My Superheros are 4 and 6!

Last Saturday we celebrated the boys' birthday with a superhero bash.  It was tons of fun, honestly.  I think i found the perfect birthday-party-at-home formula.  Drop-off for all the parents that aren't your closest friends so you can focus on the party and not entertaining other adults; add 6 family and friends that know their way around your house, pitch in without asking, and have lots of simple but fun activities.

After briefly flirting with a CareBears party a few months back the boys chose a superhero theme for the party.  I started doing some online research and compiled some great ideas that guided our party*.

It came down to the last minute, but the boys finally let me take their picture, outdoors, in decent light, in full superhero regalia.  I used this, along with picnik to create really simple invites which i printed at home on photo paper i found at the thrift store (4 in stack of paper for .80$!)

Guests arrived and their custom capes were draped over the back of their chair.  They could choose any color arm warmers they wanted, along with a mask.  I intended for them to color and decorate them, but not so much.  There was also batman coloring book sheets, word puzzles, etc. on the table which kept 3 kids totally occupied and happy.  The other 9 ran around like superheros of course!

The party started at 11 am and by about 11:30 we headed upstairs for the Superhero Training Academy.  There was the "batcave" of course, in which each child had to crawl through a tunnel and retrieve a glow stick from the inside of the cave (small tent in a closet).  Another spot was Spiderman's Web-Jumping practice and finally there was "spray the villians."  I think all a hit.  We put the kids into two groups-- the younger ones and the older ones and roughly rotated.

Then it was back downstairs for lunch at almost noon.   Hotdogs, fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers.  Nothing cute, just easy finger-food which provided something for everyone.  Because while almost all kids love hot dogs, Silas does not. ("They make my breath smell stinky.")

I believe there was a little free play and then an impromptu dance party which was a huge hit.  We played freeze dance with two songs and the kids had a blast.  Definitely going to work this into all future parties.  At this point i lost track of time but it was about time to head down for the pinata.

 The weather was really terrible and the only upside was that it was predicted that way well in advance, so we didn't even try to set things up outside.  The cape pinata was awesome, but i need to remember that all those kids are stronger than i think.  A few didn't get a chance to whack it, but all was forgotten by the time they were scooping up candy.
A visit from the cupcake thief who claimed to have eaten all the cupcakes, and then it was time to head upstairs for happy birthday and cupcakes.  We had about 20 minutes after the kids finished eating and i realized i had forgotten one activity.  So up the stairs we went again.  Each kid got a unique superhero card, they had to find 3 more just like it hidden all around the room.  I set it up as a cooperative game, there was no prize for finding them fastest, you just got to keep the cards, and help the others that couldn't find there's yet.  Sorry Owen, we still haven't found your 4th card!

Then back down for good and right on time the drop-off parents came to retrieve their precious little ones.  Everyone got a "goody bucket" with their glow sticks, gloves, mask, stickers, little superhero blank book, and their notecards.  They also got to take a balloon-- one or our birthday traditions.  And don't forget the capes!

Superhero images for notebooks and notecards
Goody bag idea
Capes, Hats and Arm Warmers
Invitation idea
Homemade notebooks
Paper bunting
Superhero Training Academy, including spray the villain