We have a newly minted 12-year-old.
With Big Kid's birthday falling on Memorial Day, we knew that many families would be traveling for the holiday weekend. Since he and many of his friends graduated from elementary school last week we decided to do a big birthday/end of elementary school party, thinking that this will probably be the last traditional kid-and-cake party for him.
After much brainstorming, we decided on a paintball party. The last day of school was a half day so that afternoon 19 boys gathered at Phoenix Paintball for three hours of combat. But first, the deets.
Paintball parties aren't cheap so I looked to cut costs whenever possible. I found the Free Invite online for free and asked my design guru (aka as the newspaper's copy editor) customize it.
Paintball party motifs are few and far between, so we decided on camo (Party City). The party favors were a conundrum. What do you give a seventh grader guest? I thought that we would not go wrong with candy. Boxes of Skittles (Dollar Tree, where I also found the napkins) look like paintballs, right?
Not really. The paintballs actually looked like Lemonheads.
As for food, we brought water bottles, Gatorade, mini chip bags and of course, it's not a Skelley party without cookie cake. One thing we learned -- boys like Gatorade. The Engineer had to run to the grocery store half way thru the party and replenish.
Because it was the end of school and we were transporting half of the guests, I added a little decoration to our cars.
No serious injuries were incurred except for the birthday boy who took a paintball to the gut at close range. That wasn't pretty but after it stopped hurting, he wanted to show it off. All of the boys liked sharing their "war wounds."
The paintball party was a big success and the guests had a blast (pun intended). If you are looking for party ideas for boys age 10 and up, this was definitely a memorable party and honestly, one of the easiest ones we have ever hosted. And if you are in North Alabama, Phoenix Paintball was great to work with -- definitely recommend.
As for his actual birthday it started out, as is tradition, with his favorite chocolate donuts. In the morning his Aunt Dana took him and Little to the pool while I finished up my work for the day (thanks, Aunt Dana!). Then we were off to play put put. In 90 degree weather. That was an adventure.
Her ball was right on the edge and she was attempting to blow it in.
The put put complex is the same place that we held Little's Birthday Softball Soiree and also has batting cages. As it is baseball tournament time, Big worked on his batting.
Big chose Smashburger for dinner which I was definitely okay with (as he has chosen Dairy Queen for birthdays past). These two on the right are virtually inseparable.
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Snapshot of Big Kid at age 12: I am not one to rhapsodize about my boy, as I am his mom and of course I think he is awesome. But I do want to record how much he has changed in the last year. He has matured so much. While he still struggles with his temper, he controls it much quicker than he used to. He is a happy, jovial boy with a funny sense of humor and a gregarious nature. Big is intensely competitive and probably will always be. We have to continue to help him channel that in a positive way. He is a natural athlete and an impressive shortstop, but so hard on himself when he misses a play. He is liked by (most of) his teachers -- he is a bit of a jokester -- his coaches and his youth leaders. I hope that he is always respectful (and that I hear about it if he is not). He's a smart cookie. Sometimes I worry that school has come too easy for him and when that is no longer the case, he will struggle with good study habits. Well this year, he completely bombed a science test but spent the rest of the grade period busting his butt to bring his average back up. And he did, I was very proud of him. He's a good egg and I love him.
Happy birthday, CDS.