I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog party sponsored MommyParty. All opinions are my own.This post contains affiliate links.
What’s a mom to do when her soon to be 5-year-old still can’t decide on a theme for his birthday party–with only 6 days to go?
In the words of Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”
After persuading Jaxson to go with a Spiderman birthday party, I went into action! Pulling a birthday party together in a short time period actually made the planning process less stressful for me. We invited just a handful of his friends (plus a couple of siblings). With kids this age, I don’t plan too many organized activities and games. In fact, I treated it like a well-attended play date.
How to Plan a Spiderman Birthday Party (in less than a week)
6-7 Days before the party:
Send out invitations: I used the new Comic Heroes theme at PicMonkey to turn Jaxson into Spiderman for his party. They have some really cool fonts and overlays like the mask I used. PicMonkey is really easy to use and it’s worth the $33 a year for the Royale options. I use it everyday to edit the photos for this blog–even my food photos. These invites too me about 30 minutes to create–but only because I played around with a ton of fonts. Then I printed them on photo paper on my HP Envy 5330 and handed them out during preschool pick-up. I also emailed the invite to a friends we don’t see everyday.
Order decorations and party supplies: I started a Pinterest board with some amazing decorating ideas, including a spiderweb on the ceiling. In the end, I made it easy on myself. I bought Spiderman foil swirl hanging decorations from Birthday in a Box and red and blue balloons. I bought supplies for our Pokemon party from them last year and was really pleased with how quickly everything arrived. I also bought some party favors from them too. At the dollar store, I purchased red and blue plates, plasticware, and tablecloths. If you’re strapped for time, Birthday in a Box has a Spiderman party in a box, which includes decorations, party supplies and favors. I found a small Spiderman action figure to put on top of the birthday cake.
Order party Favors: I prefer to give a few nicer party favors than a bag full of junk and candy. So I found red paper bags at the dollar store. We stuffed them with reusable plastic Spiderman cups, bubbles, a lollipop, and a Spiderman paddle ball.
3-4 days before the party:
Purchase food: I didn’t make any themed food except for the birthday cake. I’m glad I didn’t obsess over the food because they boys barely ate. They were too busy playing! I served simple foods like taquitos, chicken nuggets, veggies, fruit, chips, and hummus. I bought boxed cake mix and frosting tubs for the birthday cake and cupcakes. We bought juice pouches for the kids and sparkling juices for the adults.
Setup LeapFrog LeapTV: We’ve been testing out the new LeapFrog LeapTV in anticipation of the party, so Jaxson was extra excited to show it to his friends. We planned for the LeapTV to be our main party attraction. It’s good to set it up ahead of time because you’ll need to add your kids’ profiles and activate it. The process didn’t take long, but you don’t want to fumble around during the party when the kids are eager to play. LeapTV is a new and innovative way for kids to learn by combining activity and movement with LeapFrog’s fantastic educational tools.
What makes the LeapTV different is kids can see themselves inside the game (on your television) via the included camera. Jaxson shrieked in delight when he saw himself inside LeapTV Sports! karate game. He said it was like the Xbox Kinect but made just for him. I was happy to see him having so much fun, he didn’t even realize the games were educational. LeapFrog engages kids by offering games in characters they love. Thanks to Amazon Prime’s 2-Day shipping perk, I was able to order LeapTV Ultimate Spiderman game and a second controller in time for the party. Some of the games allow for up to 4 players and I didn’t want anyone to feel left out during the party.
As you can see, LeapTV was a hit with Jaxson’s friends.
Start cleaning house: Our apartment was not company ready so we started doing a little of cleaning every night. The kids’ room was especially messy. We planned for 8 kids (including our 2) and I wanted another space besides our living room. By cleaning one area each night we wouldn’t be pulling an all-nighter to clean.
1-2 days before the party:
Bake cake and cupcakes: Besides playing LeapTV, I planned for the kids to decorate cupcakes. The day before the party, Jaxson and I baked cupcakes together. I’d let him choose the cake mix and frosting for each component. He went with red cake and blue frosting (like Spidey). We also made his big birthday cake the day before. I had planned to bake a layer cake, but some how I only have one round cake pan. To save time, I convinced Jaxson to let me bake his cake in a bundt pan. Once everything cooled, I wrapped them up.
Finish cleaning: Um, yeah. Thank goodness my husband volunteered to do the bulk of the cleaning. Cause, whew!
Day of the party:
Decorate the cake: I found a cool tutorial on Pinterest on how to create a spiderweb effect in frosting. After I frosted the bundt cake with blue frosting, I used a ziptop bag to pip chocolate frosting circles on the cake. Using toothpicks, I pulled the frosting to create a web look. Set the Spiderman figure on top and done!
Prep and heat up food: This was totally low key. I just set out platters of food on our dining table. The taquitos and chicken nuggets were heated up in the oven and served with salsa, sour cream, etc.
Set up cupcake decorating station: I set up a small table in our kitchen (my office, really) with the cupcake decorating supplies. I had little bowls with different toppings: mini M&Ms, mini marshmallows, and the “funfetti” from the frosting tubs. I also had little bottles of sprinkles I’d picked up from Valentine’s day clearance.
We started the party by playing games on LeapTV. I think the best game for a large crowd is LeapTV Dance and Learn because all 4 boys could play at the same time. They just loved seeing themselves on the television. The preschoolers picked up how to interact with the LeapTV very quickly. Pretty soon, they were all dancing and jumping around our living room. I think LeapTV will be a lifesaver for me during winter break and snow days!
When it was time to decorate the cupcakes, each kid was given a small cup of the frosting of his choice along with a cupcake. I let them go to town. After each child was done decorating his/her cupcake, I took a photo of them with it. I printed the photos from my smartphone by sending them to HP Envy 5330. By the time the kids were done eating their cupcakes, the photos were done. I slipped the photos in the goodie bags for the kids.
End of party: easy clean up and relax on the couch!
I think the most stressful part about throwing this party was hoping that the kids would show up! We had 2 no shows, but I’m kind of glad because it was already a bit crowded with 8 kids in our apartment.
How much time do you spend planning your kids’ birthday parties?