Monday, August 15, 2011

Alligator Party!!

William turned FIVE!  He's such a big kid now.  We had an awesome party to celebrate my special little guy.  Of course the party started for me weeks before while I made the birthday banner, party hats, pom poms party favors, and planned the alligator themed menu.
Birthday Banner
Custom Party Hats

Party Favors with Alligator Toys and Goodies Inside
Pom Poms

First we had lunch while the party guests arrived.
 Alligator Bites
Ham and Cheese Alligator Sandwich
Peanut Butter and Jelly Star Finger Sandwiches
"Swamp" Salad (Lime Whip Jello w/ Pineapple)
Fruit Tray
Pasta Salad
Goldfish Crackers
Cucumber Punch (my favorite!)
Juice boxes

Alligator Sub Sandwich
Swamp Salad

Then we played a little Alligator Ring Toss while getting ready for the craft.  The kids were less than professional ring tossers so we split into teams to save time (and sanity!) 
The winning team got a trip to the "Gator Goodies" treat bar.  I love doing a treat bar.  I like to have the candy be color coordinated to the party's theme.  I chose brown, orange, green, and red.  I think I'll choose less colors and segregate them more in the candy jars next time.
Gator Goodies
Cherry, Green Apple, and Chocolate licorice
Reeses Pieces
Almond Joy Pieces
Salt Water Taffy
Jelly Beans
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Then we headed back into the kitchen for an alligator craft.  I had cut out foam pieces to make an alligator visor.  It was cute in theory, but the execution of it was not so cute.  If I do another craft at a party, it MUST be all self adhesive and no gluing involved!
Foam Visors

This was like herding cats!
After the craft ordeal, we headed back into the front room for some more games.  We sang/acted out the "Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree" song.  William got to be "Mr. Alligator" for song and everyone participated by "teasing" and then getting "snapped right out of the tree."  That led up to the game of "Saving Mr. Monkey."  I had cut 30 or so alligator shapes (thank you Cricut!) and sprinkled them all over the floor.  Each kid had to carefully tip toe across the "infested water" to rescue Mr. Monkey on the other side.  I was worried the kids would lose interest or master this game too quickly but it seemed to be the hit of the party.  They wanted to do it again and again.  Fine by me!  They continued their rescuing while I got the cake ready.
Don't step on an alligator!
 I LOVE Wegman's Ultimate white cakes.  They are also a perfect canvas for decorating a birthday cake.  Last year I had a shark's fin coming out.  This year we had an alligator river.  I used blue icing for the river, cut up some artificial florals for bushes and stuck some gator toys on top (of course I washed everything before I put them on the cake!)  Then I piped some green reeds and more river on the sides and voila!  Awesome cake that tastes great in less than 10 minutes.
Making a Wish
Blowing out the Candles
 After the cake and ice cream, we opened presents.  William got some great stuff!  He loved all of them but he's really into his Crayola Glow Station (it glows in the dark so it makes going to bed a lot easier!), Geo Trax, and his Hot Wheels toys.  We had just enough time for the kids to play with all the new toys before it was time for the guests to go home.  Right before leaving they each got an alligator cookie and a Ziplock sandwich bag to fill up at the "Gator Goodies" table.  It was a crazy 2 hours but super fun.  

Everyone asks if I enjoy going overboard every year for little kid parties.  Of course I do!  I wouldn't do this if I didn't!  I only have a few years of fun themed birthdays so I'm going to live it up while I can.  Yeah, I may be a little crazy to stay up past midnight trying to figure out how to make an alligator out of two sourdough loaves, but those who came enjoyed the party and William loved it.  That's all the validation I need.