I can't believe it's been almost a year since Graham's Mappy 3rd Birthday party, but in a couple months, my little guy will be FOUR. I still don't understand how that happened. While Graham still enjoys his maps, he's picked up a few more obsessions in the months since his third birthday--mainly bowling, Legos, and watching Monsters, Inc. over and over until I want to put my fist through a wall. So in preparation for birthday number four, I thought I'd explore the themes of bowling, Legos, and a more generic monster-themed party. First up: bowling!
I'm not sure how this obsession started. Graham received a toy bowling set for Christmas when he was two, and he liked it well enough. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered it, and in the process, he tried to make everything into bowling pins or bowling balls. For example, rolling a marble into crayons standing on end. Or rolling a lemon at Mommy's collection of postpartum medication bottles (saddest. game. EVER). As a potty-training reward recently, my mom and I took Graham to the actual bowling alley, and it seriously BLEW HIS MIND.
Most of the bowling alleys I've called limit groups to six bowlers per lane. That would get pretty pricey for a lot of kids; plus I'm not sure all of Graham's classmates can handle the bowling alley just yet. Instead, we'll be relying on the backyard again for our Backyard Bowl-o-rama.
Activities. I am not about to construct a replica bowling alley on my lumpy, weedy lawn, but I thought this giant inflatable bowling set would be a great game for the kids (and um, the adults too). I'm a little concerned that all of the reviews mention the kids inevitably growing bored of the bowling and using the giant pins to beat each other? Only a little, though.
We'll also hook up the Wii to my dad's giant old big screen (currently living in my basement, where my parents like to store things indefinitely), and play Wii bowling in the shady under-deck area.
Lastly, if the kids are enjoying beating each other with the giant bowling pins, maybe they'll enjoy beating this bowling pin pinata? I don't know. There are only so many things you can do with bowling balls and bowling pins, people.
Food: Graham's Snack Bar. I could go in one of two different directions with this, either copying food you'd normally see at a bowling alley snack bar (pizza, nachos), OR giving into my aforementioned disease and creating themey food just for the sake of its dorky naming opportunities. SUCH AS: ham and cheese PINwheels, SPARE ribs, TURKEY wraps, banana SPLIT bites, peanut GUTTER BALLS . . . Oh, I could go on and on. One thing I know I want to attempt are these bowling cake pops. Amazing!
Invitations and Decor. As I was digging around online for bowling party inspiration, this little gem popped up in my Google Reader. I am a sucker for red and aqua, so I will definitely be considering those invitations, as well as the one in my mood board, both from Just Click Print. I will keep dredging up the red and aqua, relying on my ol' reliable red paper lanterns, which will be reimagined this time as bowling balls. I'm thinking maybe I can tape some little black circle trios (holes!) to them? We shall see.
For favors, I like these mini bowling sets (you're welcome, parents! Enjoy stepping on those little gems!) or these clever bowling-themed crayons.