March 18, 2009

Baseball Birthday Party

THEME:
Our little slugger Noah is very into baseball and was just starting up his next T-Ball season, along with most of his friends. So the baseball theme was a big hit! With the season in full-swing we got ready to make this party a home run hit. (See how many baseball cliches there are to work with!) I got most of my ideas from birthdaypartyideas.com so be sure to check it out for more baseball related ideas.
INVITATIONS:
I bought some baseball die-cuts at the party store, then printed out the party info. in Microsoft Publisher and just glued them to the die-cuts. Or you could make a simple baseball card of the birthday child like the one below. You could include the party info. using it like stats. My plan was to make one of these for each of the guests as a thank you. I did take a photo of each guest posing like this, but never got them made. It would have been cute though! I made this one in Photoshop Elements but you could really do it with any program.

DECORATIONS:
We didn't do much for decorations, just put up this practice net behind home plate and bases that I bought. With three boys I know I'll get plenty of use out of the bases. If you are fans of a local baseball team you could decorate with pennants, banners, and baseball items from that team or another favorite team. We have plenty of old Little League t-shirts and hats that could have been used if needed.

We used red, white and blue as our main colors. We had a red plastic tablecloth and baseball plates from the party store for the food tables.


ACTIVITIES:
As the guests showed up, my oldest son led them in spring training doing sit-ups, push-ups, stretching and warm-up drills until everyone arrived. Then we played musical bases. This was really fun and a great activity for energetic little boys. We played music while the kids ran around the bases and when it stopped they had to hurry and get on a base. More than one person could be on a base at a time. Then we drew a card with either home plate, 1st base, 2nd base or 3rd base out of a hat and whoever was on that one was out and had to sit out.

While they were waiting for the next game to start they took turns throwing three baseballs to try and knock over a pyramid of soda cans for pitching practice.

Other activities we did were a baseball pinata for batting practice, and a sunflower seed-spitting contest. This was really gross, but the boys liked it. After everything else was done we played a game of baseball while waiting for parents to come pick up their kids.

Another great idea I found was to have each of the guests sign a special baseball for the birthday child as a reminder of the party.

MUSIC:
Think of any sports movie, and there are plenty, and what music they used in it. There are lots of choices out there. I just used a CD of some of my son's favorite songs for musical bases, but here is a list of a few song ideas: We Are the Champions, Chariots of Fire, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Another One Bites the Dust, We Will Rock You, Eye of the Tiger, Y.M.C.A., Mony Mony, Born to be Wild, and the Star Spangled Banner.

FOOD: We served hot dogs, of course, along with chips and bottles of blue Gatorade. Anything with a concession stand theme would work. I put name labels on the drinks so they wouldn't get them mixed up. It was great to have drinks with screw on lids so they could be closed up again to prevent spills and to send home with the guests if they didn't finish.


CAKE:
I made enough small baseball cupcakes for the guests and saved the bigger one to put candles in and for Noah to share with the family. They were just frosted with white icing and then little V's added with red decorator gel. I drew an arch in the icing with a toothpick first for guidelines. The big ball was baked in a glass bowl. I found lots of cute ideas when I was looking though, baseball fields with plastic players, pennants, mitts, balls and bats. Just do a Google Images search for 'baseball cakes' and you'll get plenty of ideas.

FAVORS:
Our treat bags were popcorn bags filled with popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, mini Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candybars, several baseball cards, spongy baseballs, baseball erasers and the candy they got from the pinata.


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