How to throw an Angry Birds themed birthday party
Almost-two-year-olds aren’t very responsive when you ask what kind of birthday party they’d like. Especially mine, who isn’t the talker that his sister was. Three connected words are still a rarity, so when he spent a whole evening repeating, “Ang-y Birds par-ty! Ang-y Birds par-ty!”, I knew we had a winner.
I, on the other hand, was like Jared Newman–I simply didn’t get the Angry Birds phenomenon. I even tried playing it a time or two, and it reminded me of a thousand Flash games I’d played before. But how can you say no to “Ang-y Birds par-ty!”? You can’t. (I have since, as a result of planning this party, given in to full Angry Birds addiction.)
Step 1: Angry Birds decorations
This isn’t the sort of theme you can throw together the night before. Party City doesn’t have a convenient kit for an Angry Birds party. No pre-printed cups or packaged party favors. That leaves it to the DIY GeekMom. I focused on the bright, generally primary colors that Angry Birds uses and worked from there.
The most important step was sticker paper for the printer. The Oatmeal has a great image scaling the likability of the various birds. At the bottom, he offers a PNG file of the images he made for the birds–make a page full of them, and presto, stickers! I stuck them to everything–cups, balloons, favor boxes, children…
Then I got two shades of green posterboard and started making pigs. It took only one evening and two sheets of posterboard to make a dozen pigs of various sizes. I also downloaded the Angry Birds font and cut out my son’s name to make a banner.
For favors, I bought some generic red treat boxes and applied the aforementioned stickers. I filled them with gold-foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, gold eggs filled with glittery silly-putty-type goo, egg-shaped sidewalk chalk, and more stickers. (And bubbles, because who doesn’t like bubbles? But they were completely un-thematic.)
Step 2: Angry Birds cake
Of course, there’s the famous playable Angry Birds cake. But since we played much larger Angry Birds (see the end of this post), we didn’t need to play with our cake too. Well, not much.
I made small pigs on cupcakes the same way I did my daughter’s Helly Kitty cupcakes last fall. Super easy. They’re displayed in small (5”) versions of the live Angry Birds boards (which you’ll see at the end of this post).
Then I made one large, 3D pig with a ball pan and lots of green fondant. I found the Touch of Gold Egg Decorating Kit in the dollar store and used it to make a dozen gold eggs. The large (slightly cracked, ready to be defeated) pig sat atop his stolen golden eggs on an old Easter egg stand I had around.
And just to complete the effect–as well as to amuse my five-year-old daughter for a while by letting her fill the pan one spoonful at a time–the inside of the large pig was made of “ground up Angry Birds”:
I tried to go thematic with other food, but that was a challenge. If you’ve got time on your hands, these Babybel Angry Birds are amazingly cute. But what did we do for food? Well…you know how the birds in the game don’t have wings? It’s because they were served on our party table with hot sauce.
The grand finale: Live Angry Birds game
Back in March, I saw “Live Angry Birds” on the SXSW schedule, which led me to tweet:
It actually turned out to be pretty fun:
And not that hard to build. The first thing you’ll need are stuffed pigs and birds. You can go the lazy-but-expensive way and buy them at shop.angrybirds.com or on eBay. The DIY GeekMom way is to make them. Making them also means you can stuff the birds with beans to give them some heft. The shapes are pretty basic, but if you’re short on time or just like to have something to follow, obsessively stitching blog has great instructions and printable patterns.
For the walls, I bought a dozen sheets of foam board and cut them into 10”x10” squares (5”x5” for the cupcakes). Then I gave them each an appropriate wash with some tempera paint–blue for the glass (or ice? I’ve never been sure), brown with a quick swirl for woodgrain, and gray for the stone. I found that the most stable construction, especially since we played outside, was to cut only partly through some of the boards. If you perforate the foam board with an Xacto knife, then bend it to break through, one piece of the paper will stay intact. Bend at that joint to make a V shape, and place a fully cut 10”x10” board on top. Then start stacking! If you’re outside with the chance of a sudden breeze, it helps as you stack to place a pig inside once in a while to weight it down.
Then it’s time to launch the birds! Have two adults hold the ends of a resistance band. It might take a few tries to get the technique, but it’ll work as a slingshot. The best way we found was to grip the bird from the outside of the band.
It’s a bit late to mention, but…
Overall, it helps to be planning this party around Easter since it makes it easier to find things like chalk-shaped eggs and gold egg dye. I even sent extra kids on an egg hunt around the yard while other people were shooting birds (heh).
Party on, Angry Birds lovers.