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Monday, November 21, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba Pool Party

Thinking about Yo Gabba Gabba being on tour made me want share one of my daughter's past birthday parties. She's a big Gabba friend, so for the big 2 we planned a Gabba "Pool Party". If you've seen the "Summer" episode you know what it means, if not here:

As my daughter being a big fan that she is we already had the soundtrack ready to go. Ipod playlist & little player, check!, Even a "Happy Birthday" from The Ting Tings, but the party stuff was another thing. So hopefully my searching and making helps you have a easier process. 

The biggest thing I can first recommend to you is check out  Gabba Friends! It's a awesome resource for all us mom's trying to make a theme out of not many store items. They were a HUGE help in offering clip art for invites. They even have how to do Gabba Character wrapping paper. I wish I had a image cause I made a Muno bag out of a red target gift bag. It was so easy & awesome (just think eye & mouth, just black & white construction paper an a glue stick). They even offer how to's for Invitations. This is what I came up with using their clip-art link an a little Photoshop: 

I drew my pool & tried to hide Riley's sizing info under the pool just in case some people wanted it was there. I tried to take the lyrics & tie that in with a simple fun invite. Paired it with a nice bright yellow envelope & a YGG sticker to seal. 

The cool thing about YGG is they have basic bright colors to work with as a base. If you are like me, it was way cheaper and easier to buy the right paper plates without blowing budget. I don't really care for the one time use, perfectly matched picture deal items. I hate being stuck with leftovers that look more like money reminders then party fun, like these: YGG 1st Wish Birthday Deluxe Set. It's great don't get me wrong, but for the $, not my thing. So seek out the colors that match the characters save yourself some bucks. 

Now to think how to occupy those little ones. Besides the obvious summer stuff, of the water table, bubbles & pool. I wanted something extra. I was soooo happy I did cause this was the one year it happened to be freezing! So the indoor ideas were very handy. We had a little craft time of making Foam Visors. I found them super cheap at and keep my eye out for sells on foam stickers. Glitter, non, letters, numbers, shapes, a fun mix goes a long way. No matter the age stickers are easy and not really a clean up issue. I bought a pack of plastic glad like tubs from a dollar store and made it so there was enough of a mix so kids wouldn't fight an stickers wouldn't be all over. It was very easy to close the lids & hide when all done.

We posted Yo Gabba Gabba Safety Zone Signs (free Nick Jr Print) every where so kids knew where they could go. Had a big happy Green - Safe Zone sign on the door to the set up a play room. In it we had all of Riley's toys & YGG dvd's playing on a tv. Best thing for the little ones was her Yo Gabba Gabba Dance Mat. I actually drew inspiration from that for the inside top of our Super Music Friend Show Player.

I wish I had a picture for you, but let me tell you about how we made this. I found a huge box outside a appliance store. It was a dish washer box, I believe. It was awesomely huge! Well once the process of getting it home was figured out I took a pencil & the best picture I could find of the thing & started to map it out. A ruler & some painters tape will be your best friend so the openings are as close to center an straight as possible. Then my wonderful husband went at it with a box cutter, removing the rectangle in front openings on the sides. I removed the extras first so not to waste extra paint, but it's up to you. Red paint to the whole thing...minus the painters tapped off white frame area around the front opening. Inside, top, sides...everything LOTS of red paint. Next I got to work on the inside backdrop collage. I pieced together a couple of poster boards. Then started a hunt through old magazines for the most colorful & most musical images. Sometimes I got lucky and found a actual Gabba images. Then I hopped on my computer & got to printing. Nick Jr has coloring pages & lots of printables, like the YGG Puppet Theater. I used all images along with the magazine's to cover ever single inch of the poster board. I chose not to color the characters but glue them to their color of construction paper & cut around. Like Brobee was green, Muno red...etc.

The button in the front was much like the silloutettes from the Nightmare Before Christmas blog. Painters tapped a big white sheet of paper to my computer monitor & pulled up a image of it. I used the image above & increased the size as large as possible to easily trace on my 12x12 paper. Trace image outlines lightly with pencil. I made sure to code each section with what color to paint it. Use your nice smaller paint brushes for this part, those lines are so precise for the effect. In the meantime of that drying I found a flat piece of styrofoam and cut to the size of the buttons. Find your strong white glue and secure it to the front, allow plenty of room in between that and opening edge. When I glued the paper with the painting I did not cut my 12x12 sheet down. I did slice the comers diagonal to fold flatter around the foam, think like Christmas wrapping. I used my painters tape along with the glue to secure it flat. Time to add more red paint. If everything is ready an dry go for the white edges of opening. I used black paint & added the images in the background of the dance mat to the roof of the box to surprise the kids when they walked in. Use that great craft glue & secure your collage to the inside back wall. Much easier if the box is dry so you can lay it down on the back. I originally planned to buy Dollar Store red plastic table cover to slice it into strips and secure on inside above entry on the sides, but I got worried if my wet pool kids would get suck, so I left them open. I also chose to for go the 2 speakers you can kind of see in some images of it, just felt like it wouldn't add, but rather take away.

Kids had fun playing with little character action figures in there & posing for pictures. It became a great little play house for my daughter long after the party.

The food was easy to fit the theme, the song even tells you some sides, "HOLY GUACAMOLE! We've got chips" so I went for the BBQ, summer picnic feel. Easy & yummy. But when it came time for the cake, a lot of the things offered weren't exactly what I wanted. I mean for the price they charge I want it to be something my kid can keep & play with not some hard plastic with a sticker. So I searched around. She already had the hard plastic action figures, but I keep thinking with their weight I couldn't really guarantee them not falling over or into the cake, then finally Yo Gabba Gabba Bath Squirters! Fantastic. Light colorful & she can use them in the bath or her outside water table! I found a great music theme cake & fit it right in. It was soooo awesome!

OK, I know not all parents subscribe to the idea of goody bags, but I love them. So ebay had great deals on little stuff like Gabba Stickers & tattoos, but I found some really cheap & neat stuff of the Shindigz site. Besides the foam visors from the craft mentioned above, I found sunglasses & beach balls. So do your research and sign up with them or other party sites cause you never know what you will find or what kind of coupons they will offer. They seem to always have some deal & I was very happy to apply it to their already great prices.

Even the adults seemed to enjoy. ;)


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