You might have already read my mothering perspective on my son’s milestone fifth birthday, but now I want to share details of the party.  Handmade details that took some planning, patience, and time, but in the end it was totally worth it–and we saved several bucks by having a DIY birthday. You can do it, too!

I’ve been pinning ideas on my pinterest “partytime ideas” board, and figuring out exactly what type of gluten-free cake I wanted to bake, with my son’s special requests for a white cake with chocolate frosting.  I’m SO thankful for pinterest.  There, I found links to blog posts with free printable templates for angry birds-themed treat bags, balloons, banner bunting, and cake bunting.  Plus, I found ideas for some great ideas for games for the 3 to 5 year-old age group.  I’m so thankful for the collective creativity shared by generous writers and designers on the blogosphere.  Because of them, I felt like I could actually pull off a pretty slick Angry Birds birthday.

We blocked off two hours for the birthday party: from 10 AM to noon on a Saturday, but we got started a few minutes late thanks to the prevailing winds that just got us a little behind with set-up.  But, kids aren’t on a tight schedule of expectations when it comes to parties.  We just directed them to the angry birds egg hunt (which a certain birthday boy had already hunted and found, and then had to re-hide).  They used their nifty angry birds treat backs to stow their plastic eggs (purchased on sale at a big box crafting store last spring).  More details on the egg hunt below . . .

GAMES:

Pigs Hunting Eggs

To keep it fair and engaging for all participants, we had each of the six children assigned a color (we used Avery mailing labels that were colored with markers to match the color of the eggs…each child’s name was scrawled on a color-coded name tag to remind him what color eggs to hunt).  Each child’s group of four hidden eggs was filled with the following:

  • angry birds temporary tattoo (sheet of 12 for $1 at a big box everything store)
  • 2 erasers (long sticks of erasers on clearance at a big box office supply store for mere cents)
  • homemade silly putty {recipe via PBS parents}
  • dinosaur-themed silly bands (found on Clearance at a big box crafting store, 12 for $1)
  • 24 count plastic eggs ($2 plus a 40% off coupon at a craft store).

While hunting for the eggs, the kids wore golden crowns and pretended they were the green pigs.  The nifty crowns were courtesy of our local Burger King.  We spray painted them with gold Krylon to cover up all the logos and printing.  The result was a shiny crown that the kids loved to wear.

(crowns: free from BK $0, can of Krylon spray paint $3.50)

Golden crown for angry birds party

Angry Birds  - Bowling Green Pig Pins

This birthday bash post on Parents inspired the angry birds themed bowling.  Instead of food coloring, we just used water bottles decorated with green pig cupcake toppers that were taped to the front to make the bowling pins.  We borrowed a blue kick ball from the preschool, and I taped the cut outs of the blue angry bird face (via Party Animal) to the ball using packing tape.  The kids all had 1 – 2 turns–and collectively they knocked down the 10 pins.  You don’t want 2 – 5 year olds to get too bored waiting in line, so one go round was enough before they were jaded.  It was the perfect duration for that particular game.  My husband was great at keeping things moving along while I finished up with the food table preparation.
FYI, I used the angry birds cut outs for numerous party decor: treat bags, “bowling” ball, piñata, and balloon faces.  All thanks to some card stock, a color laser jet printer, scissors, and double stick tape, and we were all set!
Pig Stomp
What a hoot to watch the kids strap a balloon to the ankle and proceed to pop other kids’ balloons while keeping their own balloon in tact.  These were some tough balloons that took quite a beating.  But, in the end there was a winner…and he happened to be the birthday boy.
pig stomp at angry birds birthday party
Green Pig Piñata
We used version 2.0 since version 1.0 crumpled and imploded on me since I took too long to construct it.  Our green pig piñata was constructed using a punching ball balloon as the frame, and covered with papier-mâché (layer 1, newspaper strips, layer 2 paper towel strips, and layers 3 – 4 white printer paper).  There’s a great tutorial on making piñatas at Growing Up.
Again, we used the angry birds balloon templates for the pig face.  To make the snout stick out a little, I cut a strip of card stock and made wide fringes to tape it to the piñata and the paper snout graphic.
angry birds pinata ball throw
We provided the kids with lacrosse balls to throw at the green pig pinata…ya know…to carry on the Angry Birds theme of launching projectiles with targeted vectors.  There were a few dents made by the lacrosse balls, but they could pierce the dense papier-mâché. So, we let each child have a go or two with a foam covered bat.  Again, there were more dents, and a few goodies emptied from the piñata, but it wasn’t until my husband ripped it open with a knife were the kids able to refill their treat bags.
angry birds green pig pinata lacrosse ball throw
We decided to avoid the junk food theme with most piñatas, instead, we used angry birds metallic stickers, shiny pencils, more erasers, organic fruit juice-sweetened lollipops, and a rainbow array of bouncy balls that looked spectacular when they emptied and bounced on the concrete simultaneously.
green pig angry birds pinata
Materials used:
old newspaper cut into strips ($0)
3 – 4 cups of flour ($0.50)
10 half-sheets of paper towels ($0.25)
16 sheets of white printer paper ($0.16)
punching bag balloon ($0.25) purchased in a 4 pack at a craft store
green spray paint ($4)
string, military 550 cord that we re-used, and saved afterward ($0 we’ve had this for years since we were in the military)
We were able to knock out version 2.0 of the piñata in less than 1 week by spending 20 – 40 minutes per day, at most.  Compare this overall to the cost of a store bought piñata that begins at $25.
I was really frustrated and bummed when the first one didn’t work out, but I’m not one to let some flour and paste get me down.  So, I got over my bad attitude and started version 2.  I wanted my son to see me overcome a setback with a triumph, and I wanted to work with him to create some lasting memories from his birthday–ones where he can take pride in the family effort that it took to create the green pig.  We’re already excited about doing this type of project for many years to come.
Decor
We used more gold Krylon spray paint to cover some smooth egg-shaped river rocks that we gathered at Bowman’s Creek by Roadside Rest and in Pennsylvania.  Parents and kids wanted to ask if they could take home the golden eggs (they were a big hit).  Used to weigh down the napkins, table cloths, and felt table runner, once they were done serving their practical purpose, they were free to go to new homes.  We did remind them that they were indeed rocks and shouldn’t be chewed on–not a fun teether.
angry birds party guests
We made a very simple banner to hang over the table with 3 balloons (red, yellow, and blue), each with the angry birds faces templates taped to them.  The balloon banner also had a few cupcake toppers tied to it (free printables download on BestGiftIdea.com).  I do not have a photo of the awesome banner, but the balloons are still alive and well and serving as fun decor and playtime fun in my son’s room.

angry birds birthday party treats

On the table, I strung a runner made from last year’s felt circles and stars garland pictured here.  We used mason jelly jars with cupcake lines on top where kids could punch straws through to keep the glasses from spilling (inspired by this pin).  Mason jars are pretty tough!
Food table at Angry Birds party
Food
We kept it simple, because kids are more into games and playtime than food.
Beverages: Water bottles (from the bowling game) and apple cider for beverages.
Sides:
- carrots & celery sticks with homemade ranch yogurt dip
- macintosh apple wedges with almond/orange blossom honey/cinnamon
- baked lime & pepper potato Hippie Chips
Main: Fried chicken from Wayside Chicken–because we have a sense of humor, too, and there is no better fried chicken than Wayside.
angry birds cake
Dessert:
- birthday cake!  We used Tokie’s gluten-free blonde bombshell mix (tasted like a white chocolate pound cake) with fresh and preserved raspberries in a filling, covered with chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Chinese sesame candy garnish
Everyone was sitting down to eat by 11:15 AM, and when that was all wrapped up, the kids ran through the leaves and enjoyed the beautiful day on the playground at Belmont Park.  We cleaned up and were out of the picnic pavilion by 12:05.
Calvin waited until we were home to unwrap his gifts, and then he spent the rest of the afternoon playing with them.  He had a great day!

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