My baby turned 4 this week! I don’t normally go wild with party details, but this one was a big exception. With my littlest one firmly out of the toddler years and moving on to bigger things every day, I felt compelled to celebrate! A lot!
We’re huge Wreck-It Ralph fans at our house and Little Dude especially likes this movie and its music, so choosing a theme was easy. I had some fun ideas to start with, based on favorite scenes from the movie, and Pinterest helped me fill in the rest. It was far too hot for an outdoor party, so I had to move some of the activities into the first hour of the party and spend the remainder of our time playing in our water-slide bounce house, but the kids loved that just as much!
We kicked off the fun with a Wreck-It Relay! First we paired each little kid with a bigger kid. The little kids each started with 15 cardboard bricks that they had to deliver to their big-kid teammate. The big kid built a brick tower that the little kid got the satisfaction of wrecking! We even had Wreck-It Ralph fists available for punching the towers down. Next, we tried to flip it around so that the big kids were the runners and the little kids were the builders. This was (as expected) a total failure, but luckily a few parents stepped in as builders and the big kids got their turn to smash too. Some kids took the liberty of multiple smashing turns after the relay ended!
Next up was the punch box! This project was painful. Pinterest made it look oh-so-simple, but it was time-consuming and cost more than a piñata after the purchase of a $25 circle cutting tool, on top of the poster board, tissue paper, and tons of tape. It also is not as re-usable as I had believed it would be. On the other hand, the kids LOVED it and it kept us from the long piñata line where the little ones take several futile swipes until a bid kid comes along and beats the thing to smithereens. It also fit our wrecking/punching theme perfectly. We stuffed our punch box with medals, whistles, and mini bubble wands. I found the instructions for the punch box on a blog called Celebrate the Big & Small.
Next up was decorating rice-crispy race-cars to look like Vanellope’s racer. My sister-in-law made the rice krispy treats and several batches of colored frosting in piping bags that she also made herself. We let them go nuts with frosting and sprinkles. It was a sticky mess, so we went right from that to cake. And oh the cake! It was an ice cream cake from our local dairy, Tanner Bros. It was amaaaaaazing. It came already decorated with sprinkles and his name, but I added some Wreck-It Ralph cake toppers I had already purchased online. All together, it was a perfect birthday cake!
While my husband got the bounce house ready to go, I helped the kids make soda volcanoes, just like in the movie! We did this with coke and mentos! The kids were very impressed with this, even though the mini-cokes did not actually spray all that high! It was enough to distract them while the bounce house inflated. I found this idea on A to Z for Moms Like Me along with inspiration from her own Wreck-It Ralph party.
The bounce house fun went on for at least an hour or two after we set it up! We fired up the BBQ at that point and enjoyed the rest of the party as the day finally began to cool off! It was a lot of fun to watch the kids enjoy the bouncer and then to watch Little Dude eagerly unwrap his gifts! During the holidays, he still didn’t quite have the attention span to go through multiple packages and appreciate all his gifts. 6 months later, he attacked each parcel with enthusiasm and even remembered who gave him certain gifts by the wrapping paper! He was also able to stop and take a thank you picture with each present. We have a tradition of sending a thank you picture to each friend (along with a short note that I write). I like this tradition because it the kids like to see that their fried enjoyed the gift and it also causes my kid to pause and appreciate each gift, instead of just speed-tackling a giant mountain of presents.
All in all, it was the perfect birthday and I was really happy with the way our party turned out. It was a very special day that I hope Westley will remember for a long time! Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy!!
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