It's hard to believe that my little Marcus just turned eleven years old. He's almost a preteen and knows exactly what he likes and doesn't like. He loves the Halo video game and anything to do with Nerf guns and combat. I decided to combine all of those things into his one special day. For those of you not familiar with Halo it's a human alien combat game. So I wanted to create a kind of space/futuristic/alien/combat feel. Whew that's a lot of things. Marcus had a really great time and said he loved the party so really that's all that matters to me. If other people find some inspiration from it than that's just an extra bonus.
I searched and searched for Halo or space inspired birthdays on the internet and there aren't a lot out there, well there aren't any. I did try to play the game with Marcus to get a feel for it. I found out that I'm horrible at first person shooter games. I don't know if it's because I'm old or that I lack the manual dexterity for it, but it just frustrated me to no end.
I have seen a lot of rock candy cakes on the internet lately and I thought this was the perfect time to make one. The rock candy was very alien and space like at the same time, giving the cake a kind of organic rocky look. I made a basic chocolate cake and covered it with vanilla butter cream then cut out the Halo logo in gum paste and brushed it with blue powdered cake coloring. Then I used the same powder to color the broken up rock candy and attached them to the cake.
Since my son was turning eleven I kept the dessert table pretty simple and straight forward. I made sure not to use any ribbon or bows on his request. That made it interesting putting his banner together but also fun finding alternative ways.
I made the treat bags with just brown paper bags and designed some toppers to go along with the theme. All of the containers I used were boxes and cases we had around the house, which made this table very thrifty.
The Blue Goo parfaits were just vanilla pudding with marscapone cheese and milk dyed blue. Then layered with crumbled oreos. They were very yummy and cool to look at.
The rock candy was also fun to look at and a big hit with the kids. I topped them off with little flags made from coordinating paper that I designed for the party.
The cookies were just chocolate chip cookies with flax seed and toffee bits, stored in my daughters makeup case (I love that part). I'm a huge fan of flax seed and try to sneak it into cookies and desserts all the time. It makes me feel just a little better knowing that something in the cookie is actually good for them. Oh by the way "Covenant" are the bad guys in the Halo game, for Halo illiterates like myself.
I also made coordinating napkin rings and labels for the juice, and candy jars. Another bit of Halo trivia, "Spartans" are the soldiers or good guys in the Halo game.
To go along with our Combat theme we made home made shrinky dink dog tags out of #6 recyclable plastic. I found a great tutorial here at Skip To My Lou. It was super easy to follow and so fun to do. The kids had a blast watching the plastic shrink and then wearing their tags. I do recommend using only permanent markers for this. I didn't at first and the colors ran with just regular washable markers. The permanent came out beautifully. So don't throw away your #6 plastic containers. They make great shrinky dinks. Who knew?
After the dog tags were made the kids all grabbed a nerf gun (thanks to Marcus's enormous collection) and had an epic nerf gun battle. I wish I'd gotten pictures of it but I was too busy getting their chow ready.
After the kids chowed down on pizza and various goodies, we did fireworks. We had some left over from New Years eve that fit our space theme perfectly. I really don't know what I was thinking giving 12 children pyrotechnics but it was mildly controlled chaos. The kids had so much fun and thank goodness there were parents to help regulate. I think it made Marcus's birthday the best ever. Happy Birthday to my sweet son Marcus. I can't even believe it's been eleven years.
My dear husband Tony for all of his help and hard work. No party could ever take place without you. Nor would I want it to.
Skip To My Lou for such a great shrinky dink tutorial.
Our friends for helping us celebrate and make this such a wonderful day.