Make Gaming Sandbags

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So this was a quick and fun (for me anyway) pin that I used for Arthur’s birthday party. The original pin links back to this nifty little site http://www.ehow.com/boards/fall-carnival-games-4903910/ that features a ton of carnival type games.
You start with balloons, sand and scissors.

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I bought the sand out of the craft department, which had I thought about it, I would’ve grabbed some from Home Depot or something. My husband certainly was holding onto that fact! That is until he put it in our hurricane vase as decor. Now it’s ok!
Next step is to fill one balloon with sand and tie it off. After tieing it off, you snip as close to the knot as possible.

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Next step, take a second balloon and cut the neck and lip off.

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Then all you have to do is place the cut balloon around the sand filled balloon, covering the knot.
Et voilĂ ! Beanbags (or sandbags in this case) worthy of any game you play. Be it corn hole or knocking over an AT – AT. https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/hit-the-at-at/
Happy gaming!

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Jarring Minced Garlic

There are so many things to do with garlic! Being married to an Italian, we use it in a lot of recipes. From garlic bread to pork chop recipes, it just adds something amazing!
We used to buy the pre-minced jarred stuff and it was nice to have it around. At up to $3 a jar though, it can get expensive to use. So I started buying the heads of garlic and mincing my own to meet my needs. I actually have blogged previously about jarring garlic cloves. Check that action out here https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/jaring-your-garlic/
It may just be the happy American laziness kicking in, but we were getting sick of mincing all the time. My husband googled it and found this method of jarring minced garlic.
You start by peeling all of your garlic cloves. This can take a little bit, but stick with me, it’s a time saver in the end!
After all of your cloves are cleaned of all the peelings, throw them into a food processor. We bought the Magic Bullet for this step because our blender isn’t super good with the fine work like this. Mince all of your garlic cloves into mush.
Once that’s done, put the mush into your jar. We used old pickle jars for ours.

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After it’s in there, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to it, then a fill to 1″ of the rim with hot water. It seems crazy, but the water will help it to expand and that’ll make it easier to dip out later.
I thought I had a picture of it, but I can’t find it now. Our garlic took on a green tint. This resulted in another Google search to see if this was normal. Results stated that this was ok.

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After a few weeks in the pantry, it turned back to a more normal color.
Looking at this strictly from a cost perspective, this is genius! The bag of garlic that we bought was $2.86 at Wal-Mart and we made 1 small jar and 2 jars like above. Normally the minced garlic you buy is $3 for a jar around 4 oz.
Mince on happy people!

Bowling for Stormtroopers

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This was an easy to set up game and lots of fun for the kids. In the weeks leading up to the party, we started buying our soda in 2 liters instead of 12 – packs. Once we had 10 of them, we were all set.
I found the pictures of stormtroopers on Bing images. I printed them on whole sheets and then taped them to the bottles.
After setting them up in the bowling formation, we let the kids go nuts with your standard ball from Walmart.
The game got a little crazy with the 2 liters being completely empty. I think, playing this game in the future, we’ll weight them down with a little water in the bottom. They were just bouncing all over the place!
Bowl on, party people!

Hit the AT – AT

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This one didn’t come out as well as I had hoped it would, but the kids sure enjoyed it! I can’t reference the original site as the link was broken, but it was a really cute idea. The original picture had a picture of an AT – AT that was split between the boxes, but I was having some issues with printers.
I started out easy by bringing home four identical boxes from work. I tried to pick some out that weren’t too thick, as I wanted the kids to be able to knock them over. Once I picked out my boxes, I dug into my scrapbook paper and used packing tape to attach the solid white paper. Originally I wanted to use my white spray paint to coat the boxes, but Tony rolled his eyes a little at that one, so I adjusted.
The morning of the party, I was debating if I still wanted to play this game without the pretty picture of the AT – AT. I ended up just pulling out the duct ape again.

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It didn’t come out too pretty as you can see, but the kids sure enjoyed hitting it with the bean bags I made. (A story for another day).
I guess the moral of this one is that anything can be fun. Kindergarteners just want to keep moving!
Play on everyone!

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

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This little gem of an idea came from http://joyfuljoyful.com/isaiah-samuels-star-wars-birthday-party/ and I loved it!
I started by buying six regular pool noodles, silver duct tape and electrical tape. As you’re going to cut them in half, you need to buy half as many noodles as you need lightsabers.

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Once you have them cut in half, your creativeness moves to the forefront. You start by putting on your silver handle. Two strips of duct tape around the bottom is usually good. If they had had any red pool noodles, I probably would have done a handle in the middle to create Darth Maul’s super cool double – lightsaber, but I only had good guy colors.

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My husband actually made these while I was working on other games. He took great pride in the fact that no two were alike. Once you have the basic duct tape handle on, just go crazy.

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As you can see, there are a lot of ways to go with this. They can be as simple or as complex as you like.

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The best part of pool noodle lightsabers is that kindergarteners can beat on each other with no ill effects.

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Adults can even beat themselves on the head and it doesn’t hurt. These are definitely a great idea for a kid party!
Have fun, and may the force be with you!

Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda

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So I was perusing Pinterest in the month or two before Arthur’s birthday, in the hopes of finding some fun games for the kids to play. His first birthday party and I wanted it to be a fun one!
From the site http://www.doodlecraftblog.com/2012/09/star-wars-birthday-party.html?m=1 I found a ‘Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda’ game idea. The original pinner used a coloring book page, enlarged a bit, for hers, which was pretty cute! I scoured the Internet to find a Yoda picture I liked and printed it to fill the page.
After printing it out, I glued it to some scrapbooking paper for additional sturdiness. As I don’t usually have laminating paper around the house, my husband suggested some ‘redneck laminating’. Translation of that means I used packing tape.
After Yoda was ready, and adhered to the basement door at kid height, I went back to my scrapbooking supplies. I cut out 10 thick ‘lightsabers’, big enough for kid hands, and just used tape on the back of them.

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Arthur came the closest, but was very upset that he got Yoda’s eyes.

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Chiara was a little off, but had a lot of fun wearing the blindfold and spinning around.
I loved this game, and I also love how many ways you can adapt it for whatever theme your party is. Don’t be afraid to make your own games at home!
Party on people!

Lightsaber Cupcakes and Pretzels

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I usually do cakes for the kids birthdays. I have 80+ Wilton cake pans in the basement from my mom’s years of collecting. This year though, while perusing Pinterest, I stumbled upon http://www.buzzfeed.com/orator/how-to-throw-the-best-star-wars-birthday-party-i-badx?sub=2473708_1432322&s=mobile.
I don’t currently have any Star Wars cake pans, so I thought I’d give this a try. I picked up three boxes of cupcake mix and stayed up until 1 am the night before baking. I safely stored them in the oven as our dog, Juliet, can not be trusted.
The next morning was decorating and cleaning time, so I sat down to play with the cupcakes about two hours before the party.

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I settled on the layout that I liked and got started with my super awesome, homemade icing. The kids love watching me decorate. Mainly because when I set the colors aside, I’m done with them, so it becomes a sugar inducing free for all!
While I was decorating the cupcakes, I had Tony start on making our pretzel lightsabers. This just involved a bag of our favorite pretzels and the Wilton chocolate melts in red and green. You simply melt the chocolates according to the directions and dip your pretzel into the chocolate, leaving only the ‘handle’ uncoated.

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This is what we ended up with. They were delicious! The pretzel idea was just a picture, with no link, so I can’t share credit on that one.
Party on people, party on!