn't that easy?? And so much FUN.
A Lego-inspired impromptu party, rustled up in an hour. The best morning of the holidays. You should try it some time.

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