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Monday, February 18, 2013

Pokemon Birthday Party

So, a couple weeks ago, my oldest son turned 7.  He decided he wanted a Pokemon party.  Sometime last year he decided Pokemon was his new love of loves.  This was despite the fact that he had never seen a show, movie, or played the card game of Pokemon.  I believe it started with a book he found at the library.  Maybe.  But since then his obsession has started to grow like any 6 year old boy obsesses over one thing or another. 

When he said he wanted a Pokemon party, I discouraged it.  I figured that, considering Pokemon has been around for 15 years, the Pokemon theme was over done, over used and uninspired.  Basically, I didn't want to do it.  But it turns out there is very little out there for Pokemon parties.  And it also turns out that this ended up being one of my favorite parties I've thrown!

Now, I feel I should provide you with a little warning.  My pictures didn't turn out great.  I had a serious party emergency before the party started (think 13 kids possibly coming to a party for 12) and that had me preparing up to the last minute.  I had about 2 minutes to quickly take some pictures since asking 12 kids to "hang on and stay out of the way while I take pictures for my blog" didn't seem to be in the realm of possibilities.  So I did what I could in the time provided.  Most of the party pictures themselves were done by my mom since I was hosting and explaining directions.  In other words "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

And di I mention there were 12 kids?  And 3 adults.  This was by far my biggest party yet.  In past years, I've been lucky to get half that.  Seriously.  And the space in my house isn't that open for large amounts of people.  Just to give you a visual, stick 15 people in a small room.  Now make 12 of those people jump around, run in circles, chase after each other, climb on furniture and play battle games.  That about sums up the party.

With that, on to the recap!


I made up cute little invites shaped like Pokeballs.  The invite itself was tucked into a Pokeball pocket so all you read was "I Choose You!"  And then when you pulled it out, you got the party details.


I have to give Jaimee a good deal of credit for this one.  She made up a bunch of decor stuff for me!  She was totally awesome.   She made for me a Happy birthday banner which I hung across the dining room entryway.

For the backdrop, I simply took three different colored plastic table clothes from the dollar store and cut them into thirds.  Then I draped them over my curtain rod!  Didn't even need to remove the curtains!  I found some red and white decorative balls and dangly stars at walmart for a little over $1 each to hang from the ceiling.

I strung balloons onto a string for an easy decorations.  One pack of balloons from the $ store was all I needed.  I also made large scale cardboard cutouts of several popular Pokemon characters to decorate the table.


I love favors.  A lot.  So I get a little carried away when I make them.  I try not to make them to junky.  I do my best to make them things that the kids will really enjoy when they get home and remember the party.  Sometimes this goes well, sometimes it doesn't.  This was one of those times it went well.

To stick with my party theme "How to be a Pokemon trainer," I wanted the kids to really feel like Pokemon trainers.  So I made each of them a hat and a sling bag.  They LOVED this!  Some kids were even wearing their hats to school the following Monday.  And the bag cost me about .50 a bag and the hats $1.50 a hat!

Each kid also got a mini Pokemon with a Pokeball necklace to keep it in.  I made jar glasses with Pokeballs on them because I think they are awesome, and a favor bag containing Pokecards, another mini Pokemon and a Pokemon pencil.  They also had a white chocolate Pokemon lollipop but it was eaten before I could take a picture.  

So yep, I went a little crazy with favors, but ebay was my friend for this party!


The activities followed along with the theme.  There were 4 steps to becoming a Pokemon trainer.  I had to do some serious research to figure this out. And then adapted the games to fit the steps.  Some of this took more research.  Good news for you, I did all the research for you!

Step 1: Catch a Pokemon

First let me tell you a little about Joshua Juvrud.  While looking for Pokemon stuff, I came upon his work on an art site I used to haunt.  And I found this amazing illustration.  He made this for his brother as a birthday gift.  It took him over a year and contains over 640 Pokemon all hand drawn.  And because he is so awesome, he gave me the PDF to the poster!  I just emailed him.  He's super nice and is very helpful.  Not to mention a great artist!  

The poster was absolutely perfect for my game I had planned.  I had it made into a poster size (24x36) from Vistaprint ($10). I wanted it big enough that a bunch of kids could sit around it a see everyone and I also knew my son would love it so I planned on it being a poster for his room.  (I was right)

So, to catch your Pokemon, I held up a picture of a Pokemon and the kids had to find it on the poster, Where's Waldo style.  The first one to find it was the proud owner of that Pokemon.  They were giving a mini figure of it and a Pokeball necklace.  They stepped out of the game and everyone played on until each child owned a Pokemon.

Step 2: Care for your Pokemon

So again I had to do some research for this one.  In Pokemon you receive badges.  It doesn't matter what badges you get, it's how many.  The more badges you earn, the more obedient your Pokemon is.  So I made up another activity.  I brought out the bean box and made badges by mod podging the badge images to wooden disks.  For the game, I placed 8 badges in the beans, pressed them all the way to the bottom and gave the kids 1 minute to try to find as many as they could.  They got to keep whatever badges they earned.

Step 3: Teach your Pokemon moves

More research here.  I wanted the moves they learned to be real Pokemon moves.  So I went through a book of my sons and pulled some moves out to base an obstacle course off of.

Steamroller: roll a ball down an incline into a bowl
Rock Throw: throw a rock (beanbag) into the hole
Focus Punch: punch a balloon into the toy box
Stomp: pop a ziplock bag balloon with your foot
Acrobatics: bounce on a ball from one side of the room to the other.

The kids did each activity in the obstacle course until the moves were learned.  There was more I wanted to do with this activity, like decorate each station to look Pokemon like, but I literally thought up the stations about a 1/2 hour before the party.

Step 4: Battle your Pokemon

For this one, I wanted a pinata, but I wanted it to be a bad guy for them to battle.  So I made my own Meowth pinata.  It was actually easier than I thought it would be!

I made it a pull string pinata.  On the end of the string was a move they had just learned.  They had to preform that move and then come back and pull the string to see if they beat Meowth.  The winning move broke open the pinata and the candy fell out.  The kids used their sling bags to collect their candy.

Food and Treats

This time I just went with dessert treats.  I made cupcakes with marshmallow frosting and Jaimee made up some labels for the cupcakes.  Then I made Pokeball Oreo cake balls (my fav!) and I made up a Pokeball candy tray.  The Swedish fish were a big hit!  I filled each kid's glass with red juice and crammed them all into my kitchen to eat in case there were spills!

Guest Photo Op

Finally, I always like to take photos of each of the guests.  This time I had them wear their Pokemon trainer hat and bag.  I used the poster as a backdrop and snapped away.  They all looked so happy!

I hope you enjoyed the party as much as we did!  Do you want printables and how-tos on how I did everything?  Well here you go!


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