Finn, always our little scientist and fact explorer, has lately become increasingly fascinated with fiction. Instead of just grabbing one of his books about the solar system or the ocean’s midnight zone, these days he’s perhaps more likely to grab a book about WALL-E. Since I wasn’t interested in throwing a Disney character party (or so I thought), we decided to plan a robot party for his 5th birthday. Appropriately, we first collected lots and lots of trash (you’ll get that if you’ve seen the movie). We recycled toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, oatmeal containers, egg cartons, caps, and even cans, and put them together in fun ways to make cool retro-robots.
Finn, of course, made his own WALL-E:
And I made a few others of various sizes, including this handsome couple with arms made out of slinkies,…
…this can-head guy,…
… and a basic robot box to hold the “goody bags” filled with robot pencils, erasers, crayons, pads, and stickers:
But the robot that was the most fun during the actual party was the largest one: Keith constructed a photo-op out of spray-painted cardboard and dryer vent tubing. We put it in front of a polka-dotted back-drop and placed a stool behind it so that kids of different sizes could get their heads inside the robot helmet:
A birthday banner banner that hung inside was a group effort, started by some of my wonderful students who were so generous with their time after school, and finished by the rest of us at home the day before the event. It was adorable but fell down before the end of the party:
We also had robot napkin holders,
…various sandwich and cheese cubes supposedly compacted by WALL-E,
…and thanks to my sister Sunshine, the master-knife-wielder, a delicious fruit-bot (which I forgot to get a nice photograph of beforehand):
…and a WALL-E bounce house that kids jumped in and out of for hours in between swimming in the pool and swinging on the playground:
Then it was time for the REAL show: the unbelievable cake that my sister Ilianna and her architect husband designed and made for Finn. I didn’t think that ANYTHING could top the solar-cake-system they made last year, but I had to fight back tears when I saw them walk in and assemble this two-and-a-half foot robot, complete with plexiglass eyes, treads, (cake-)dirt, and even clay shoe with a teeny plant in it. Finn was truly overjoyed:
Although most of the guests left at what would be considered the “normal” time, those closest to us stayed until after nightfall, eating leftover “nuts and bolts” (pretzel and cereal mix) and eventually a dinner that we threw together in impromptu fashion. Then we goofed around some more, dancing the “robot” until the clock struck about 9:30. The party was so fun, it was better than fiction.