On the heels of my 9-year-old daughter’s birthday party, we rolled right into my son’s two weeks later. He was going to be 7 and had never had a friend birthday party with more than a few friends. Last year he opted to go to the movies and out for pizza (Cars II and Fireside Pizza). This year, in a new school where all of his other classmates were having parties, he decided he should invite a larger group and we’d host it at our house.
It can be a challenge to find a weekend in the summer to host a party. People have plans in Minnesota. We invited 10 boys, 6 were able to attend even though the invites went out about 12 days in advance. We settled on a Lego theme and based on the only time slot over the weekend we could find (10a-12p), we agreed that waffles would be served. The Lego my Eggo party moved into the planning phase.
I uncovered some Lego scrapbook paper and stickers I meant to use ages ago and printed the invite copy on vellum. My son Calvin, eager to help with the assembly, cut the paper in the slicer machine and used the gliding tape dispenser to attach the layer of paper and vellum. Then the puffy Lego block stickers were adhered. We put the invite list together and gathered the addresses and left the final steps until the next day.
He was up early the next morning and wrote everyone’s name, based on his own spelling rules, largely on the only envelopes we had. I applauded the effort and tried to clean up the chalk-like smears on the flap side. I addressed the front side immediately and we headed to the post office to get them in the mail.
I had help with the party prep as my parents were visiting. Critical, in my view. The weekend prior, Calvin and I hit the Lego store at the Mall of America. He spent his birthday money on the Pirate Ship and I found a Lego party kit at 50% off. Three days in advance, we shopped for food and two days prior we reorganized the house to set up Lego stations.
The day prior to the party, my Mom found the perfect waffle-maker. It made 6 strips of 4 square-long waffles. The party was on a Saturday morning, which meant devoting all Friday night to the final details. I made 2 9″ chocolate cakes to layer and a pan of cupcakes. With the rectangles stacked, I trimmed off the cupcake tops, frosted them and attached 6 of them to the top of the cake. I was going for a Lego brick look. I sprinkled blue and yellow over the white-frosted cake and called it good.
We set the table and came up with a rough agenda, just to be sure we could keep the group entertained. We made one area where the boys could draw ideas for their Lego creation on graph paper, then see how it translated into a Lego structure (Legographics). In four other areas: boats, cars, dinosaurs and houses, we set out some pieces that matched those items. In another area, we had the large Lego flatboards so at the end, they could bring everything to contribute to the Lego City.
The boys arrived at 10a and tore into the party favors by their place setting – a birthday Lego guy, graph paper and Lego construction card (all in the kit). Calvin also created a one-of-a-kind Lego person for each of his friends. I started them five minutes prior to the party and kept them warm in the oven until we had enough for everyone. The waffles were super easy to make, about 3 minutes for each batch.
We called it a Lego Bar and accompanied it with a side of chocolate milk. With their waffle strips served up, they chose their fruit and syrup toppings and let loose with the Redi-Whip – a delight, no doubt. After clean-up, they started on the Lego assembly. The graph paper drawing was a little advanced. One boy created a rollercoaster, another a train. All to contribute to the city. They were focused for a good 45 minutes.
Around 11:10, Calvin opened his gifts from his friends, in order by first letter in their first name. They all laughed at the silly cards. Then it was time to sing Happy Birthday and have a sliver of the Lego cake, its identity made more apparent by the Lego brick candles in primary colors. With 20 party minutes left, my husband whooshed in and made the best of their sugar high with some old-fashion Simon Says and party games.
Parents arrived at noon and we sent everyone off with their Lego guys and a plate of Knox Blox in blue and red. We pulled it off. Calvin set up his thank you card writing station, but progress is slow-going. We talked about the outing from last year as compared to this year’s stay-at-home party. He was on the fence for what he preferred. For the seventh, he shared fun times with a larger group of friends and we had lots of leftover cake and a fancy, new waffle maker to extend the celebration. However, until those thank you’s go out, I’m not lego’ing any eggos.