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Sports Party

Ball Sports Party -5yr- Ball Carnival




chris in Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Sept. 2003


Honorable Mention

We always have to keep things inexpensive for our birthdays, so our focus is on the 'doing' rather than the 'frills' that cost so much.    ARE YOU READY TO COME HAVE A "BALL" WITH RACHEL AND JESSE, TO HELP THEM CELEBRATE THEIR 5TH BIRTHDAY?  I have twins (boy/girl)turning 5.  We have SO MANY BALLS of different types in our house that I've considered this theme for a while now. 

The invitations will be cut-out circles, basketballs for Jesse (boy) and soccerballs for Rachel, identifying their personal favorite sports. 

Upon arrival, there will be a craft to do - painting the 'ball' pinata.  I will have premade the pinata, and the candy (chocolate balls wrapped in foil designed like basketballs, baseballs and soccerballs - I've seen them in major grocery stores in the bulk food area) and simple ball-related plastic treats already inside, so by painting it with quick-dry paint, it will be ready to use within the hour. 

After the craft, which I like to do first to ensure that all the guests are there for the next part, we'll have a 'ball carnival.'  One 'station' will be a pool table whereby the guest has 3 chances to roll a ball(using the hand, not a cue)into the far corner pocket. 

Another 'station' will be a plastic bowling ball and pins set up in our long hallway.  Two shots to see how many pins can be knocked down. 

Another station, of course, will be the basketball toss;  we have a miniature set that has the 'basket' hanging from a door.  And lastly, a 'table-top' game of soccer.  The net is 6 inches wide, and the balls are flicked with the finger from one end of the table to the net.  If someone wants this type of birthday but doesn't have the 'proper' ball game, substitutes could be made - for example, a few lego towers instead of bowling ball pins, and a pipecleaner basket for the basketball toss. I don't really like things getting too competitive, just to focus on the fun and the challenge, so we won't actually keep score or have prizes.  

Our final activity will involve a beach ball being tossed and the kids could all work together to see how long, as a team, they can keep it in the air.  I'm hoping for good weather, to have the craft, the cake, and at least one activity outside, but the joy of this party is that it can also be done completely indoors.  At least 2 other adults will be recruited to 'man the stations.'  After this, the cake and icecream.

The cake would be one large cake - half a basketball court and half a soccer field, with the appropriate balls being placed on court/field.  If I can find inexpensive cups or glasses in a 'ball' shape, I'll use those too, and then let the kids use their same, washed cups for collecting the pinata items, and also as a goodie bag substitute.  I will also make 'jello jigglers' in the shape of balls (a round cookie cutter in jello that's been made in a casserole pan) - soccer, football, basketball, in their appropriate colors.  Really cheap and easy, and the kids love them.  You can substitute orange fruit juice for water in jello, making them a 'little bit healthy,' as well. 

After the cake and ice cream, then the present-opening.  A small ball will be passed from child to child, sitting all in a circle, while a sports-music song ("Take Me Out To The BallGame," for example), and when the music stops, the birthday child will open that present (Guests are invited specifically for either Rachel or Jesse, so each guest will have only one present - I try to keep the two guest lists even).  Of course an adult watching the present-opening will be operating the music to make sure that one twin doesn't have a  big run of opening presents while the other twin watches, and also to ensure that each child with a present is eventually chosen. 

After the presents, the  'grand finale,' the pinata.  For 5 year-olds, I won't use the blindfold, just give them a baseball bat and let them try to hit the pinata.  And of course you know the end of that activity!  The candy and treats are scooped up and put in their cups. This should all be done within 2 hours, a good time-limit for that age-group. If we're a bit behind, the parents can enjoy watching the pinata part. The kids will be able to play at the stations again until their parents show up, just in time for mommy (and helpers) to collapse on the couch.  Good thing birthdays only come once a year!

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