When Leon said he wanted a ‘Super Mario’ themed birthday party, a small voice inside me shouted “help”!
Not being one who is overly keen on computer games, and who tries to keep them to a minimum, it was a tricky theme for me. However, ‘Super Mario’ is really a very sweet game, about a couple of Italian guys (Mario and Luigi) who cross many adventures to try and save Princess Peach, who herself has been locked in a castle by the monster Bowser. A fairy tale really. And I would be telling fibs if I didn’t admit to having played (and enjoyed) a few hours of the game myself when I was in my twenties!
However, living in Sweden, where party paraphernalia is at its minimum (unless you want ‘Winnie The Pooh’ or ‘Disney Princesses’), and incredibly expensive, we knew we were in for a lot of preparation….
And as it happens – we succeeded in not only giving our son a ‘Super Mario’ birthday party – but a SUPER one at that!
The party started with individual tasks to complete, in order to save the princess….
Translation of competition….
1. Balls & Cans – 3 balls. two tries each. 1 point for every can that gets knocked down.
(Just save and clean out some old food tins)
2. Balance Skills – 5 points for the planks, 5 points for the tree ropes, 5 points for the bell.
(Using tree stumps and planks of wood)
Cross the rope bridge (harder than you may think!)
And ring the bell hidden in the tree!
3. Catch the stars – 5 points for yellow. 10 points for white.
'Super Mario' stars printed from the internet, and laminated, then hidden around the garden - with obviously more yellow than white!
The child who totaled the most points altogether won Princess Peach (whose small figure we managed to find in a toy shop!).
Next it was time for food….
'Super Mario' party ware, the table sprinkled with gold star confetti...
After the usual pizza and hot dogs, it was time for cake. Not your average cake however – a plateau of ‘Super Mario’ cakes…
Green mushroom cakes, pink mushroom cakes. and question mark brownies. I got the idea for these cakes from here, but changed mine slightly by putting tiny pieces of marshmallow on the mushrooms for the spots on the top, and omitting the eyes. I also just wrote the question marks on shop bought brownies with cake writing tubes.
I had attempted the brownies, but they came out rather chunky to write on (though delicious), so I simply printed out and cut out tiny pictures of Mario and Luigi, and popped them on the butter icing – and told the kids not to eat them!
Maya also made the cake – a big heart shape with sprinkles on – not ‘Super Mario’, but she loves her brother!
After some free play, with ping-pong, the marble game, lego, some ‘Super Mario’, and a very successful obstacle course built out of cardboard bricks for the remote controlled car…
…. it was then time for the treasure hunt!
Richard split the kids in to two teams, the MArio team, and the Luigi team, and using a map of the garden the kids had to find the first clue. Each clue was hidden in a plastic pot and written on a treasure map type of paper. and each pot contained a plastic gold coin, on which was a number. The kids were also given a little wooden treasure chest for each team, in which to put the gold coins – and figures of Mario and Luigi.
The Mario team
The Luigi Team
After following clues which led them to other clues (and coins) throughout the garden, they had to figure out where the treasure chest was hidden (a large plastic box). Each container was chained up, and could only be opened by knowing the combination code to the lock – the code was the total sum of the numbers on the back of the gold coins!
And what was inside the treasure chests? The party bags!
(Again using Mario print outs from the internet on paper bags)
And what was inside the party bags? A ‘Super Mario’ colouring page, a ‘make-a-Mario’ card craft, a ‘Super Mario’ key ring and some ‘Super Mario’ plasters, some mushroom sweets and some chocolate gold coins!
A party with a lot of preparation – but well well worth it!