I’ve always considered myself pretty brave. On a scale of 1-10 I’d score myself at around a 9. It would be 10 but I cannot abide spiders or crabs, which are essentially spiders in armour. I’ve done some pretty brave things; I’ve sung live in front of thousands of people, I’ve had a tattoo (sorry Mum) and I gave birth to an 11lb1oz baby with no pain relief. But when considering what to do for Leo’s 5th birthday party, the mere idea of a houseful of 5 year old boys made me want to crawl into a corner, get into a foetal position and spoon the cat for comfort.
I needed to come up with a new idea. Soft play party, swimming party, football party…..none were Leo’s cup of tea. Then one afternoon as I watched all three of my children squeezed into a small box in our lounge a plan was hatched.
Kids love boxes. It’s just one of those things. Like cats, kids find small, dark spaces absolutely fascinating and their imagination seems to just take flight. Over the years mine have had a variety of beloved boxes which have become space rockets, space buses, cars, houses, forts etc, so how cool would it be to have a room filled with boxes to play in?
Over the next couple of months I collected boxes of all shapes and sizes. Friends saved them for me, I rummaged for them in recycling bins and I managed to bag several huge beauties from local businesses. I bought huge packs of pens, stickers and masking tape from the cash and carry, a roll of bubble wrap, a large quantity of Styrofoam shapes and a couple of craft knives that the adults could use to carve windows and doors. We hired a room at our local community centre for the fun to take place.
The day of the party arrived. I started to doubt myself. What were the kids and parents of said kids going to think, opening the door to a room full of boxes? Will they think ‘Is this it? Where are the organised games? Where’s the magician?’
Thankfully the kids were on my wavelength and within a very short time of arriving they all got stuck in!
Walls were constructed and smashed down and cars were built and driven.
A Chinese dragon was created and danced around the room, swords were carved and knights started to fight!
Some of the quieter children got on with decorating the boxes. The bubble wrap, which was masking taped to the floor to make a huge carpet, was bounced all over! The Styrofoam was thrown all over the floor and children (and my husband) were making snow angels.
It was utter carnage and was very, very loud! It was wonderful to watch so much creativity taking place, and allow kids to make as much mess as they liked.
Even the grownups got involved! Uncle Sam’s on the telly!
This party was so much fun! The kids had a ball and it was pretty cheap to organise. The clean up was pretty horrific but thankfully I had lots of helpers on hand. I would really recommend this party to anyone who has to cater for a large amount of children, particularly if there are quite a few energetic 5 year old boys to entertain!