Archive for the ‘Birthday Parties’ Category

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!

Army Tank Cake

Monday, January 16th, 2017

tank-cake

We created a fabulous tank cake to celebrate modern history. We lit it up with a sparkler in the barrel of the tank. It looked cool all lit up! This army party was perfect for my teen son’s birthday.

How to Make an Army Tank Cake

  1. We baked three rectangular cakes because we wanted the wheels to be the height of Oreo cookies. It depends what recipe you use for your cake, but we used two regular cake mixes for the base of the tank, stacking them after they were cooled off. Then we cut a square out of the third cake and placed it on the top of the tank.
  2. We frosted the whole thing with chocolate frosting. I’m sure we used at least two tubs of frosting from the grocery store. Don’t scrimp on the frosting.
  3. We placed Fruit Roll-ups along the sides of the tank cake, to make the tracks. Then the Oreo cookies were placed on both sides, on the edge. The barrel was a Pirouette. I wanted to be able to stick a sparkler into the barrel, which is why we didn’t use a Twix chocolate bar like we originally brainstormed. If you are not lighting the barrel with a sparkler, you could easily use a Twix chocolate bar.

army-party

How to Create a Centerpiece for an Army Party

I threw down a black bed sheet onto the table and sprinkled some sand in the middle of the table. I placed a LEGO tank in the sand, and I sprinkled toy soldiers around like confetti. For more instructions on how to make this centerpiece, watch my tutorial: LEGO Tanks of World War II.

tank-centerpiece

Grenade Balloons for Decorations

We decorated the room with grenade balloons, which I must say were extremely difficult to blow up. That’s because they were water balloons! If you are celebrating this army party in the summer, you could have outdoor activities involving grenade water balloons.

You can have your guests dress in camouflage if you want to make the experience even more authentic.

grenade-balloons

Tank Piñata

We also found a tank piñata, which was the reason my son chose this theme. (He saw this tank piñata hanging at the party store and wanted it.) Whacking a tank is very satisfying, especially for boys, making this a fun activity to end this army party!

tank-pinata

For more hands-on activities for modern history, check out my modern history unit study!

Old-Fashioned Movie Birthday

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

old-fashioned-movie-cake

If you want to throw an old-fashioned movie birthday party, you have come to the right place! I will show you how to make a cake in the shape of an old movie camera. I will also tell you about some activities you can do for a movie party, besides watching a movie!

How to make an old-fashioned movie camera cake:

Let’s start with the cake. You will need to bake three cakes; the first two will be rectangle cakes, and the third will be divided between two circle pans. You will assemble the pieces this way:

movie-camera-cake-2

I trimmed the sides of the first rectangle cake for the center section of the cake. I cut the bottom and side trapezoids from the other rectangle cake. (You can eat the cake leftovers while you work!)

I wanted the circles on the top of the cake to be smaller than a cake pan, so I used a round plastic container as a cookie cutter.

cake-circle

The finished cake is at the top of this post. I found some large letter stickers at a hobby supply store, and I stuck them down on white card stock paper and taped them to toothpicks before stabbing them into the cake.

Decorations for a movie party:

home-movie-screen

You can tape curtains to the sides of your television. We used the curtains from our puppet theater, but you can just hang some cloth and tie the sides. No sewing is required. I found a movie gadget that opens and closes for the scenes being filmed. I bought it at a party supply store. We used it for the skits described in the activity below.

movie-party-decorations

I also found some Hollywood decorations at a party supply store, which I hung from the chandelier, but you could just cut out a silver star out of card stock paper. I had silver star confetti and silver streamers. I placed a black bed sheet on the table, and the silver streamers ran down the sides. A camera was placed in the middle of the table on top of the confetti.

Movie party activities:

dress-up-box

Grab a basket or dress-up box and place different hats, scarves, glasses, and other accessories into it. (We found some stick-on moustaches at a costume shop!) The kids can break into teams and practice a fun skit with the materials in the basket. Then they can present it to the audience. You can film the skits.

outdoor-movie

During the second half of the party, we watched an outdoor movie. If you don’t have a projector, you can watch the movie indoors on your television. We hung a sheet outside and used the projector from my speaking engagements, and we watched “The Princess Bride” outside. We had a great time at our old fashioned movie birthday party!

Airplane Cake

Friday, October 21st, 2016

airplane-cake

I’m going to show you how to make this cool airplane cake. My son recently had an airplane-themed birthday party, and we placed his model airplane in the middle of the table on top of some sand as the centerpiece for the table.

We baked a rectangular cake and up-ended it on a cutting board. I cut out the shape of an airplane. The wings weren’t long enough, so the cake that was cut out of the sides–I used this extra cake to expand the length of the wings. I also placed a triangle on the front of the plane.

airplane-party

I placed foil on an upside-down cookie sheet. Then I frosted the cake with chocolate frosting. If you want to use candy for a propeller, you can add that detail.

airplane-cake-party

We looked for an airplane piñata, but we couldn’t find one. We saw a beach ball piñata, and we covered it with blue and green tissue paper to create a world. The world, after all, is for traveling. Airplanes help people to travel around the world!

world-pinata

We covered the entire piñata with blue tissue paper first and let it dry. Then we cut out continents from green tissue paper. I outlined the continents with black Sharpie marker.

If you want to see our Airplane Unit Study, it is in the large Modern History section of the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

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