When J was turning 4, he aspired to be a Soldier. It might have been influenced the movie that he had seen on TV ‘From Ah Boys to Man’. It was of little surprise that he wanted his party theme to be on The Army this year turning 5. We brainstormed over what games they could play and I was impressed that the boys came up with the idea of a live size shooting target man and several other ideas by themselves. We then discussed on the feasibility of their ideas and finally implemented the below. As it was going to be an Outdoor BBQ Event at a friend’s Condominium, we had the privilege of space to be creative for our games.
1) Life Size Hand Painted Soldier Target
We observed the Army Uniform. They then drew the design of the Uniform using the appropriate colours to outline and for an easy painting process. Each child had one colour to focus on and they did this in a short time as they could easily identify the brown, light green and dark green outlined patches.
J did the finishing touches of the black background, his name and his age.
2) DIY Rocket Launcher
This was inspired by Frugal Fun For Boys. I could not find decent green plastic cups that was durable for this project. So I did my inventory search and tested on the humble toilet paper rolls and it’s kin, the Kitchen Towel Rolls. It worked well! I used Duct Tapes to hide the cardboard texture and make them more durable. There were just nice about 10 TP Rolls and 3 KT Rolls. I cut the KT Rolls (Green part) into smaller sections to be launched as a projectiles. These were made for the younger children aged 4 years and below. These were much easier to manage compared to the hardier ones below.
3) DIY Grenade Launchers
I was reluctant to buy new materials to make the catapults that I originally wanted to do as toy gifts for the goody bags as it would mean wasting more resources of ice cream sticks. Therefore, after being inspired by Frugal Fun for Boys, the Duct Tape Rolls caught my attention and fired up my catapult imagination! They were hardy enough as launchers and I just needed a suitable projectile to launch! We had tested with some marker caps, but they were inaccurate and too hard (dangerous too) as bullets. It was then I tried out the Yakult bottles, which was light and just the right size and shape for this purpose! The rest is history. : )
We hand painted the used Duct Tape Rolls and I put them on the egg tray to dry. Using similar analogy from the Rocket Launch, I cut the Roll and bend them to secure the rubber bands. The duct tapes were added to strengthen the joints and prevent fraying. J drew designs on his ‘grenade’ which was wrapped in Silver Duct Tape. This is how we launch the grenade! Pull and release to shoot!
4) Repainting and Recycling the CardBoard Cars to convert into a Tank.
My sister had passed to us these cardboard cars that her teachers had made for their school’s games carnival. She felt it was a pity to discard them after that. The kids had played with them for a while and I decided they could be retouched and would be an added asset to our Army Party! We then set out to work, painting those 3 cars with Muddy Tank Colour.
Ok, this is one of the perks of large scale painting for them….. That’s why I love cardboards, which I also placed a transparent mat below the board so that they don’t stain the floor. I simply fold the cardboard and reuse another time till it expires. As for the marks on the door, I made sure the kids clean them with soap. Tempura paint is easy to clean off.
Lastly, the goody bags were hand made as well. Simply because I had tried searching for the appropriate sized brown paper bags but couldn’t find them. Therefore we made them with the ‘char Kway teow’ hawker brown papers. Seriously, I think we can only use them and still get away with the look since this is the Army we’re talking about right? : P
Throughout these 2 weeks of planning and preparing for the Army Party, there were days when we just didn’t want to do any work and days we managed to cover a lot. Days when all were grumpy over the projects and grumbling overtook. Those were the times I had to loosen up and let go to allow them space for their own free play. Nontheless, we enjoyed the whole process and count it worth the effort working through them as a team. This was the Yeow’s family affair, not just J’s. : )
Now click on for our actual Army Party Party which took place last night! We were all flat out after the party but filled with happy hearts!
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