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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nerf Battle Party




It's been a while since I've shared some handmade party fun with you lovely readers.  Lately, I've been busy with Etsy shop orders, family obligations, trying to stay healthy and obsessing over the new creative planning trend (I'm so obsessed).  We won't get into all of that today, this post is all about my favorite little boy, my son, Adam and how we celebrated his 9th birthday with an epic Nerf Battle Party!

Here's a look at all the fun we had....to read about how we pulled it all together scroll down for all the details






PARTY ELEMENTS THAT INSPIRE: 

  • Battle Gear Station
  • Mini DIY Obstacle Course
  • Simple Party Cake Topper
  • Treats station with all the battle fixins





































































Theme

If you've been a reader for a while, you know that I've planned some pretty fun celebrations for my kiddos.  We've hosted a Monster High spa party, a Sonic the Hedgehog party, and since both kids celebrate their birthdays in the same month, we even once had a dual Rock Star Party. Well, this year, we decided that we'd make this our last year to do big parties for a while.

April is always such a busy month for birthdays in our family and the following weeks just end up being a bit too crazy.  So, getting back to normal is always a challenge during that time of the year.....which is why I'm FINALLY able to sit down and share this party recap with you!

In the past most of my son's parties have been focused on some sort of video game character or a super hero.  Well, when he told me the theme he wanted this year, I was a bit shocked.  I was mostly shocked because he initially didn't even want a birthday party, opting instead to just have a quiet pizza dinner at home with his family.  Well, at some point, (notably after my daughter's birthday party) he changed his mind....and said he wanted a Nerf Battle party.

This whole theme threw me off because the boy barely plays with his Nerf guns.  So, I'm blaming You Tube for this new-found obsession as it seems that all roads point back to online videos.  My best guess is he came across a Nerf Battle video and the seed was planted.  Regardless of the theme's inception, I was all too happy to oblige.



Decor

After we set the date, I started planning all the details.  I knew automatically I would use lots of bright bold yellows, oranges and blues for the color scheme.  It was an absolute must that we had lots of darts, Nerf Guns of course and battle gear.  Once my basic ideas were in place, I began shopping for fun items that I could use to pull this shindig together.

I'm all about throwing theme parties, but I like to do it on a budget...and by budget, I mean, try and keep the cost very low.  So, I tend to shop my home, my party stash, the Dollar Tree and online deals for most of our parties.  I really tried to keep the decor as simple and affordable as I could so, there were plenty of DIY elements to this party.

Half of our yard was set up as an obstacle course using, inexpensive hula hoops, rope, wood planks (already owned and used in our yard as a garden border), repurposed wooden pallets constructed using rope to create a battle bunker and cardboard boxes spray painted camo style for our training area.

To add color to the whole yard, I originally wanted to use crepe streamers, but it was very windy the day of the party and the streamers wouldn't hold up. So, I used plastic table covers instead.  I cut cut them into wide strips and tied them just about everywhere that needed a pop of color.   It was great because they could be as long or short as I needed them to be.  In addition to the colorful plastic streamers, I also added lots of balloons onto things. I also added balloons around the yard for more color.

Normally, I would design my own printables for our parties but this time I did something a little different.  As I was looking for party ideas online, I came across the cutest Nerf themed party and it just happened to be for the son of two 'sweet' party friends, Heather and Jason of Hello my Sweet, hosted a Nerf themed party for their son a few years ago.  I loved their printables and was so happy to be able to use them for Adam's party.  They were so perfect and so different....and they saved me a good day and a half of designing, printing, cutting and assembling.  


Battle Gear Station

We created a Battle Gear Station for the kids to choose all their 'safety' gear.  The table set up was sort of the 'centerpiece' of our training course area.  I just used wooden crates that we already owned and filled them with Nerf darts, burlap and balloons to dress it up....then added the gear to the table....the printable sign pulled everything together and helped me determine what would be placed on the table.

My son and daughter were team captains and chose their team members.  My son's team was the blue team and my daughter's orange.   Each child was outfitted with team bands, safety goggles, dart belts and darts, along with their choice of Nerf Guns.

The teams color bands were just torn pieces of cotton fabric that the kids used to tie around their arms, necks and heads.  I used fabric quilting squares but bandannas would also work perfectly fine.  I found safety goggles from Dollar Tree....trust me....they're needed.  One of our brave soldiers kept taking his off and got shot in the eye area several times.  OUCH!

For the dart belts, I found a great idea on Pinterest using duct tape and stuck the darts around the kids' waists.  Honestly, this hack was about a 50/50 fail....for some of the kids, the duct tape belts worked great, for some, not so much. You may want to try velcro, elastics or a real Nerf dart tactical vest.  The Battle Gear station was also set up with Battle Juice (Blue Gatorade) to keep our little soldiers hydrated.

Adam has a good amount of Nerf guns, but was worried about certain ones getting damaged during the party.  So, I purchased extra Nerf guns from the Goodwill.  They were all in very good shape and only ran me about $3-$5 a pop.



Activities

Before the main games, the kids had target practice.  This activity was very simple, paper cups were set up onto the camouflaged cardboard boxes and they took turns shooting the cups off the boxes.  We also printed out the targets that came with the printable set...for every shot that hit a specific number on the target, the kids could get that amount in extra darts.

We started the big battles after target practice with playing capture the flag where each team had to run across the yard to try and steal the other team's flag. The kids also played Bunker Battle.  For the Bunker Battle, I nabbed 3 wooden pallets from the loading dock at my job and hubby constructed a makeshift fort. We also added those plastic streamers to it for color.  The last game was Every Man for Himself, which was literally every man for himself....last man standing without getting shot with a dart was the winner.

The final activity was the obstacle course where the 'winner' of the obstacle was the one who completed it in the shortest time.  For the obstacle course, we used hula hoops, small cones and poly rope.  We used two types of hula hoops, the small ones for the first obstacle.  The kids had to step through the hoops to get to the next obstacle. The other hoops were the largest we had and those were cut those about 3 quarters of the way off.  We used them to created arches with for the Belly Crawl portion of the obstacle.The next obstacle was a rope challenge, set up so the kids had step through the ropes without stepping on them.  I just used poly rope and wooden dowels staked into the ground

Food

Before we got started with the games, I served Pizza and wings, along with Orange Gatorade.
A festive treats table was also set up with tasty snacks with fun names.....Battle Blasters (Doritos), Gatorade (Battle Juice), Poppers (Popcorn), Targets (peach flavored gummy rings - you can also use orange slices), Gun Powder (Pixie Sticks) and Pretzel Darts (chocolate dipped pretzels).

The birthday cake was from our Safeway grocery store.  I just had them make a Diner Cake (3 layer - top/bottom chocolate middle white) frosted it in the colors of the party.   I made my own toppers using my Cricut machine.

Favors

As luck would have it, my poor boy caught a little cold the night before the party, but didn't want to cancel the celebration.  After a long nap, he woke up just as the party got started, toughed it out for the first few hours of the bash, then sat out for the rest of the time.  He had just enough energy to get through everyone singing Happy Birthday and blow out his candles.  We sent everyone on their way with favor bags filled with a pack of extra darts, bubbles that were packaged to match the theme and sidewalk chalk.  They also were able to keep their battle gear goggles and team flags.

Shop the party

I hope that you were able to find ideas and inspiration for your own epic Nerf Battle party!  To shop the items or similar products for this party - use the links below.  You can find items for this party throughout this post or via the following links.

Nerf Printables:  Hello My Sweet

Battle Darts: http://amzn.to/2qnPU23

Safety goggles:bbhttp://shrsl.com/?i6eh

Tactical Vest: http://amzn.to/2s2nXKp




Hope you had a 'blast', buddy!



Even though he wasn't feeling 100%  I know he enjoyed it as best he could.....another one for the books!!!





LET'S GET SOCIAL!
Are you planning your own epic Nerf Battle using some ideas from this post?  Have questions on how to plan or setup an obstacle course?  I'd love to hear from you!!!
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(This post contains affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission when you purchase any from any of the linked items.  Money generated from such links are used to create and deliver content for this blog.)






Friday, February 3, 2017

Ideas for Hosting a Big Game Football Tailgate



 

Invite all your best pals over to a tailgate party right at home for the big game or any other fun time during football season!


   


To get 'the ball rolling', I set out to create an easy and simple tailgate eats for guests to enjoy. When throwing a tailgate, just don't go for the usual spread of food on the back of your truck or car trunk. I made an invitation food cards, mini pennants, cupcake toppers, and LOTS of cuts outs of footballs to give the tailgate spread a bit of flair and fun!
 



For this event, I pulled most of my inspiration from the green of the football fields, brown leather from the football and referee uniforms as reflected in the bands I made for these hoagie wraps. You'll see that adding a strip of parchment paper around the wrap first will prevent any ink from the striped printed paper from touching your food, as printer ink is probably not the safest thing to ingest. I added a football cut out and jute twine for a bit of extra detail and presented the wraps on a square white platter.




 I really wanted to keep the items for the guests to snack on light, portable, but all still keeping with the tailgate theme. We served snacks that were easy to carry and portable. Game Day chili was served in adorable tulip jars by Weck. Fiery and delicious hot wings were placed in a small snack boats that I made using this template that was printed onto kraft paper cardstock and again, making sure to use a square of parchment to protect my food.








I loved how these drink cozies turned out. They really make the bottles of root beer stand out on their own. I created them using a 3" strip of kraft paper and then, ran the paper through my paper crimper and sealed each wrap with a bit of tape. Next, I cut out a football clip art image and glued one on each wrapper for a simple but, fun bottle wrapper!



 Here is a fun way to include the kids when preparing for your tailgate fun. These game day brownies were easy to make with store-bought mix. After baking and cooling we iced the brownie and then allowed to freeze for about 15 minutes, then cut out football shapes and allowed the kids to add the football details with white frosting.




Our game day popcorn and pretzels were served in paper bags and wrapped in parchment paper.  I made simple labels for the bags of popcorn and stuck cute mini pennants into the bags. I created the pennants by cutting out small diamond shapes from the paper pack and then wrapping them around striped straws that I had on hand.

 Each pretzel was placed in a parchment envelope that I made but folding a square of parchment into an envelope shape and simply tying a cord of jute twine around each and adding a football cut out to them.   I also set  out peanuts in a large candy jar....and served individual ones in mason jars.





You should know that, I love making cupcakes for all my events and I certainly don't mind popping a cupcake topper onto them for extra flair. I designed printable toppers and used the green striped stock paper hand to make some of them. Alternately, adding the football cutouts would work great, as well!








Once everyone has snacked on their delicious eats, they can work off they meals by playing a fun tailgate game of ladder-ball before game time! It's sure to be a fun time to be had by all!  I scored a last minute deal on clearance at my local discount store but you can find a similar one here.




If you can't make it to the big game or don't want the hassle of waiting in long lines to enter your local team's stadium, tailgating at home is a great way to get in on the fun of football season.






 Please visit my Etsy Shop to purchase printables from this post



LET'S GET SOCIAL!
What are some of your favorite weeknight meals?  I'd love to hear!!!
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  This post has been updated as of 2/3/2017 and was originally featured as a guest post on MG Party Impressions.  All content, design, styling and photography were all done by me.  


(This post contains affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission when you purchase any of the linked items.  Money generated from such links are used to create and deliver content for this blog. )

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