His Lego Birthday Party

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JayceParty 1IMG 3514Jayce has been asking to have a birthday party at his house since we moved here.  I wasn’t planning to given that we don’t have a lot of space in our flat, but I decided that if we had a modest group (about 10 kids)  and had some outdoor activities, then we’d be good to go.

Birthday party 13Birthday party invite 1I made Jayce’s invitations at night and showed them to him the next morning before school.  He loved them, but decided that he wanted to address each one personally on the back.  It took him an hour to write 6 greetings and I thought we might never make it to school, but eventually we did.  (To Max, From Jayce.  Please come to my party, we will play games.  Then he drew pictures of balloons and streamers.) 
Ribbet birthday collageI had fun putting together his party, and as always, had too many ideas that I spent the week whittling down as I had a better idea of what I could accomplish.  I ended up with a bit of a Lego party documentation that week over instagram.  Included in the mix was Jayce’s freezer paper stenciled Lego man shirt, which I loved, but he loved more.  He still wears it at least once a week.

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Birthday party 2I had been planning on a mostly outdoor party in the back yard area, but the weather just wouldn’t budge from a very windy and spotty rain forecast, so Friday night I moved to Plan B.  I moved all of the festivities inside and planned to just go outside for the outdoor games if there were periods of non-rain.  
Birthday party 4Chelsea and I spent the night before decking out the flat as best as we could.  Chris blew up balloons while we hung streamers, balloons, and signs.  I also claimed the hall outside our flat as a temporary extension of the flat, and hung a few decorations there as well.  It worked.  
Birthday party 9Birthday party 8Jayce and Hannah were so excited once the guests started to arrive.  Hannah thinks that all of Jayce’s friends are her friends (which they are, but you know what I mean) so she ran out to greet them and ran around with them all for the whole party. 
Birthday party 11Obviously the first thing that all of the kids did was run upstairs into the kids’ room.  Then we shuffled them outside.

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Up first was the Lego-man scooter race.  Everyone grabbed a mask (and then pretty much discarded them) and headed out to the starting line.  Chris took his spot at the finish line, a handful of medals, and a whistle, and led the races.
Birthday party 15Birthday party 12Birthday party 17Birthday party 19Birthday party 21Hannah was obviously a part of the races.  It didn’t matter that she had no scooter, she just ran after the big kids.Birthday party 22Birthday party 23We did a few rounds, the winners cheered for the kids that were left in the race, a few kids sat out, and Hannah finished the race at a crawl.  Literally.  She was Turbo.
Birthday party 26Birthday party 29Next we moved inside for a lunch spread, I put blankets down on the living room floor and we all had a carpet picnic.  
Birthday party 38Birthday party 6Birthday party 5Our guests, snug but cozy in the living room with their lunches.

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Birthday party 7After lunch it was time to sing to the birthday boy and blow out candles.  

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I had been going back and forth all week about what to do about a cake and couldn’t make a decision that lasted for longer than 12 hours.  I think it’s really easy to get overwhelmed when planning kids parties because there is just so much that you could do, and so many highly styled and professionally executed examples available online to make you think you should do more. My own personal mantra regarding party-planning is to spend time on the details that matter the most, make the most impact, or that I enjoy.  I spent a lot of time on the Lego head and number 6 cookies, and the cupcakes turned out great, so I saw no reason to stress myself out over a cake when Jayce doesn’t even like birthday cake.  He does, however, love doughnuts and they are a Saturday morning tradition at our house, so a doughnut tower with a few thoughtfully placed Lego men was the perfect solution.  And perfectly easy on me. ๐Ÿ™‚
Birthday party 40Birthday party 42Jayce blew out candles, the kids had dessert, some kids played Legos and others snacked, and then we shuffled them back outside again.Birthday party 43Birthday party 44The next activity was a Lego scavenger hunt, which I made up the night before the party.  
There were different “Lego bricks” cards hidden outside, each one a different color and with a little Lego trivia.  Chris was the game master and had the answer card.Birthday party 45Party 3It was very simple.  
 Chris would say, “Find the blue brick!”  The kids would scatter around  the garden until they found it, tear it down, the birthday boy would read out the question, the kids would guess, and Chris would tell them the next brick color to find.
Birthday party 47Birthday party 49It was simple but effective.  The kids did pretty well.  When I read Chris the questions the night before he got them all wrong, so the kids got a kick out of knowing that they had better Lego knowledge than Jayce’s dad. ๐Ÿ™‚
Birthday party 52Birthday party 54The final clue instructed them to find a a huge yellow brick, which was full of goodies that they had to smash down.  ๐Ÿ™‚

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Birthday party 61700x466Hannah even had a shot at it.
Birthday party 65Birthday party 62After the piรฑata the kids had free reign to do as they wished.  I set up the Lego cookies for them to decorate on a little table in the yard and Chris pulled out a bunch of balls and sidewalk chalk for them to run around and play with, which they did.
Birthday party 63Birthday party 67They played with this and that, eating their cookies and treats until their parents came to pick them up.
Birthday party 68Birthday party 69Birthday party 66Birthday party 64Birthday party 70Overall the party was a major success.  Jayce was so excited in that slightly crazed “all of my friends are coming to my house” way, plus it was his party which would eventually end in presents.  So it was a winner in his book.  And it was good for me to realize that I could still have a fun party for my child at home, something that we always grew up doing but is rare in London, and I had previously felt like I couldn’t do with our current limited space.  But it was fun, lively, a little different, not expensive, and a good celebration of my little guy, which are all of the things that I want in a kids party.  
Birthday party 72The only thing that I will not be doing again is an evening 10K, which Chelsea and I did the night of the party.  I will do the race again, but hopefully next time starting with a slightly more rested body and mind. ๐Ÿ™‚