Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Robot Birthday Party

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

robot-birthday

My son Bryan has always been fascinated by robots, so we decided to give him a robot birthday party. We created various robots, baked a robot cake, and played outdoor games with a robot theme.

How to Make a Robot Cake

robot-cake

I baked two chocolate rectangle cakes: one of them was the main part of the body, and the other one was cut into a head, arms, legs, and feet. We frosted the cake with chocolate frosting. We used candy to decorate the robot: sweet tarts for the buttons and red licorice for the stripes. The eyes and mouth can be made with any candy that you have lying around, as long as they are oval-shaped or circular.

robot-birthday-party

You will need to find some cardboard and line it with foil. Put the robot cake on top of it, since no regular plate will be large enough for this cake.

Robot Centerpiece

robot-centerpiece

For the robot centerpiece we used colorful confetti underneath some Transformer robot toys. You could use any robot made out of any building set.

Robot Invitation

robot-invitation

We bought several LEGO robotics kits and built different robots. For an invitation to a robot birthday party, all you need is a photo of a robot for the front of the invitation.

Recycled Robot

recycled-robot

You can put together a recycled robot with trash around the house, silver spray paint, and hot glue. You need various sizes of cardboard boxes for the body, the legs, and the arms, which you will need to spray paint silver. You can have a large can for the head. (We used a large peaches can from Costco.) Google eyes and plastic lids of various shapes and sizes can be added to your robot.

Robot Birthday Party Games

robot-games

Assembling robots is probably the most fun activity for the party, but you can also set up outdoor games that are made of silver cardboard. Throw ping pong balls through a hole or into a robot head.

We had a simple robotic arm that we used for picking up various objects. We made a light-sensitive robot. Shining a flashlight on it caused it to move towards the light!

light-robot

My son Bryan thoroughly enjoyed his robot birthday party, and it led to my sons joining a robotics league where they competed against other schools and states!

Cowboy Birthday

Monday, March 5th, 2018

cowboy-birthday

My son Nathaniel had a fun cowboy birthday theme. His favorite thing to do as a 6-year-old was to shoot off caps guns, wear a cowboy hat, and watch The Lone Ranger. Because of his love for westerns, he even wrote a story that was a cowboy western, with the main character and the villain having a shootout showdown at the end of the story. This is one of the perks of homeschooling. His writing assignments can actually coincide with what he is excited about.

How to Make a Paper Cowboy Vest Craft

For his birthday party, we had the kids make a paper cowboy vest. First you will need some paper bags from the grocery store.We cut them down the middle until we came to the hole for the head, which we also cut out beforehand. Then we painted the vests with tempera paint. We wanted the painted vests to be ready to thread with twine during the party.

cowboy-vest-craft

On the day of the party, the kids cut a fringe on the bottom of their vest. They also used a hole punch to punch holes on the two sides of the vest down the front for the twine to go through. Depending on the age of the child, you might need to punch the holes for a 3-year-old, for example, so that you don’t end up with random holes.

vest-craft-closeup

Then the kids threaded the twine through the holes, making a knot on the bottom and the top on the back where it couldn’t be seen. We attached a sheriff badge to each cowboy vest. We got a package of these at a party supply store.

sewing-paper-vests

The kids loved how their cowboy vests turned out!

How to Make a Horse Cake

horse-cake

Making a horse cake isn’t too difficult. Just bake a rectangular chocolate cake, and shape it into a horse head. The triangle cut from the bottom of the neck will be used for the ear at the top of the cake. We frosted the cake with chocolate frosting and white frosting for the mane. We used black frosting gel to make the bridle and other details. A sweet tart was the eye.

horse-piñata

We also found a horse piñata at a party store, which was perfect for this cowboy birthday theme! My son had a great time and smiled from ear to ear.

How to Make a Turkey Cake

Monday, November 6th, 2017

turkey-cake

Isn’t this a cute turkey cake? It’s perfect for celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends! You will need two cake boxes, chocolate icing, vanilla icing, and food coloring. You will also need a foil-lined piece of cardboard to place under the cake, and silk autumn leaves to decorate around the finished cake.

turkey-cake-unfrosted

First you will bake two circle cakes. The second cake will be rectangular. After baking and cooling the cakes, you will want to put cellophane on them and place them into the fridge. Cold cake is easier to cut and sculpt than room-temperature cake.

Up-end one circle cake onto the bottom of your foil-lined cardboard. You will want to frost this with chocolate frosting.

Then cut a smaller circle out of the other circle cake. I used a round dish that would be the right size for the head of the turkey. Frost the head with chocolate frosting, too.

From the rectangular cake, cut feathers in the shape of rectangles, while slightly rounding the edges of the tops of the feathers.

how-to-make-a-turkey-cake

Take out one tablespoon of white frosting and set aside for the eyes. Divide the remaining white frosting into three bowls: add yellow, orange, and red food coloring to the bowls. Stir the colors in, and frost the feathers of your turkey cake.

thanksgiving-cake

With a table knife, run the blade down the middle of each feather and out to the sides, adding texture like real feathers. Add a beak and white circles for eyes. You can use chocolate chips for the pupils of the eyes, or just use a glob of chocolate frosting.

Now your turkey cake is complete! Happy Thanksgiving!

Dry Ice Volcano Cake

Monday, September 4th, 2017

dry-ice-volcano-cake

Look at this super cool dry ice volcano cake we had for my son’s natural disasters themed birthday party! I was brainstorming different ways to make a volcano cake, and I’ve never seen this done before, so I thought it would be fun to make. I wasn’t disappointed, and it was fairly easy to make!

Start by baking two cake boxes, for a total of four round cakes. Cool the cakes and place them in the fridge.

Put foil on a square piece of wood or cardboard, and tape the back. Up-end one round cake onto the center of the foil. Grab a chemistry flask and cut a circle with a knife around the edge of the flask. Remove the small circle of cake, and place the flask inside.

inside-volcano-cake

Cut circles into the other cakes, and slide them like stacking rings on top of the flask until the entire flask is hidden. If you have a taller flask, you will have to bake more cakes. This will result in a taller volcano.

chocolate-volcano

Place the entire stack in the fridge to cool. Then you are ready to sculpt the volcano. Look at the video demonstration to see how I shaped it:

You can do whatever you want with the scraps of chocolate cake that you cut off the volcano. At this point, you want to place the cake back into the fridge before frosting it.

carving-volcano-cake

Frost the cake with chocolate frosting, spinning the cake to get the icing to be smooth. You can cover up any mistakes you made with the icing.

frosting-volcano-cake

Feel free to poke in plastic palm trees at the bottom of your volcano to add authenticity. This was my husband’s idea, since they were left over from a Hawaiian themed party we did for my daughter years ago. You can buy plastic palm trees at a party store.

make-a-volcano-cake

Pour hot water into the volcano. Plop dry ice chunks into the volcano. (You can buy dry ice at most grocery stores, and it’s inexpensive.) Now you will see the volcano smoking downward in an incredible way!

erupting-volcano-cake

Make sure to watch the video above to see how cool this dry ice volcano cake turned out!

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