A few weeks ago my baby boy turned EIGHT! It truly is amazing how fast eight years can fly by. It seems like just yesterday that I held this beautiful boy in my arms and was changed forever. And now he’s doing things like losing his 8th tooth on his 8th birthday. I think he wiggled and wiggled and finally forced that thing out so he could have a cool “8″ memory!
In lieu of a big party, Ricky invited a few of his best buddies from the neighborhood over for dinner. However, with little brothers and cousins it turned into enough kids to have a mini party and you know me, I can’t refuse planning a party. So… we had a little race car themed party.
We started with decorations. I wanted to keep things inexpensive and fairly simple. These turned out to be easy and impactful. I’ve seen this idea of stringing balloons with a needle and thread on Pinterest many times and have always wanted to try it, but instead I typically tend to wait until the last minute and run to the store to spend a fortune on a few helium balloons that are flat in a day. This year I bought 4 packages of balloons for $1.00 each and strung them on every wall of the party room! 48 balloons and the room was transformed for $4.00! (And we still have fully inflated balloons over two weeks later! If you’re looking for decorations that you can prep ahead of party day – this is one!)
I used white butcher paper for a tablecloth and painted black and white checkers down the middle and street signs with names as place mats. Again, easy and cheap.
I printed labels on my home computer to tie in the drinks and a couple other simple things (Soup cans for “Tools” shown below). And that was about it for decorations.
We had a few little activities. The boys had so much fun and were so entertained with each of these. First, each boy colored their own hotwheel car. It was a little tough to find plain white hotwheel cars, but I managed to find Hursts. Yep, hursts!! I was slightly creeped out that I was buying 8 mini hursts, and felt like I needed to send a disclaimer home to the parents, but the boys didn’t know what they were and just thought they were cooler because they were bigger and had more space to color. Most moms can’t believe I let my boys color with Sharpies but they love them and it was necessary for the cars.
Then each kid got to color their own personalized name road map. These were a hit! These are foam core boards, also purchased for $1.00 each. I painted each kid’s name on the board in cursive ahead of time. Then, at the party, they each created their own roadmap by drawing in their house, their favorite places, (Target, The Indoor Soccer Center, Utah Utes and BYU football stadiums depending on where their allegiance lies) and trees, lakes, tornadoes, etc. The boys were so creative and these turned out great.
They drove their own car along their own road for awhile which I expected, but then realized they could connect them all and make one big long road. I didn’t think of this but they had fun driving their cars along the very long Name Expressway.
The last activity they did was to race their cars. Again, this race car track was made from black foam core boards that I taped together and painted lines on.
I intentionally made 2 separate race tracks, assuming things may get a little crowded and crazy. This way I could move one into another room for the little kids and Ricky and his friends could have their own in the party room. But it didn’t take long for them to request that we put them both together for one big long track. So we did, and THEN we put that track down the stairs! The boys loved this.
Ricky’s cake was made from 2 bundt cakes and lots of m&ms in party colors. This is the second time I have made this type of cake. Benny and Nolan had a “3″ cake of the same type. These cakes look cool, are easy to make and are surprisingly tasty. I wasn’t so sure about SO many m&ms on cake tasting good, but it’s yummy.
So…. a simple, easy and very fun party. I think the boys might have enjoyed this party more than any other one we’ve done.
Ricky had so much fun and was so excited about everything. Seriously everything! He was over the moon about his book that I finally made recapping when he was one year old (one year down, 7 to go!) which made me so happy. He was thrilled with every gift he received from his friends. He even went a little nuts about some mouthwash that I wrapped up for him. (Hey, he had been requesting it, so why not?!) And he was of course super excited about his big gift… a Kayak from us and my parents. We’re still hoping for more snow this winter, but are now anxious for summertime too.
Happy Birthday, again, buddy. We love you.