Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Outer Space Birthday

As you already know from Little Brother's Construction Birthday party last month, we love themes for our birthday parties. When Big Brother asked for an Astronaut Outer Space Party I knew there were a lot of fun ideas we could use for that theme.

This was Big Brother's first "friend party" instead of a family party and it was really exciting for both of us to put together projects and games for a group of kids. We wound up with a bigger group than we originally expected but it all went really well!

To begin with I again made an invitation using free cilp art from the internet. An edited copy is below.

As we were expecting both kids and their parents I decided to keep the food simple and not "on theme." We served up finger sandwiches (pb & jelly, cucumber, and cream cheese & raisin bread) as well as stuff for grown ups to make bulkies and grinders. We also put out fruit, veggie, and cheese & cracker platters. Daddy made a batch of his special snack mix too. 

Our cake idea came from Pinterest and was again made with the help of my mom. The cake is her delicious chocolate sour cream cake baked in a bowl to make it round like the moon. We frosted it with a homemade oreo buttercream frosting and added both regular and mini cookies to look like craters. We added a couple of astronauts from the pack we had purchased for party activities. 

Another fun Pinterest find were these Martian Marshmallow pops. I used green candy melts, candy eyes, marshmallows, large lollipop sticks, and green sprinkles to create these cute treats. 

Activity planning was especially fun! 

We made a double batch of moon sand from a great recipe at Imagination Tree and added more of the rest of the astronauts.  

We created fun, toilet paper roll rockets. We wrapped the rolls in construction paper and used holographic tape and star stickers from the dollar store to decorate the sides. The roof is made by cutting a small circle out with a slit partway through the circle. One edge of the slit is glued on top of the other edge to make a cone shape and then glued to the top of the rocket. 

Kids worked on creating "space helmets" from brown paper bags with glitter glue, sequins, pom poms, and other goodies. Rather than buy a large set of paper bags, I asked our local grocery store to sell me a handful for 20¢ a bag. 

A final project involved using foam space stickers and metallic crayons on black construction paper to create galaxy pictures. 

A huge highlight of the party was the cardboard rocket ship we made from a washing machine box. Daddy and Big Brother primed it white and spray painted the roof silver. Kids of all ages loved playing inside the box.

A couple of other activities included a "launch pad" toss using our bean bag toss game created last year and a small book nook with many different space and planet themed books. And when the crowd got a little rowdy we pulled out some of our gross motor toys (tunnel, cones, balls) and ran an astronaut "training camp"  obstacle type course. When kids finished they got an official "NASA" badge made with clip art, the laminator, and stick on pins. 

Post Update: Due to many requests we've put together a new "Astronaut Training Checklist" so that others can enjoy the checklist too! Click here for the free printable. 

As kids were taking home several handmade projects, we kept the favors small and each child took home a flying foam rocket ship and a glow stick.  

We ended the party with traditional cake and ice cream, and of course one happy kiddo with thoughts of rocket ships headed up!

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  1. I have to know...what is number 8 on the training checklist? Thanks!

  2. Do you happen to have the printable for the Astronaut Checklist? So cute and would love to use this for our Space Week!

    1. Unfortunately the computer I created the checklist for crashed not too long after making this post, so I've never been able to add it. However, several people have now asked, so it may be time to update it.

  3. Have you been able to add the Astronaut Checklist to this website?

  4. I have added a new, printable version to the post. See the link above and enjoy!

  5. Can you explain how to do Gravity Lifts and Balance Counts from the Astronaut Training Camp? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Sarah, the "gravity lifts" were done using a giant bouncy or beach ball. The kids picked it up over their head and held it for a second, then put it back down. The balance counts were balancing on one leg for the count of 8. Or, if it's an older group, they could count to 10 each time and repeat 10 times.