Hooray for another birthday! This time my oldest son turned 4! Amazing as always. Ever since my Mom brought up some real Legos to our house and let my son play with them, he has kind of been in love with them. It doesn't help that his 3 older sisters are all about the Lego Friends that came out this last year or so. Needless to say, we play with real Legos a lot (not just the bigger ones like Duplos). Of course, my son wanted a Lego party. In my efforts to keep things simple, keep him involved in the preparations, and keep things fresh and fun, here's what we came up with:
1. Icebreaker Activity- this is an activity that you can do as people come. We decided to do Playdough Mats. I found this race car Lego man here and printed out copies. Then I lamented them so we could use them as mats for the playdough. Try this recipe to make the playdough (FYI: be sure to use white flour, not wheat as it makes a huge difference!). The idea is to fill in the characters with dough (kind of like coloring but with playdough) and add any extra stuff you want. Its fun and kids can easily join in as they show up. I made red, yellow, and blue playdough and just gave every spot enough. I always cover my tables with paper for parties (and add some crayons) but the dough will stick to the paper so make sure it stays on the mats. We didn't have any problems but its something to keep an eye on. If they were done quickly with this activity, they could go to the living room where there were three bins of the larger Legos to play with (I didn't want the little pieces to be lost or put into mouths since we had 3 and 4 year olds).
2. Tallest Tower Competition- Since they all will end up playing with the Legos, the tallest tower competition is great for the next activity. I just announced that we wanted to see who could build the tallest tower. At this age its cute to see what they can come up with and how tall they actually go. We did a couple of rounds because everyone really wants to win.
3. Time to head outside and get people moving! Lego Relay- With relays at a young age, you need super simple instructions and lots of helpers. You will need one helper at the start line to make sure only one person from each team goes at a time. Another person will be needed in the middle at the obstacle and one person at the end making sure they do the activity right but of course, you will still have some mess up and that's okay. Here's what we did: Put 2 of each color Lego (I just did 3 colors) in a pile for each team. Each child had to hold the Lego on top of their heads and run for the bridge (we have a giant hole in our yard thanks to kids with shovels so we put a board over it for a bridge and someone to help them over- a slide or something to jump over, or go around would work great too). After the bridge they ran towards the table with 3 buckets on it. Each bucket was labeled with a color. They must put the Lego in the right bucket (someone helping) then run back to their team where the next person goes. It worked out that each person went twice which is good because they start to understand after the first time and want to try again.
NOTE: In case of bad weather, I had a back up for indoors. Since we wouldn't have as far to run, I bought bubble wrap for a fun twist. I figured I could lay a strip of bubble wrap from the start to the last activity. Then I was going to put something in the middle for them to jump over or run around instead of the bridge. Anything with bubble wrap is fun!
4. After a little free play, it was time for our next outdoor activity: Squirt the Legos off the Tees. You will need water guns, a box, golf tees, and 3 small Legos for this game. Punch the tees into the box so that the tees stand up on their own (I made our box look like a brown Lego but no one really cares. Also Styrofoam works great for this activity if you have some on hand instead of a box). I put my tees in through the tape part that holds the box together. Place one Lego on each golf tee. Give one child a squirt gun and have him squirt the Legos off. Its a ton of fun for little boys (and even older girls). This was the most well behaved line I've seen! They were mesmerized. I recommend doing a couple of different ones so lots of kids can go at once as they all want to do it over and over again. I also recommend having several water guns on hand so you don't have to take a time out to fill them up again. If your Lego won't stay on the tee, try turning it upside down.
5. Come back inside for some cake and presents! As for the cake, I didn't get super creative this time. I never found my "That's the one I have to try to make" cake so I just did a regular rectangle cake and drew a Lego man on with frosting. For the red frosting I used a Kool-aid packet since I couldn't have a pink shirt Lego but it tasted pretty bad so add some extra sugar! Ever have that moment where you are waiting for a child to get to the table, or someone to find the matches, etc? Try this game while you wait: "Who likes to....raise your hand!" Sounds really simple but kids love raising their hands! We always start with something really simple like "Who is a boy? Raise your hand." then go for some silly ones like "Who wants to be tickled?" The kids love it and the game can go on for as long or as short as you need it.
6. After presents we did more free time with the Legos. As they left, however, we did a Lego Punch to get their goodies. Here's what you need: One box, 6 cups, tissue paper, and tape. Trace the bottom of your cup on to the box six times evenly spaced apart so it will look like a Lego piece (see above). Cut out the circle keeping in mind that you want the holes to be slightly smaller than the top of the cups so the cups will be the pegs at the top of the Legos, sticking a little bit out. Cover your box in tissue paper (or wrapping paper or paint it) and cut open the holes again. Put your goodies in the cups. Cover each cup with tissue paper and tape securely. Make sure the tissue paper covers the top of the cup that will be showing. I did two layers of tissue paper so it wouldn't break super easily. Place the cups in the holes securely (they should stay if you push them in until snug). When its time for a guest to leave, give him his goodie bag and have him punch one cup then grab his goodies inside. The boys loved this (and my girls). Its just a fun alternative to a pinata.
For the goodie bags, I printed out on half sheets of paper mazes, activities, and bookmarks from the Lego site and glued them to a brown paper lunch bag. We put their playdough and mats from earlier in there too.
Decorations were as follows:
- Balloons- Red, Blue, and Yellow. The Yellow balloons had just a normal Lego man face on them. Note: eyebrows make a difference, add some. For the blue and red, we made Lego Ninja faces. All you have to do is draw a rectangle with two eyes inside. Then a couple of curvy lines around the balloon. If you want to instead, you can cut out the rectangles from yellow paper and tape them on the Ninja balloons.
- Lego coloring pages- I printed out lots of Lego coloring pages (use the Lego site or Google Image Lego coloring page) and had my son and my other kids color them. I cut them out and hung them up all over.
- We used to have a birthday tissue banner that I loved but at the last party, someone jumped up to touch it ripping the whole thing so I used a racing flag banner instead to go along with the Playdough mat race car guy. It looked cool.
Invitations- I was kind of behind schedule on these so I quickly took some 3x5 cards and had my son color each (the whole thing). Then I drew circles on top so it look liked a Lego (you could cut out circles from construction paper and glue it on too). On the back, I glued on a printed out info sheet.
And that's it. Pretty simple, lots of fun at this age, and not a ton of stress. Phew!