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A Ninja Turtles Back to School Party

This post is sponsored by Target. More Turtles, More Bold and Daring Fun: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Target.

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We have friends and neighbors in the area with kids the same ages as ours, so we thought it would be fun to have everyone over for pizza last weekend. It was a low-key party in celebration of the first week of school, and in anticipation of the first week of preschool for the younger ones. August is into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles now, so we went with the Turtles as a theme.

Turtle Power!

We had turtle shells, masks, and toy weapons on hand for all the kids, and they got to take them home when the party was over. They could dress up right away, but I kept the weapons out of sight until it was time for “ninja practice.” To keep things as calm as possible when a whole bunch of kids are going nuts with play swords and nunchucks, we made it clear that they were only allowed to hit the inflatable bad guy and all toy weapons had to stay in the practice area. Thankfully, the rules worked!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shells and Masks

Ninja Practice

I picked up some TMNT plates and green decorations from Target for the party. We ordered pizza (on theme!), and the kids sat around the table while the adults gravitated toward the kitchen. For dessert, we had mint chocolate chip ice cream (because: green) and Turtles (of course).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party Decorations

Pizza Party

We had eight kids in the house, and eight adults. The Ninja Turtles theme was perfect because it kept the kids occupied and entertained so that the adults could actually have a conversation. Hurrah, time spent in the company of grown-ups! Plus, hello, the kids looked adorable.

Wee Ninja Turtle

p.s. The shells are quite flattering on a very round, pregnant belly. And with such a nice protective quality!

Shell Belly

Eleanor’s Fifth Birthday Party

We had two birthday parties on Sunday. The first was for Eleanor’s friends, and the second, later in the day, was for our family and also celebrated Brandon’s birthday. We tried this last year, thinking that it was a good way to separate the events but still have everyone involved, and it went well. This year? It felt kind of bananas. But it went well too, so yay? (We were tired that night!)

Happy Birthday Sign on the Fireplace

We had a dozen five-year-olds in the house, and the party was fast and fun. I snapped most of these photos after they had left, but before our family came by.

Paper Lanterns and Horse Lights

Birthday Party, Dining Room

Hey look, a sneak preview of the books on the shelves! With a weird, giant horse balloon.

Horse Balloon

And more use of those giant balloons… There were three in all, and the kids loved carrying them around the house. (Brandon had them filled at the grocery store for $2/each with heart-shaped weights. The party store quoted $7/balloon with just string.)

Silly Baby Photo

That photo of E from when she was six months old still cracks me up!

The kids at the party spent most of their time up in the playroom, playing with Play Doh, using the toy kitchen, and trying on dress-up clothes. We didn’t want to interrupt them and steer them toward activities (like Pin the Tail on the Pony) that they might not really enjoy when they were already having fun, so we went with the play that was happening naturally. At one point, Eleanor and some of the other kids formed a marching band and they went through the house making a jolly racket, and my favorite getup was the girl who paired leopard-print kitty ears with black glasses and bongos. I like your style, young lady.

Pin the Tail on the Pony

(Eleanor was kind of bummed about not playing the pony tail game with her friends, but we did do it later when our family came over. The adults were all pretty sure the older kids cheated, because their tails were all right on top of each other in just the right spot.)

We put down a plastic tablecloth and rounded all the kids up when the pizzas we ordered had arrived. To keep them busy in their seats while we got the food ready, we had markers and pre-cut circles of paper that fit my button making machine. The kids ate while Brandon made their designs into magnets, which they took home at the end of the party along with their goody bags.

Kid-Made Magnets, and Goody Bags

After pizza came the birthday cake. I didn’t get a great shot of it because Brandon and I were both busy keeping up with all of the kids, but the cake looked similar to the one in my post on horse birthday party inspiration. Instead of bunting, I made some big paper hearts to go behind a toy horse.

But oh! The look on Eleanor’s face, and her friend’s hand on her arm. Love this shot.

Birthday Cake

And thus went our birthday celebration weekend. I don’t know if we’ll divide the parties up the same way next time though — we were all exhausted! I’m curious… do you combine the kids and the family into one party? Have them on separate days? Just do one or the other? We might need to rethink our approach.

Inspiration for a Horse Birthday Party for Kids

 
Eleanor’s fifth birthday is only a couple of weeks away, and Brandon and I had been asking her for the past month what kind of party she’d like. The answer? A horse/LEGO/Play-Doh/kitty theme. She had a Play-Doh birthday party last year (complete with the most amazing birthday cake), so after some further consideration, we’re going with horses this year. Which means I’ve been looking for horse birthday party ideas that don’t involve cowboys and cowgirls, derby hats (as much as I love ‘em), or the presence of a live horse.

Horse Birthday Party Bing Search

Some of the ideas are way over the top compared to what we usually do for the kids’ birthdays. A cute cake and some show ribbons? Great! A party on location at a barn with horse rides for everyone? I’m sure Eleanor would flip, but sorry kid, your party’s here at home. Still, I’ve had a lot of fun using Bing to search for inspiration. Each search earns points too, with their free Bing Rewards program (even when I use Bing on my phone). I’m going to redeem some of the points I’ve accumulated for an Amazon gift card, so all of my searching will add up to one very large horse-shaped balloon for free.

Using #BingRewards

Here are some of the items and ideas we’ll be using for Eleanor’s upcoming party. I’ve already shown some of these to her, and she’s super excited!

Horse Birthday Party Ideas

  1. Decorations for a Pony Party
    The vintage vibe and color palette are lovely.

  2. DIY Horse Ribbons
    These would be great for decorating, though I suspect they take some time to make in multiples! Vintage ribbons are plentiful on eBay and Etsy, too.

  3. Horse Party String Lights
    After the party, these can decorate E’s bedroom.

  4. Horse-Shaped Jumbo Foil Balloons
    Two or three of these ought to make a big impact.

  5. Horse Topper on the Cake
    A toy horse is a sweet, simple way to decorate the birthday cake.

  6. Pin the Tail on the Pony
    The perfect party game to play.

  7. Tiny Toy Horses
    For the goody bags, along with stickers, candy, and other assorted items.

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