21 April 2015

TMNT Party for Young Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party (TMNT)

This was one of those parties where I wasn't in love with the theme (birthday boy Scrag's choice) until waaaay down the track. But as the plans began to come together and the ideas started flowing, the more excited I got about it.
Of course my excitement was NOTHING compared to Scrag. He's been counting sleeps for months, and as Miss Fab and I got stuck into papier-mâché-ing piñatas and hot glueing googly eyes on ninja lollipops, the more excited he got - which meant the more hugs I got. (It's the reason I do these parties, really, for the hugs and the exclamations of "Mum you're the best! Mum you're so clever!" Makes it all worth it).

Finally the birthday party day dawned, just as rainy as predicted. But was I fazed? Nuh-uh. I spotted the weather forecast earlier in the week and adjusted my decorating plans accordingly. Woop! I'm learning! There was NO STRESS about the rain. For once. Cos I was prepared.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party (TMNT) - masks for all!


2.00pm - Guests arrive, get their ninja masks, hang out in Scrag's new room til everyone's there
2.30pm - Leave for Uptown Bounce (10-15 minutes drive, in Grey Lynn)
3.00pm-4.00pm - Have the BEST TIME EVER bouncing off the walls, literally.
4.20pm - Pick up pizzas on the way home
4.30pm - After opening prezzies, daddy ninja herds kittens kids out under the carport for pizza game
5.00pm - Eat party food, sing happy birthday, blow out candles on cake.
5.30pm - When the wall bouncing starts again it's Daddy Ninja to the rescue: start silly dancing in the bedroom. Play "Bullrush" when the rain has stopped.
5.45pm - Play "smash the ninja turtle piñata" and send them home ASAP (before the sugar rush kicks in).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party (TMNT) - decor

After I saw the weather forecast (rain) I dropped all pans for outside party decor and figured out a plan to ninja-fy my dining room. I had a cunning plan to stencil myself a slimy brick tablecover, which turned out rather brilliantly (if I do say so myself), but the pièce de résistance was the city skyline I drew freehand with chalk, on a sheet of black building paper, to form a backdrop.

TMNT Party - chalkboard skyline backdrop and stencilled brick tablecover

On the ceiling were "floating" some green faux-helium balloons, to add a festive touch. You'd be surprised how many people are fooled by these beauties.

(FAUX HELIUM BALLOONS: Simply blow up your el-cheapo balloons, tie a curling-ribbon "tail" onto each one and then pop a square of double-sided tape to the top and let them cling to the ceiling, looking for all the world like they floated up there.)

TMNT Party decor - faux helium balloons

TMNT Party decor - printables and ninja masksLITTLE TOUCHES: I used a Sewer Lid graphic I found online and played with it in Photoshop to create a number of fab printables for the TMNT party theme. I printed them and used them on the metal lids of my glass drink dispenser and mason jar cups, as well as a larger size stuck on the plates (covered first in clear Duraseal to avoid any toxic copy-toner getting on the food).
Googly eyes were my best revelation though. Two packets in various sizes transformed  plain green bags, lollipops and popcorn boxes into super cute ninja turtle wannabes.

TMNT Party food - including ninja turtle fruit platter


Thank goodness Ninja Turtles love pizza! With that as a given, we supplemented our party menu with a few other faves: Popcorn (in ninja turtle popcorn boxes), cupcakes (slimy brick pattern, not to be mistaken for turtle shells), turtle-face fruit platter (instructions here)) and green jelly (cos it looks like slime). The pizzas we pre-ordered online and picked up from Pizza Hut on home way from Uptown Bounce for $5 each. (Pizza Hut, because that's what Ninja Turtles eat in the movie).

TMNT Party guests are having fun

TO DRINK: I made my famous green tea apple punch (refined sugar free), and branded it "Sewer Sludge". A few drops of green food colouring gave it a nice green tinge, and the name didn't put them off. they guzzled it back, no probs.

TMNT Party - sewer sludge to drink (sugar free green tea punch)
TMNT Partydrinks stand - with mossy bricks

(Yes that's an actual mossy brick from the garden that my drink dispenser is propped up on. Nothing like a bit of authenticity).

TMNT Party guests - favors were a felt Ninja turtle mask

When the guests arrived, my plan was to paint all their faces green and give them each a ninja turtle mask (to wear and to keep). Er, nobody told me that SEVEN YEAR OLDS are too cool for face painting. There were no takers, for green faces, not a one. They all happily donned the masks though...

TMNT Party favors: easy DIY felt Ninja turtle masks to take home
[NINJA TURTLE MASKS: Very quick and easy to make (tutorial here) ; Felt $3/metre from Geoffs]
This party was partly held "at home" (we love at home parties) but also off site at the awesome new indoor trampoline place, Uptown Bounce. Thank goodness we planned this in! These young ninjas were LOUD. So much energy, even before having any sugar whatsoever. With heavy rain off and on all day there's no way we could have had an outdoor party, and with the amount of energy these kids had, there's no way my house (or my ears) would have survived!

TMNT Party - Ninja bouncing fun at Uptown Bounce

Uptown Bounce was the perfect place to go on this rainy Saturday. It's a place where kids can literally bounce off the walls...

TMNT Party - Ninja bouncing fun at Uptown Bounce

TMNT Party - Ninja bouncing fun at Uptown Bounce

We've been here a number of times and the kids keep asking to go back again.

Scrag particularly requested that we go here for his birthday, and since it's just ten minutes up the road it was the perfect solution for an Autumn party with eight energetic kids AND a Ninja Turtle Party theme.

What I love about Uptown Bounce, apart from being so handy, is that it's clean, bright and well run. The staff are great and keep a close eye on the jumpers at all times, enforcing the safety rules which helps everyone have fun. Plus, it's not too big and not too small. It's just right.

TMNT Party - Ninja bouncing fun at Uptown Bounce

I knew from experience that the kids would be desperately thirsty from all that bouncing, so I came prepared...

TMNT Party - bouncing is thirsty work - free printable water bottle labels
After an hour of non-stop action, we headed home for food and a few gentler pursuits, hoping that at least SOME of the energy fizzing through these kids' veins had been released. What can I say? the kids had a blast. Thank you Uptown Bounce!

Such a simple idea. Turn a Frisbee into a pizza and try to throw it in to a pizza box. Hilarious to watch, especially with Daddy Ninja in charge of antics.

[My free printables for this game here]

TMNT Party games - get the pizza in the box

As well as the planned games, there was a bit of spontaneous dancing action in the bedroom (Scrag got the latest "NOW" CD for his birthday), and a Daddy-initiated game of backyard Bullrush, when the sun unexpectedly made an appearance...

TMNT Party games - bullrush

(Funny thing. When I asked Scrag later what was his favourite part of the party, guess what he said? BULLRUSH. Yep. The spontaneous game of chase and tag. Go figure.)

TMNT Party games - ninja turtle pinata

To top the party off and finish with a bang, Miss fab and I had lovingly created this rather cute Ninja Turtle piñata (here's how to make one yourself - it's ridiculously easy).

TMNT Party games - ninja turtle pinata

Now this was the best fun to watch. What could be funnier than watching blindfolded kids attacking thin air? Great fun, I tells ya.

TMNT Party games - ninja turtle pinata with cute favor bags to collect sweets in

TMNT Party games - ninja turtle pinataWhen the piñata fell at last to a killing blow from the (plastic) ninja axe, there was a mad scramble to fill the otherwise empty goody bags with lollies, at which point we hoped their parents would arrive quick smart to take them home before the sugar high kicked in.
TMNT Party games - ninja turtle lollipops

We sent our guests home with a green ninja-turtle goody bag filled with their piñata spoils, a cute ninja turtle lollipop and their felt mask. Simple.

TMNT Party games - ninja turtle birthday cake

But we can't forget the Birthday Cake! This is one I'm rather proud of as I came up with the technique for the slimy-brick top all by myself.

(Instructions for how to make this cake are here in my party how-to post).

TMNT Party games - ninja turtle birthday cake

As I've said before, I'm a very amateur cake-decorator, but with the skills I learned and the equipment I got at KiwiCakes last month, I feel a lot more confident! And the main thing is that the birthday boy loved it.

(He doesn't really like buttercream icing! Last year when I presented him with his birthday cake he burst into tears because there was icing all up the sides. This year there was an acceptable level of scraped-on-scraped-off green buttercream. And it all added to the sewer-tunnel effect. So Phew!)

There you have it. Another epic birthday production done and dusted. After that, I made myself a coffee and put my feet up, I can tell you.

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