Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Indiana Jones and the 5 Year Old's Birthday Party

About a year ago my son became infatuated with the Lego Indiana Jones Wii video game.  Next came the movies, which he can describe with amazing accuracy.  He has learned a lot about history, nature, and survival (he knows more about scorpions than I do)!  He will tell you that when he grows up he wants to be an Archaeologist, to which we reply "Not all Archaeologists swing over chasms with a bullwhip" so then he changes his mind and says that he wants to be a stunt man, too.  Oh, boy!

So, it was no surprise to us when we asked him six months ago what he wanted his 5th birthday party theme to be and he said "Indiana Jones!"  We asked again each month after that and the answer never wavered.  Therefore this mom was given the great task of planning a party around a 30 year old movie.  Yeah, me!

After doing some research I realized I was very limited in the party supplies I would find.  The last movie, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls (which is my least favorite of the Indy franchise), was released in 2008 so if there were any party supplies out there they would be centered around that movie.  But even those were hard to come by.  I finally made the decision to purchase a few things, but then make most others.  One of those purchases was a plastic tablecloth.  For $14.99!  Of course after spending that much on a piece of plastic picturing an old Harrison Ford and a post-Transformers Shia LaBeouf I didn't want to get it dirty, so I hung it up like a banner to keep it as clean as possible.  Will I ever use this again, who knows?  But I just couldn't bear the thought of eating off a $15 tablecloth!  Buyer's remorse much?

We nailed down the party date just before leaving on vacation so I really didn't have much time to get creative.  Most invitees were family with just a few of my son's former preschool classmates, so I found a picture of Indy with a map in the background and used PowerPoint to fill in the details.  Printed out on regular old 8 1/2 x 11 and we were good to go....

I found this cute Adventure Trunk that included an Indiana Jones costume, foam whip and knife, coins, compass and some other miscellaneous items.  Even though CD already had a Fedora and Whip he still loved everything that was in here.  I added in The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones and a few tiny artifacts that I found on eBay and he was beside himself with excitement before the party even began!

We have a pool and normally that is the big "activity" for the kids, but I felt like I had to do a lot more given the nature of this theme.  I debated on having someone show up dressed as Indy, but in the end I just went with having an adventure obstacle course. In my head the 8 kids would all arrive at the same time, we'd line them up and each one would go through the obstacle course one by one.  It would be a grand old time, with their parents and friends watching on, full of laughter.

We'd start by having to cross over the snake pit, then crawl through the tunnel of bugs. Oriental Trading Company and The Dollar Tree were instrumental in stocking these obstacles.

After that they would climb up the rock wall into the bat cave, which had these great animated bats (yay for AC Moore putting out their Halloween stuff early!!)

They would then go down the "mountain" slide while trying to avoid the giant boulder.  After that they would dig for treasure in the sand pit (more Dollar Tree finds)
Treasure before being buried
And here is how the sand pit looked when they arrived

Finally they would grab a "goblet" and use some adhesive gems to make their own Holy Grail.  All the while they could dine on some worms and sip the antidote if they had the Pankot Punch (generic blue fruit drink from the local market).


In reality, as soon as the kids showed up  they were so excited to see each other, they ran past me as I was greeting their moms and made a dash for the "bat cave", but not before grabbing handfuls of snakes and insects to take with them.  One little girl went right to the treasure dig and had a wonderful time finding the jewels as the boys threw snakes down the "mountain".  My OCD started to kick in, and I was about to shout "wait, there is an obstacle course!  I have a whole PLAN!!!"  But once I heard their squeals of laughter I realized all that mattered was that they were having fun!  Seeing the smile on my son's face made it all worthwhile!

After a while some of the girls (and my son) decorated some of the goblets.  That seemed to be a hit for them, along with the treasure dig.   Boys and girls alike seemed to really enjoy that.  Of course I had to add some skulls and spiders in there for good measure, but it was fun to see the boys walking around with giant "diamonds" on their fingers, too.

Lunch was a feast of pizza, sandwiches, and of course Eyeball Soup (ping pong balls floating in tomato sauce)

and Monkey Brains (raspberry jello with dry ramen noodles dyed red)! One little girl was even brave enough to try the brains.

Of course we had a Pinata (the skull shape went along well with the theme) and the backyard was decorated with movie posters and brown paper wrapped boxes that were marked "Property of Dr. Jones" and "Top Secret, Army Intel, Do Not Open".

My son loves the Zeppelin scene from the Last Crusade, but the closest I could get was a Goodyear blimp.  I wanted to somehow paint it to look like a Zeppelin but my husband nixed that idea (probably because I asked him to do it at 10 pm the night before the party), but my son didn't seem to mind that it was not an exact replica.  He loves that blimp!

For the goodie bags each child went home with their own "Adventure Journal" (awesome find at AC Moore in the dollar bin. I added a sticker using the SF Fedora font and a stamp that said Confidential. Voila! Perfect), some snacks, and whatever treasures they uncovered in the sand pit. Oh, and of course snake tattoos!  Why did it have to be snakes!!

This was the most thought I've ever put into one of his parties, but it definitely was the most rewarding.  My son gave me a huge hug at the end of the day and told me I was the BEST MOM EVER.

This may not have been the most elaborate Indiana Jones party (by Pinterest standards), but for me it was a huge success!!

Well, maybe not so much for this guy. I think he was waiting too long for a push. 

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