Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Buzz Lightyear Birthday Party

The table setting for the Buzz Lightyear Party
My children are experts at choosing birthday party themes.  Over the past 14 years I have gladly obliged each of their choices.  I have planned and orchestrated Wizard of Oz, Hello Kitty, Rubber Ducky, Mario, Bakugan, and Pokemon parties, just to name a few.  Last year I organized a Buzz Lightyear Party for my youngest son's 5th birthday celebration.

The Buzz Lightyear Cake
My son and I started the research portion of operation Buzz Lightyear party, by rereading his Toy Story books, watching the Toy Story movies, and perusing the toy aisle of Target for Buzz Lightyear items.  We also ordered Buzz Lightyear party supplies from Birthday Express.  Although we primarily focussed on Buzz, we threw in a few activities that related to the other characters of the movie.  We then planned the cake and games for the gathering.

Arrival Game:  Guess-the-Number-of-Army Men
The first party activity was "Guess-the-Number-of-Army-Men".  As the party goers arrived at our home, my oldest son helped them record their estimate on an index card.  After everyone had contributed a guess, we revealed the actual amount of army men in the jar and the child who came closest got to pick one gift out of the prize bag.  We then added the army men to the block station.

Army Men Guessing Game, Prize Bag, Buzz Lightyear Tattoos
In addition to guessing the amount of army men in the canister, the party guests were also able to get a Buzz Lightyear tattoo when they arrived.  My daughter set up a little table with the tattoos, paper towels, and a small bowl of water.  The boys each chose a tattoo from her "tatoo parlor" and she applied it to their arm or hand.

Next we moved onto three party stations.  My husband and older children manned the stations and I divided the children into groups and guided the flow.  One of the stations was free play with blocks and Toy Story action figures.  Another station was Alien  Kerplunk that we purchased at Target.  This game was entertaining at the party and is one that we still play today.

Activity Station:  Alien Kerplunk
The last station was an alien fishing game that we also found at Target.  Although it was fun at the party, one of the grabbers and a few aliens broke after just playing a few times.  I ended up returning it to Target, but my son still asks about it.

Activity Station:  Alien Fishing Game
When we had finished the stations, the boys gathered in a circle to play my tried-and-true game "Pass the Present".  This activity is always a hit and can be adapted to any theme.  Prior to the party, I wrapped Toy Story ring pops (enough for every party guest) in a small shoe box. I then put that box in a slightly larger box and wrapped it.  I repeated this process until I had four wrapped boxes inside one another.  I placed this large box on the present table.  When we were ready to play "Pass the Present", the children sat in a circle with the birthday child holding the large wrapped box.  Next my husband played music as the children passed the box.  When the music stopped, whichever party guest was holding the box got to open it, only to find another box.  We repeated this process until the last box was opened (by the birthday boy, what a coincidence:) to reveal the ring pops which were passed out to every child.  

Pass the Present Game
Ring pops in hand, the boys proceeded to the party table.  For cake, ice cream, drinks, and snacks. 

Party Snacks
After the food, the boys picked up the gift that they had brought to the party off of the present table and gathered on the floor around my son who was perched in a chair.  At the start of the party I had taped a number onto each gift.  When my son was ready to open a gift, he reached in a small bowl that I had placed next to his chair and drew out a number.  The person who had a that number on his gift gave it to the birthday boy to open.  This method helps to minimize the inevitable present time chaos by keeping all of the children involved.

Presents Labeled with Number Shapes
As the party wound down and the energy levels wound up, we played "Hit the Aliens".  I placed a large piece of poster board that I had labeled with a target filled with alien stickers on the floor of our main level.  The boys took turns running upstairs onto our catwalk and dropping an army man equipped with a parachute onto the target.  We then wrote the boy's name where his army man landed and the next boy headed upstairs.

Departure Game:  Hit the Aliens
Overall the Buzz Lightyear party was a success!  My son loved his cake that I created for him, my older children enjoyed assisting in all the activities, and I was thrilled to watch the party guests laugh and play.  I barely had time, however, to sweep the cake crumbs up from the kitchen floor and gather up all the wrapping paper before my son decided that next year he wanted a Sonic the Hedgehog party.  All I could do upon hearing his request was smile and embrace my friend Buzz's motto, "To Infiniti and Beyond!"


  1. What great ideas! My oldest has been stuck on Power ranger birthday parties so I haven't gotten to venture much!

  2. I want to come to one of your birthday parties...sounds so fun! My favorites were Pass the present and numbering the gifts.

  3. This looks like so much fun. I love creating party stuff.

  4. That's so awesome. My son would go nuts for this! The cake is especially fabulous.

  5. Love this! The colors of the came are so vibrant. I really like how you opened the presents. Brilliant.

  6. Awesome party theme. I adore the cake. :)

  7. Wow, what a fun party! I know my little five year old boy would have loved it!

    ~ Sarah

  8. This turned out fantastic! I featured your cake on my blog today. Thanks for linking up!!


  9. I read a lot of party blogs and I'm impressed with all of your organization and games. I love when the focus of the party is on the kids and the game. Thanks for the ideas!

  10. Buzz Lightyear Birthday Party! It made me so impressed. At some garden themed LA venues we also attended a gorgeous Oscar themed 18th birthday party. I loved that spot a lot as their arrangements were stunning. I think that would be the best party location even for our small family wedding reception.