Charlie. My Charlie. He is obsessed with the video game Skylanders. Beyond obsessed. From the moment he opens his eyes in the morning, all he wants to do is talk about the game the characters and their cool moves. It’s a little crazy, but it’s also kind of cute…in a Rain Man sort of way.
And then there’s Robert Welkner: the middle-aged professional gamer that Charlie is convinced is his BFF. Robert Welkner makes Skylanders You Tube videos and Charlie thinks they are awesome. Charlie talks about him like he’s his real-life best friend: “Robert Welkner thinks ____, Robert Welkner likes ______, Robert Welkner can beat level _____ really fast.” I think it’s safe to say that Robert Welkner has definitely reached hero status in Charlie’s mind. Charlie even told me that when he grows up, he’s going to live with me and be a professional gamer.
Dream big, little man. Dream big.
With all that obsessive madness in mind, it became very, very clear that the only option that could even be considered for my little man’s 5th birthday was a Skylanders-themed party. For those of you who don’t have little boys, this post will be totally confusing and strange. But, if you’re like me, you’ll totally get it. There are things that I know about Skylanders that no self-respecting grown woman should ever know. Ever.
I feel compelled to say that I did NOT come up with any new ideas here. I’ll add links so that you can find out exactly who to credit for the creativity and awesomeness. I also feel compelled to say that this is not a “look-at-me-I’m-a-super-mom blog”. This blog is not all about how awesome I am at doing things. It’s not a blog that teaches people how to do stuff. This blog is about me. Being real. Some moms are creative…I’m resourceful. I’m totally OK with that. Totally.
Here’s the decor -
I used a pinata that I found at Hobby Lobby to double as the table decor. The pinata and the coins were used later in games.
I found this tutorial for making the hanging vines, but because I never, ever, ever plan ahead like I should – I didn’t have time to order crepe paper. So – I used regular tissue paper instead and I’m happy to say that it worked out just fine. Yay procrastination!
I found the Skylanders elemental symbols here and was able to get it as an instant download. I’m outrageously thankful for organized moms. They make my life a lot easier.
I made vanilla sheep cupcakes purely for the sake of keeping the peace. Charlie loves chocolate cake and Avery loves vanilla cake. Vanilla cupcakes made for a nice compromise. Plus, they are kind of cute.
Charlie really, really wanted a cake that looked like a portal…but I’m really, really not a baker and fondant freaks me out. Maybe one day I’ll have the time and patience to learn how to decorate cakes with it, but for now – my cakes taste yummy, but usually look like a hot mess. With a little help from the “internet fairy”, I found a happy medium. I used my very favorite cake recipe ever and this photo as inspiration.
The games -
“Pop Fizz and Exploding Soda” – We went outside and made some Mentos explode in Coke. The kids were super excited about that. I wish that I had thought to buy different kinds of soda for the activity to last longer. We could have compared the different heights of the spray and… there I go being a nerdy teacher again… awesome.
Smashing Chompies – This activity would have been more fun outdoors, but it was super cold the day of Charlie’s party . So… We did it in the kitchen. Where the acoustics are ah-mazing. Not my best idea ever.
Searching for “Winged Sapphires” in blocks of ice – I froze floral gems from the dollar store in ice trays and had the kids find as many gems as they could after the ice melted.
We also hunted for golden coins that were hidden all through the house and broke the treasure box pinata to get candy.