Fifth Birthday Party: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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It’s official: I have a five year old and he loves all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Following his lead, I made the party this year all about the lean green ninja team. Compared to past parties, this one was a cinch to decorate for because “TMNT” party decor is easy to come by.

Set the tone right away with the invitations. Using green cardstock as the base, I glued on strips of additional cardstock in the colors of the four Turtle masks (red, orange, blue, and purple). Add large wiggle eyes for the finishing touch!

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The reverse of the card had all the deets for the day in a Ninja Turtle font.

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Next up: New outfits for the ninja clan here at home!

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The birthday boy got a custom shirt (Etsy) with the turtles on the front and his name and age on the back. Mama wore shades of turtle green (Universal Thread) and baby sister had a custom TMNT tutu (Etsy). She stole the show a little bit in that one!

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For decorations, I purchased a TMNT wall banner and birthday sign to adorn the room, as well as balloons (some in plain green and some with an image of the Turtles).

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A slime-green tablecloth was the perfect base for TMNT plates, cups, napkins, and a bucket filled with green plasticware (all Party City).

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Food was equally easy, because what do all Ninja Turtles like to eat? Pepperoni pizza of course!

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We ordered both regular and vegan pizza from a nearby restaurant, which had all the guests delighted. Keep up the green theme with easy sides like sliced green cukes and cubed honeydew melon.

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To drink, I printed these clever Ninja Turtle mask labels to affix to Gatorade bottles.

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The only problem? I couldn’t find green Gatorade anywhere! A little science helped me find the perfect solution: add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the blue Gatorade, and you have the perfect turtle green shade.

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Meanwhile, grown-ups had a special treat of their own: bottled green beer in an ice bucket labeled “Mutagen” (which anyone who has seen the Nickelodeon cartoon will understand).

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For dessert, we served Turtle cookies! These were ridiculously easy to make but made a big splash with grown-ups and kids alike. I made sugar cookies from a mix (vegan, gluten-free) and topped them with frosting (Wholesome Sweeteners) tinted green with a little all-natural food coloring.

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To make the masks, cut Airheads in the Turtle colors (red, orange, purple, or blue) to size with a pizza cutter.

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Place in the center of each cookie and add two mini chocolate chips as eyes, using just a dab of frosting for the “glue”.

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Now it was time for activities! We started with a round of “Pass the Present.” As the TNMT theme-music played, the kids passed a wrapped present around the circle. Whoever held the present when the music stopped was the winner! We gifted Ninja Turtle coloring books and a Ninja Turtle water bottle. As the game wrapped up, there was some commotion by the door…

…Rafael had arrived!

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The kids were amazed and we had an hour of superb entertainment from the actor, who demonstrated martial arts moves, wrestled with the kids, played hide and seek, and joined in a dance party. He stayed to pose for pictures before making an exit.

As the final flourish, have a pinata! You can make a Ninja Turtle pinata easily from a big balloon covered in green crepe paper. This would have been my recommendation, but my husband went all out with a huge pink pinata meant to look like the enemy (Krang) from the Nickelodeon cartoon. The kids had a blast battling Krang to the finish!

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Send your little Turtles home with treats in a slime-green bag (of course). Ours included: mini skateboards for riding those sewers; green candy (jelly beans and dum dums); a TNMT sticker; and turtle slime.

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Cowabunga dude!

Baby Squats and Mama Bench Presses

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Veronika is just about at that age when babies start pulling up. To encourage the motion, today she did her squats!

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Hold your baby on your lap, with his or her feet firmly on your thighs. As many times as he or she will tolerate, let them push up to stand and then squat back down.

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The first few times we played the game, she would hang her feet in the air, uncertain what to do.

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Then she started to get the hang of using those leg muscles. Veronika didn’t know she was getting exercise, she just loved the up and down motion.

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When she put her weight on her feet, I encouraged her with a big grin and a “Soooo big!”

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After baby gets some exercise, why not reverse things and fit in a few quick moves of your own? Because she can support her upper body completely now, it was time for some Veronika bench presses. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and hold your baby on your tummy, then lift high into the air. A work out for mama and an airplane ride for baby!

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Or why not flip over and do push ups? For this one, I lay Veronika on her back and assumed push up position over her.

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We nuzzle noses and say I love you each time I press down and then she giggles as I push back up again.

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Note: All photo credits in this post go to big brother Travis!

Noodle N

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Travis traced the letter N today and enjoyed the two challenges I presented him with after to make 3-D models.

For the first, I gave him three new pencils. Could he figure out how to position the three to form upper case N?

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He had to work closely from a picture to see how it was done, but soon had the first two pencils positioned correctly.

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Hmm, should that final pencil be straight up and down, or at an angle? Tada!

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Our lower case n made him giggle. Ahead of time, I had cooked a few pieces of spaghetti. I gave him a cooked piece and an uncooked piece. The hard noodle became the straight line of n.

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He wiggled around the cooked noodle to form the rest of the letter. Then impishly gobbled it up!