Having covered the all important invitations and goody bags, we get on to talking about the all important Nerf War Party and Cake. This party has been the only party I’ve ever prepared which has caused me nightmares.
With all other parties we’ve had some distraction for the children which we’re hired in- soft play, climbing walls, and bouncy castles, we’ve had a go.
CM did have a My Little Pony Craft Party for her 6th birthday, which was easier to prepare how it would run with the number of crafts. This party was a complete unknown to me- how realistic was it to keep a party of boys entertained with Nerf guns?
In order to keep some sense of sanity and sleep, I looked to what was within my gift- food. I once again got in touch with Sweet Treats to find out whether a Nerf theme was possible. I was completely overwhelmed with the cake and cupcakes which greeted me. It was absolutely perfect for the orange and blue theme which was emerging.
Ebay was the supplier of choice for the party supplies. It was quite simple going with blue and orange everything. Colour blocking to a theme saves a bit more money than character-themed designs and in the case of Nerf Wars it was the only option possible.
The nightmare was caused by how, outside of the 30 minutes they’d be eating, I could keep the children entertained for the duration of the party. This was my nightmare- parents started walking out with bored children after 20 minutes. The best I could rustle up in response was pass-the-parcel. Which actually turned into a lifesaver.
The cost of the party was reduced significantly by using our community centre and foregoing the costs of entertainment. I decided to design the party around starting with Nerf games. In my mind, everyone would have the same gun and go around trying their skills at various games.
I started with a trip to The Entertainer for Nerf guns. I had shopped around for the best value which The Entertainer came out on top for, but in addition we received such fantastic customer service that they have become my first choice toy store.
We also brought a stash of safety glasses which Mr J uses for squash coaching, although these were as welcomed as my sons’ treat the idea of safety gear!
The boys were fortunate to receive lots of ‘ammo’ for Christmas which we put into buckets around the hall. I also stocked up on additional rounds from Ebay. My home is now drowning in blue and orange sponge bullets.
For the start of the party we arranged games around the hall perimeter:
Truth be told, the party started and ended with a Nerf war.
Whilst the targets were useful for time out, from the minute they arrived it was just a case of a Nerf War.
The pass-the-parcel ended up being used as a technique to calm them down to sit at the food table. And even then we barely managed to keep them seated for ten minutes (the control freak had allowed 30 minutes).
The flaw in my plan was in not hiding well enough the plans for after food.
In my head, the party would be Nerf Games- all using the same guns. Food. And a Nerf War, using the boys array of Nerf guns.
I hadn’t anticipated on the excited of knowing the guns would be upgraded after food.
For the first time ever, I was offering goody bags out rather than people queuing to leave.
I completely underestimated the enjoyment of a Nerf War.
Yes, there were a ridiculous amount of tears. Yes, children were worn out, hot and sweaty.
But, yes. I would recommend a Nerf War Party to any parent. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had got something right.