Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Calling All the Minions!

This household has become minion obsessed lately. We love Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, but our favorite part of the movies is the minions. First of all how could you not love those adorable, scene stealing comedians. And secondly, I've been calling my munchkins minions for years!

So of course there was no question what kind of birthday party my soon to be 7 year old wanted. It was minions all the way!

(I had to create several options for my little diva, and I decided to sell them all in my Etsy store, so if you are interested be sure to go check them out here!)

We invited around 20 kids, and I got to planning. Now if you don't know me well, I must admit to you that I am a wee bit birthday obsessed. In fact while some might say that I am an amazing birthday party planner, others (my husband) would say that I am obsessed and that our house turns into pure h... in the week preceding a party.  Whatever, I just believe that birthdays are special and they should be treated as such!

First I start with the decorations. I used foam board from Wal-Mart to create life sized minions. Don't scoff! It wasn't that hard. You could do it two ways: first, Youtube How to Draw a Minion and follow the steps, or you could find the minion you like and print it onto a transparency and then broadcast it onto the board using an overhead projector or a regular movie projector from your computer and just trace it.

I also created a larger minion for the front door using a piece of yellow foam board and a piece of blue foam board. Nothing says "Welcome little Minions!" like a huge minion on the front door. In fact, one of the kids told her mom that she knew that was definitely our house because there was a minion on the front door:)

Of course, a Despicable Me themed party would not be complete without Gru! So I glued together three pieces of foam board lengthwise and drew a Gru that was even taller than me.

Other decorations included chevron pennants which I created out of napkins from Wal-Mart by just cutting them into triangles, a printable birthday pennant banner that you can also purchase at my Etsy store, hanging streamers and swirls, tons of plastic table cloths which you can do lots of things with, and a huge birthday banner that I painted myself.

We also had speech bubbles everywhere with minion words, so that our little minions could learn how to speak like minions. In retrospect, I am not sure what a good idea this was seeing as for the last two weeks they all bust into fits of "Bee do, bee do, bee do, bee do!"

 Next in the planning came the activities. When having birthday parties at home, unless you are having a swimming party, you need to have activities planned or the little minions will take over (a.k.a. destroy) your house that you spent hours cleaning to prepare for the party. So here are the activities that we had fun with:

1. We created our own minions using construction paper. I had the pieces cut out (body, overalls, eyes, arms, legs, feet...) and they put them together and decorated their minion however they wanted. We did this at the beginning while the children were arriving.

2. Next we had fun dancing to all of the Minion short videos and songs and doing the Just Dance songs from Despicable Me. I just created a Youtube playlist of all the minion shorts and songs and played it on our T.V. If you don't have a Smart T.V., you could do this lots of ways. You could download them to your computer using the program YouTube Downloader and then burn them to a DVD. Or you could also just connect your computer to your T.V. using an HDMI cable and play the videos right from your computer. Here is a link to my Minion Playlist

3. The most popular activity of the day was the "Minion Hunt". Luckily for me  Wal-Mart already had out their Easter stuff (not sure what I would have done otherwise). I bought 4 bags of eggs. Unfortunately, I had to buy the bags with all of the colors to get just blue, yellow, and purple. Then I put my minions to work making blue and yellow eggs. Next I painted on eyes and goggles using acrylic paint. In retrospect, I could have just gotten those round white stickers and some black electrical tape to create the goggles, but I really didn't mind. 

Then we hid the 50 something minion eggs outside (same way you would do an Easter Egg hunt), and we released the minions with some super cool and creative plastic Wal-Mart bags.

4. No Despicable Me party would be complete without The Box of Shame which was featured in the first movie. It was where the orphans were sent to be punished when they did not sell enough cookies. The kids had fun getting in the Box of Shame and even stuck some of their minions in it.

5. Minions are not hard to draw. Especially if you focus on the basic shapes. The body is made out of an egg shaped oval with the top part colored yellow and the bottom blue. Then you draw in the eyes and goggles. Add some legs and arms and you have a minion. They had the best time drawing their minions on our front sidewalk using sidewalk chalk. There were minions leading up to our door for days. Guess we could call it a Minion Walk.

6. A last minute activity that just happened because I was cruising past the toy section and these rocket shooters were on an end cap was "Shoot the Moon like Gru". These rocket shooters were $2.50 each. I bought 3 of them, but had I realized how super cool they were. I would have bought a lot more. These things shot up 20-30 feet in the air, and they could have done this all day long!!

7. Finally, after the singing of Happy Birthday and the serving of plates, we turned on one of the movies and enjoyed "dinner and a movie". This captivated some for the rest of the time. The others enjoyed going outside and repeating many of the activities we had already finished or just playing. 

For the food, I had to stick with the theme. We had bananas because that is a minion's most favorite food. We had apples and grapes, because you can't have a minion in a fruit hat without them. There were minions in a blanket (pigs in a blanket) and minion grahams (which were conveniently sold at the store). Agnes's caterpillars were a big hit as (Cheetos puffs always are).

Of course I used minion words to name all of the food. This was not hard. You can Google minion language and there are tons of sites that have English words translated into minion words. 

And let's not forget the birthday cake. Yes, I did make it myself but before you make a sarcastic comment about all the time in the world. let me be clear...I teach first grade full time, have 3 kids, sell products on TeachersPayTeachers, and have a husband that is a football coach and is frequently gone. I am not a super hero or Wonder Woman...I just can't afford to spend $100 on a cake and to get the kind of cake I wanted that is what it would have costed.

Finally it was time to go. For party favors, I bought yellow, plastic cups (2 for $1) and filled them with party favors that I got in a set in the party section a Wal-Mart. There were 8 sets to a bag that cost $6.50. Total cost of these super cute favors was less that $1.50 each!!!  I painted the goggles on the cups to make them look like minions. Again, I realize now that I could have done the same things with white circular stickers or labels and black electrical tape. Really wish I had thought of that then. But I think they turned out pretty cute. To finish them off, I stuffed black tulle in the top to make it look like minion hair. The kids loved them, and they looked so cute displayed on our bookcase near the door. 

Of course I spent hours on Pinterest gathering ideas and inspiration! You can check out my Party Perfection board here to add to your ideas on your Minion birthday party, as well as countless more party themes. We had a great time! And people are still talking about the party 3 weeks later. I hope this helps you in planning your little Minions birthday party! From our minions to yours....

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