- La Canada, California
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Davis' Military Party (41 photos)
After my son asked for an "army man" party, I created this military-themed party for my son, Davis' 6th birthday. Davis has always looked up to his Uncle Tyson, a Major in the United States Marine Corps who earned a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. Davis' admiration for his Uncle Tyson and what he does inspired this special party.
The military theme can be somewhat "heavy" because of the very serious nature behind what they do. Although my family has a deep respect for the military, for the sake of a 6 year old birthday party, I wanted to "lighten the mood" a bit. With that being the case, I chose to incorporate images of toy soldiers throughout the party to create a lighter, more whimsical feel. Instead of traditional green camouflage, I opted for a blue camouflage to enhance the party with a trendy, fresh, modern look befitting 6 year old boys. This also allowed me to weave in red, white and blue decor to create a patriotic spirit.
When the guests received their invitations, the outside of the envelope announced, "YOU HAVE BEEN DRAFTED!" They were asked whether or not they would be, "One of the Few, The Proud, The Marines? and replied with a, "Yes, Ma'am or a No, Sir" one week before the party. The invitation also alerted them to the attire: "Swimwear" with the cautionary advice to "be prepared for amphibeous operations."
Upon arrival to the Bender Boot Camp, the boys walked up a path lined with American flags and Bronze Star mylar balloons as a subtle honor to Davis' Uncle Tyson, who pained the kids' faces with authentic cami paint that would not wear off in the pool. Once the young grunts were ready to go, it was time to train! Major Tyson formed two teams and ordered the boys to race through an obstacle course where they had to military low crawl under camo nets, football run/jump through 8 tires, swim across the pool and "shoot down the enemy" by knocking down a row of one inch high plastic army men using a water gun. After completion of the course, it was time to test their strength with tug of war. The losing team would fall into the pool. Once boot camp training was complete, it was time for final battle! A water balloon fight ensued between the boys and a few dads.
Because this was essentially a drop-off party, I designed the food table in a way that young boys could reach everything and ultimately help themselves. When they came to the "Mess Hall" (pool house) for dinner, they received a medal for their service." They dined on landing strips (chicken strips), torpedo missiles (corn dogs), smoothie shooters, battlechips (Fritos and Ruffles), Special Forces Fruit, and bullets (baby carrots). To drink, the boys were given "water rations" and a "walkie talkie" juice box.
My son's favorite part was of course the dessert table! After singing, "Happy Birthday" to Davis, all of the boys treated themselves to Air Raids (Air Heads), Explosives (Pop Rocks), Soldiers (Gummy Soldiers), Rescue Ropes (Red Vines), Blow-Ups (gumball tubes standing at attention), and Bombs (cake pops with a detonator on the top.) In line with the silhouettes used throughout the party, the plastic soldiers "at battle" with one another adorned the cupcakes.
At the end of the party, the boys were "honorably discharged" and sent home with a goodie bag containing a paratrooper, a set of plastic army men, Warheads candy, and a camouflage pencil for school that had just started.
Looking back, this turned out to be one of the most fun-filled age-appropriate pool parties for a 6-year old boy and I truly gave my son his sought-after "army man" party. God Bless the United States Marine Corps! OOHRAH!