Rocket Ship Birthday Party

29 07 2008

The little man turned 4 last week and I threw him a rocket ship birthday party with the help from family over the weekend. Everyone had a ton of fun. I like to pick themes for birthday parties. It helps narrow down the possibilities. His 3rd birthday was all about bugs and his 2nd was about balls (click on each to see a few details). So far it’s been a breeze choosing a theme as Seth’s preferences have been very obvious. Here’s a rundown on our rocket ship party.

Invitations & thank you notes – relief print of Seth’s shadow rocket (see yesterday’s post)

Decorations – The piece de resistance was a rocket ship tent purchase on clearance after Christmas that was given to Seth for his birthday. I wanted to paint Styrofoam balls to look like planets and hang them with paper stars in the gazebo but ran out of time.

Food & beverages – We kept it simple here. For that matter I don’t think I’ve ever kept it this simple for a gathering of any kind. Just bottle drinks for the adults, juice boxes for the kids, chips, veggies & dip and one rocket ship cake. The cake was made from a box mix. Better than purchased, not as good as made from scratch. But again, time was an issue. (Although I didn’t give Eleanor anything other than water to drink, she seemed to be good at finding other’s left overs to shake. Good thing there was a pool to rinse her off in.)

Activities – Now here’s were I had fun. Regardless of the theme it is summer and was in the backyard so water was involved. A kiddy pool, sandbox and slip ‘n slide provided wonderful entertainment. The kids probably would have been satisfied had I done nothing else – but not me. Two rocket ship related activities were a must:

1. Astronaut portraits – We gave Seth an astronaut costume for his birthday. If this didn’t have the triple purpose of present, party prop and Halloween costume I wouldn’t have spend the money. (Yes, I realize I’m tempting fate by buying a Halloween costume this early in the year.) Each kid got to try on the suit and helmet. We had them pose in front of a backdrop made from left over tar paper stapled to the wood fence and spray painted with a star scape. I’ve cropped out their feet for a more “realistic” look and am including a print or two with each corresponding thank you note. The kids were so cute patiently waiting their turn. They each wanted a shot with the helmet closed as well as open. Many wanted multiple turns.

2. The second space themed activity was a scavenger hunt. I compiled 6 stock photos from those available from Microsoft. I hid a pile of these pictures in 6 locations in the neighbors yard. Each type of picture in a different location. After showing the kids what they were looking for and giving them directions I let them loose. The object being to collect all 6 pictures and return to me for a surprise reward (rocket ship stickers). I’m mean – I also made them count each one our for me as proof. If they didn’t have all 6 I would have them lay the pictures out on an uncut original sheet to see what was missing.

Just in case you want to host a space scavenger hunt of your own I’ve included a pdf for you to print. Make sure to print one more than the number of kids participating. Cut all sheets into 6 pictures except for one sheet to be used as the example. How well you hide the picture piles depends on how old the kids are. For preschoolers I wouldn’t get too sneaky. Here you go: space-scavenger-hunt

Thank you gifts – I adore thank you gifts. They’re inexpensive and fun. Sticking with our theme we included “sand from the moon” and some rocket balloons. To keep the cost down we split out packages of rocket balloons and wrapped in tissue 4 balloons and 1 or 2 blowing straws per child. Then we mixed up a bucket of homemade moon sand based off this tutorial – basically 2 parts play sand, 1 part cornstarch and enough water to create the right moldable consistency. Don’t expect it to be like the commercially processed moon sand but this is just as fun and a heck of a lot cheaper.

A big thank you to my parents and hubby for all heir help putting this together. Sometimes my ideas are bigger than the possibilities and it’s good to have a support troop to ground me.

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15 responses

29 07 2008
painted fish studio

holy crap! amazing party, but so much work? you’re setting the bar pretty high for that kiddo! :)

29 07 2008
Heather

Ryder has that same rocket ship! He got it for his birhday also, from an aunt that scored in the after Christmas sale also!

30 07 2008
Kristen

Love the phot backdrop idea! It looks so realistic!

30 07 2008
Kristen

ugh-I meant photO

31 07 2008
Anna Y

Wow what a party. Are you sure you aren’t really an event planner?? Lucky kids. Giving me lots of ideas here. But hats off for such a fab party. Could not do it myself…..

31 07 2008
jo

love it, I wil have to try the moon sand stuff, and the photo shoot – genius!

5 08 2008
tracey

That’s way awesome. Love the invites and the photo backdrop.

6 08 2008
elizabeth of course

Wow! Great job!! That’s one of the coolest party favors I’ve EVER seen!

19 02 2009
mechelle

Love the ideas!!!!! I’m a bit worn out just reading about all that you did though! My son wants a rocket ship party and I can only show him what I’m willing to do from your list as he will naturally want it ALL LOL

I found those little rocket balloons that you linked to at Target around Christmas time for $1 or $2 in the dollar bins near the front door, for a bag of like 25 or 50 with a small pump. It worked very well. I’m going to check there first b/c online they seem really pricey don’t they?

But just wanted to say you have some great ideas! Thanks for sharing them.

22 04 2009
Jennie Sykes-Schwenk

You are AMAZING! I found your photos while researching ways to throw my four (soon to be five) year old son, Alrick, his own Rocket Party. I found much inspiration from your posts. You live your life very well – true to your spirit. I simply had to tell you that! Blessings!

Be Well,
Jennie Sykes-Schwenk
Green Bay, WI

3 09 2009
KidStyleFile » Blog Archive » The Crafty Crow presents: Out Of This World Space-Craft

[...] love these astronaut portraits done at Three Sneaky Bugs for her son’s fourth birthday party. You’ll also find a free printable for a [...]

29 01 2010
Gaylene

Finally a party that lives up to my expectations, I have been searching the interent for days trying to find another parent with amazing creativity!

I’m having trouble with the wording of the party……….writiers block, can you help?
Our party will be at the Moffet Field History Museum so half the coolness battle is done
just need to get the word out in a cool way any hlelp would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Gaylene

24 06 2010
Kendra aka The Meanest Momma

I love theme parties too – you did a wonderful job! I didn’t end up doing the full rocket party this year, just the cake. But if I had, I would definitely have been stealing some of your ideas!

26 07 2010
jamie

I LOVE your bday party idea. This is exactly what my son wants for his 4th. Quick question…where do you get the blowing straws for the rocket balloons?

18 05 2011
Karen

I saw your blog when planning my son’s outer space party. I used your astronaut suit idea and painted a black sheet with white spray paint and had the kids pose in front of it. It was a huge hit. I also used your link to the outer space pictures and did the same scavenger hunt. Thanks for your creative ideas and more importantly for sharing them, it was very helpful.

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