This past weekend my 11 year old son had a LEGO® birthday party. It was somewhat frustrating to not be able to find LEGO® themed items, so I thought I’d share step-by-step what we did to throw the party. (Disclaimer: I do not pretend to know everything there is to know about LEGO®….because there is too much to know! I just know that when I was little my brother was obsessed with LEGO® and now my boys are.)
First, I started off by Googling LEGO® birthday party. It is a great way to cut to the chase and get tried and true ideas related to your party theme. Then I took the best of the best and added in our own ideas to tailor it to my son’s age and personality.
We started off with the invitation 2 weeks out before the party. Now let me just say that we have a set precedence that it cannot be just a plain store bought invitation. Since it was a LEGO® party and has everything to do with building, why not use LEGO® bricks for the invitation? My son at first shot down the idea until I explain how I thought we could do it.
We have acquired a ton of bricks. (I read in the LEGO® facts that they are not called Lego’s or Legos, instead the proper way to refer to LEGO® in the plural sense is LEGO® bricks or LEGO® pieces.) My son built 8 invitations that were each unique. They were 4 inch by 5 inch LEGO® brick walls using approximately 16 bricks (He used varying sizes and colors… 2×2, 2×1, 2×4, and 2×6 bricks.) We wrote the invitation details (what, where, when, etc. ) on one side of it and on the other side we numbered each LEGO® brick from 1-16 with a Sharpie fine point permanent marker. Next we placed the LEGO® brick wall on the copier machine with the number side face down and made a copy of each one, so there would be a building diagram for each invitation. Then we broke apart the LEGO® brick invitation and put it in a fun cellophane party bag and put the building diagram in with it. On the outside of the bag we included a printed label with my son’s photo holding a LEGO® creation along with the guest’s name and these instructions “Build you Lego party invitation using the diagram enclosed. Have fun building! –Brett” Each invitation was hand delivered.
Once the LEGO® invitations were delivered, we tried looking for LEGO® paper supplies, decorations and cakes at all the local stores and found nothing! I could not believe it. As popular as LEGO® sets are?! Even online the only paper products are LegoVille which is very juvenile or Bionicle. When I asked a Walmart for a LEGO® cake, they looked at me like I was crazy and said they had never been asked to make a LEGO® themed cake. I could not believe that they had never been asked to make one and did not have any LEGO® cakes in their books! What dimension are they living in? Am I the crazy one? I thought all kids were into LEGO®…boys …..girls. I know all of my boys’ friends ages 4 to 12 are LEGO® crazy. Why do the people who work at Walmart bakery not know about this?
Dumbfounded with the reaction at the Walmart bakery and their lack of creativity to work with me on creating a first time LEGO® cake, I marched over to Target. There I found a cake book that once again had no LEGO® cake! I began discussing the idea of a LEGO® cake with the nice cake decorator behind the counter. She was very creative and said she could work with me to come up with something. I explained to her that my son could make a LEGO® creation to go on the cake. (Again, we have set a precedent by not having a normal everyday birthday cake at my son’s previous birthdays. It has to be out of the ordinary.) She said she could do some primary color LEGO® bricks around the outside edges of the cake. Then we discussed how I could put the LEGO® creation on the cake without it sinking into the cake. She volunteered to put a white cake board in the middle of the sheet cake to sit the LEGO® creation on and ice around the edges of it. Yes! That was the perfect solution. Then we added Happy Birthday Brett written at the bottom of the cake just below the cake board and we had the perfect cake!
Now, what to have as goodies for the guests? I did stumble upon the small LEGO® Racers that McDonald’s had in the Happy Meals. I quickly marched to the counter and ordered 10 of them. Then I checked at all the local stores and found nothing…I was looking for some small LEGO® sets on sale, and LEGO® brick candy that I’d seen before and anything remotely LEGO® connected. I decided to stop looking around locally and go to “LEGOtopia”—the LEGO® Store. I figured I’d spend more money than I planned, but at least I would not be wasting time running from store to store with nothing to show for it.
The LEGO® Store always has small sale bins up front next to the cash register and today they had a bin of LEGO® mini figure Star Wars key chains on sale for $1! My son picked out 10 of them. I also found a set of LEGO® storage containers on sale for $7 that would be nice to use on the party tables filled with LEGO® bricks. Then I asked the sales clerk if they had anything else on sale. To my surprise the full size LEGO® Racers were on sale! They were $15 marked down to $3.50. The sales clerk had to go in the back stock room and get them, but they had exactly 10 of them. What a find! My son also talked me into getting a 650 piece basic LEGO® brick set for $29, so that the kids would have plenty of basic building bricks for the party activities.
Yeah! The candy store at Stonebriar Mall had the LEGO® brick candy. I started to scoop out 10 scoops into a plastic bag and it began to get real heavy. As I approached the checkout counter I asked, “How much per pound?” I did not really want to hear the answer….it was $9.60/lb.!!! After reluctantly shelling out twenty-six dollars, we were well on our way to completing our goodie bags for the party.
Before the day of the party, I took one last look at Target to see if I could find one or two special prizes I wanted to award at the party. Yes! They had the Easter stuff out and in that I found some small LEGO® Star Wars vehicle sets in a plastic bag for $3.00.
The day of the party we decorated the front door with a photo of a cake made out of LEGO® bricks (found on under the gallery/blank invite heading) and personalized with “Welcome to the Party! Prepare for LEGO® wars! Happy 11th Birthday Brett!
The entryway was decorated with a 15’ Happy Birthday Brett banner made from a roll of white butcher paper and markers, with handmade LEGO® 2×4 paper bricks strung up on curly ribbon. (Heavy stock color paper was cut to 2.5” x 8” and I used the inside circle of a roll of tape to trace the circles.) The dining room was decorated in primary colors – blue tablecloth, yellow plates, red napkins. We used my son’s LEGO® creations as center pieces on the main dining room table, the side tables, the mantle (for the ones that took many hours to build and we did not want them played with!), the book cases, and the kitchen table. (He has a lot of LEGO® sets he has built as well as his own designs.) I printed out a bunch of photos I had of my son at LEGO®land, his LEGO® creations, and some cool LEGO® creations I found online (like a LEGO® tiered cake made of real LEGO® bricks, largest LEGO® tower, LEGO® bricks used to repair a wall, etc. Just Google Lego and click on search images.) The photos were glued onto heavy stock colored paper and were hung from the lights over the dining table and kitchen table. LEGO® building instruction booklets were placed on the kitchen table and they were covered with a clear see-through tablecloth. Then we collected all of the LEGO® mini-figures with their helmets, guns, or other accessories and placed them on LEGO® building plates to complete the center pieces of the tables.
For the LEGO® goodie bags, we found red bags on sale at Walmart for half price. (They were considered Valentine’s Day markdowns since they were red!) We used a black Sharpie to add circles on the front and back of the bag to make them look like LEGO® bricks. Then we added a sticky label that had the LEGO® logo on it and the guest’s name in LEGO® font. The bags were set out on the entry way table, so that each guest could added their goodies to it as they won prizes.
We set up a race track in the den by purchasing a 4’ x 8’ white board at Lowe’s for $11. The track had black and white checker paper found at Hobby Lobby taped across the bottom for the finish line and Hot Wheels track taped to the sides as a railing to keep the racers from falling off the sides. In front of the race track on the floor, we taped primary colored sheets of paper so each guest would have their own building station. And we placed a ziplock bag of LEGO® bricks on each building station.
As the guests arrived, they were asked to write down their guess as to the number of LEGO® bricks in the big LEGO® storage container. (I counted them ahead of time—there were 238!) Then they were asked to pick a building station and start building a space ship. We allowed about 20 minutes for everyone to arrive and complete their building project. Once the time was up, we took photos of each guest with their creation and gave out awards (such as Most Fascinating, Most Pieces Used, Most Innovative, Best Overall, etc. ) along with the prize of LEGO® brick candy in cellophane bags. We had all the guests put their LEGO® bricks back into their ziplock bag and trade bags with another guest. They were then asked to build a boat within 5 minutes. Once they completed their boats, we took their photo with their creation and tested each boat to see which ones floated and which ones did not. Then each boat was judged and given and award with a ring pop prize.
After the LEGO® building was over, the party moved outside where three cinder blocks supported a 9 foot long 2”x4” plank about 8” off the ground with a Nerf Axe at each end. (Yes! There are now Nerf Axes…as if the Nerf gun collection was not bad enough! This is part of the party that’s tailored to my son’s personality.) Two guests at a time battled with the Nerf Axes to knock the other one off balance off the wooden beam to win a LEGO® Mini Racer. The rules were to only hit the other person’s axe. I was a little worried about this game, but thank goodness everyone stuck to the rules and they got knocked off balance pretty quickly. (An alternative to this game is to have them use balloon swords.)
The pizza arrived, so we stopped and ate pizza and had cake. My son’s LEGO® creation fit perfectly on the cake and I found extra long candles so that the flames do not set the creation on fire. We also announced the winners of the “Guess How Many LEGO® bricks” in the storage container game. Two boys guessed really close to the 238 pieces, so I gave them each a small LEGO®Star Wars vehicle set that I found at Target.
Then we moved back outside for a water balloon war. Each guest got their own bin with 15 water balloons in it. We had LEGO® targets setup at varying distances that were worth from 50 to 300 points. (I used the plastic LEGO® bag and cut out the LEGO® logo and bricks and glued them to foam core boards which were stood up by wood glued to the bottom. I also used white bins with paper LEGO® bricks of different colors taped to them. ) Each guest went one at a time and threw their balloons. First, they only threw 4 balloons, then 5 balloons, then it was kind of a free for all….you can only hold back 11 year old boys so long! The boys with the highest points got to pick from a prize box.
The last game outside was a silly string fight which I know has nothing to do with the LEGO® theme, but it was fun for the boys to run around and blow off some energy before going back inside. Once we were back indoors, we had the kids each sit at a building station and build their Mini LEGO® Racers. Then they raced them down the race track. And for the next 15 minutes each kid added whatever LEGO® pieces they wanted to out of our LEGO® bins to see if they could make their car race faster. We knew this raceway game would be a winner because it is straight from what they do at LEGO®land in their creative building areas.
For the next game, we divided the kids into 2 teams. Each team had each person go to the LEGO® bin and try to carry back to their team as many LEGO® pieces as they could carry. Then they had 3 minutes to build the tallest tower they could. The team with the tallest tower that stood without falling over won and got to pick a prize from the prize box.
For the last game, each guest got to stand up and pick out 3 LEGO® pieces of their choice and try to drop them into a glass jar with a small opening. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Some kids got two pieces in, but nobody got all three in.
Next, the birthday boy opened his presents. Then the grand finale was a LEGO® Scavenger Hunt which took them from room to room with 10 clues until they found their Lego Star Wars key chains and Lego Racer Sets packed away in decorative suitcases in the den.
My son and his friends had a great time. I think their favorite parts were the LEGO® building and the scavenger hunt. Good luck on your LEGO® party!
Great LEGO finds on Amazon:
Interesting LEGO Sites:
- Images of using LEGO® bricks to repair walls.
- LEGO® Star Wars Armor Case for Nintendo DS
- LEGO® brick construction t-shirt that is marked down to $9.99! (I found this after the party or my son would have been wearing it at the party!)
- LEGO® Gadgets
- And finally, everything you always wanted
to know about LEGO®