Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pizza Party for 5th Birthday

Life is Good: we took another trip around the sun!

We celebrated and celebrated in July. I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and while I never enjoy the number change, I fully enjoyed my birthday picnic aside Lake Minnetonka. Sushi and fruit with four fantastic dudes beside this scene was a great way to usher in a new year.

But more importantly, our Little Kid turned five! FIVE! FIVE? Yes, FIVE! I looked at him that day and had to wonder, how did this happen? I've fully accepted that our Big Kid continues to grow, but the Little Kid has just stayed little, you know? But, five. That is growing up. And it shows itself all of the time these days. The thoughts and words and depth that come out of that kid's head and heart are kind of incredible. He continues to make us laugh and giggle and laugh some more. But he also stretches our minds. And our hearts. As much as I have loved him being little, I know that we are in for some wonderful times with him as he grows and wonders and experiences more from this world. 

And true to the Little Kid and his particular personality, he knew exactly what he wanted for his party. He wanted his guests to wear costumes, he wanted everyone to make their own pizza, he wanted the pizza crust to be from Joey Nova's, and he wanted all of the decorations to be GREEN! That is what he wanted. So that's what he got!

We picked up dough balls from our good friends at Joey Nova's and planned for a pizza party like none other. 

Each guest had their own "station" around our kitchen island. I put a bit of flour on the "yum" placemats so that the dough wouldn't stick to the placemat or our friends' fingers. Each guest had a ramekin of pizza sauce and glass dish of mozzarella. I also had kid-friendly toppings like pepperoni and pineapple and of course, GREEN olives! ; )

But before we started creating our pizzas, we had to put on our chef hats and aprons! I used fabric paint to add names to aprons which would be part of our guests' goody bags. I figured that the aprons could be used for cooking, gardening, or painting after the party. 

I wasn't sure that anyone would use a chef's hat, though, so I decided to skip pre-purchased ones & instead, make one for each friend. They looked just like chef's hats, but were uber less expensive.

I took white cardstock and folded it in half and cut them so that I had two pieces of 4 1/4" x 11". (I had asked all of the parents for the sizes of their kids' heads.) Then I added the right amount of pieces to make the size right to fit around their heads (most were around 21-22") and taped them. I wrote everyone's names inside the hat "band" to make sure they all had the one that would fit just right!

After I had the "bands" of cardstock ready, I put a ring of glue stick around one edge and then took a sheet of tissue paper and inserted it into the bands, fluffing  until it looked "chef-y" and then pushed the tissue into the glue to adhere it. I added some extra glue stick here and there to make sure it would stay.

All of the kids were willing to wear their hats! Hooray!

I thought they all looked sooooo cute!

Remember, costumes were a request from the birthday kid! ; )

We put all of our pizzas in the oven and moved on to a puppet show. Again, at the request of the birthday boy!
This was a bit of a last minute request, so I quickly put together a "puppet theater". I use this term lightly. I bought two pieces of black foam core and cut one in half. I cut a "window" out of the full-sized piece. (Yes, I should have measured the window so that it was even. But I was in a hurry!) I used black electrical tape to tape a half piece to either side of the full piece with the window. Then, I hot glued a piece of... you guessed it...GREEN felt to the back side of the window. Voila! A last minute puppet tabletop puppet theater. 

I decided to do a "pizza themed" puppet show. The story was about a pizza chef who tries to teach a five year old how to make a pizza pie. I quickly drew out a chef & a blonde 5-year old boy (sound familiar?) and the ingredients for a pizza. Then, I cut them out, added some color and glue stick-ed them onto some popsicle sticks

The pizza chef gives all the details, but the five-year old makes a joke out of each instruction. For example, "First you roll the dough real nice." But the five year old says, "First you throw the dough out the window!" And so on. Inspired by a 5-year old we know? Maybe a touch.
In the end, the chef teaches the five-year old how to make the pizza pie just right. It got some smiles and laughs. Everyone was happy. 

Then, everyone made their own puppets. I supplied paper, markers, crayons, stickers, google eyes, scissors, glue sticks, and probably more accoutrement than they needed. "Over-do" is my middle name, after all. But seriously, I think one key to having a successful party for the under twelve set is having lots of art and craft material options. If they don't want to make the craft you planned, they can create their own if you have plenty of materials.

I had a few door hangers left over from our Littlest One's first birthday party, so I put one out at every guest's place setting and they ended up making those, too. 

Soon, it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" and eat some pizza and cupcakes! Our pizzas tasted great. They looked...ummm...well, you decide:

As always, the cupcakes made me nervous. a couple of months before his birthday, our Little Kid requested "all of the green super heroes". At night, I would lie in bed and try to figure out how I was going to make The Hulk, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Green Goblin on a cupcake? SIGH.

I knew that I was going to make cookies that looked like pizzas for the goody bags, so about a week before the party, I asked the birthday boy if we should put pizza shaped cookies on top of the cupcakes so that everyone could have a cupcake AND a cookie. (Super moms use their noggins to understand their super kids' strengths and weaknesses...) I was pretty sure that he would like the idea, but I didn't expect his answer: "Why, that's a SPLENDID idea, mommy!" he said. And then bounced out of the room.

So I turned to my tried and true (eggless) sugar cookie recipe and cut out some triangles (pizza slices). And then crossed my fingers (and said a prayer) after I decorated them to look like they had pepperoni & green pepper slices on top. 

Those went into baggies and into goody bags for the drive home. (I always put something to eat and drink in the goody bag for the drive home.)

And they topped eggless vanilla cupcakes with GREEN frosting (of course).

Friends, fun, and pizza equals: HAPPY!

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