It is the second Monday of the month which means it is time for the monthly Pinterest Flips & Flops, a chance to report on my latest triumphs and tragedies from my Pinterest boards.
Here's how it works...I pick a Martha Stewart-esque pin that has been collecting dust on my Pinterest boards, follow the directions to the best of my ability, and report on whether it is a "YOU MUST TRY THIS" success or only a "LOOKS GOOD IN THE PICTURE ONLY" failure.
It just so happens that in honor of Sweetie Pea's birthday this month, I was able to dust off several pins all at once.
We've always been Olympic enthusiasts. Every two years has the entire family all parked on the sofa cheering on our favorite athletes from around the world.
It was not surprising that when she found out that the 2014 Sochi Games would begin on the week of her birthday, my Sweetie Pea requested an Olympic theme to her upcoming birthday bash.
With a little creative brainstorming and the help of a couple of pins, I put together an afternoon of Kid-Friendly Olympic fun.
Torch Cupcakes (Semi-flip)
These ice cream cone cupcakes from Betty Crocker were the inspiration for these edible Olympic torches. I used sugar cones and The Best Ever Chocolate Cake batter. By filling a decorator's piping bag with layers of red, yellow, and orange frosting and by using a star tip, I was able to create a "flame" look.
I award these cupcakes a "semi-flip", but only because of MY baking error. Unlike regular ice cream cones, sugar cones do not fit over the top of muffin tins which is required in the recipe. I ended up cutting the tops off of the cones so that their diameter would be the right size. As you can see from the picture, my cuts were not perfectly straight causing some of the cupcake batter to drip over the side.
National Flags & Playdough Stands (Flop)
At the beginning of the party, I encouraged the girls to create national flags that I had preassembled by gluing white paper around left-over BBQ skewers. I provided a book of flags that they could look at and recreate REAL national flags or use them for inspiration to create one-of-a-kind originals.
They each picked names for their fictitious countries and then stuck their flags into some homemade playdough to keep them upright. I have a wonderful playdough recipe that I've used for years, but since I was out of the required cream of tartar, I thought it was the perfect time to try out this tartar-less recipe I had pinned earlier.
There is a reason almost all playdough recipes require cream of tartar. This recipe proved it. It was very crumbly and lacked pliability.
Naturally, I played the Olympic theme song during the torch presentations.
Chocolate Olympic Medals
When brainstorming how I could make a mock medal, I knew I did not want them to be made from paper and I knew I wanted them to be a prize worth winning. I saw these chocolate coin medals and was inspired. I did not like the fact that all the chocolate coins were covered in gold paper and determined to come up with a plan to illustrate all three of the traditional olympic standings...gold, silver, and bronze.
I found Valentine's Edition Rolo candies that had gold, red, and pink wrappers around them. By turning the pink wrappers inside out, I created silver. I hot-glued wrapping paper ribbon to the back of each to create a wearable medal that would reflect first, second, and third place standings.
Ice Stone "Curling"
For our at-home version of curling, I froze a small amount of water at the bottom of a plastic cup to create an ice "stone". The girls stood at one end of our kitchen table, launched the frozen stone across it towards a hockey puck. The girl who got her stone closest to the hockey puck without touching it OR pushing her ice puck off the table won.
(I realize that this is a very LOOSE rendition of actual curling, but it certainly sparked an interest in some of the girls to learn how it's really played.)
Paper Speed "Skating"
With stop watch app in hand, I timed the girls as they each raced...one by one...across my wood floor. They had to go from one end of the house to the other while slipping and sliding on paper "skates". The only rule: Players' feet could never leave the paper.
I recorded each of the finishing times and awarded the chocolate medals to the girls with the three fastest times.
The luge was a team event. I divided the girls into teams of two and handed each girl a pool noodle that was cut in half lengthwise. Each team had to start at one end of the house. Player A from the first team held her pool noodle so that the inside furrow was facing up. I dropped a marble into the furrow at one end of her tube and watched as she tipped the tube downward causing the marble to fall to the opposite side. Player B rushed to Player A's side to grab the falling marble with her tube and then tilted her tube downward. Player A rushed to the other side of Player B to catch the marble. This processes continued until the team made it all the way across the room. The girls quickly learned to move their tubes up and down with perfect rhythm so that the marble would not drop to the floor.
This ended up being a great addition to the party because at this point there were two girls who had yet to earn any medals. Since there were only three teams for the louge, every team earned a first, second, or third ranking...awarding everyone a medal.
This pin for Balloon Hockey made for the perfect ending to the game portion of the party. Since we were confined to my small living room, I planned a one-on-one elimination-style tournament. I borrowed some kids'-sized broom ball sticks and used upturned laundry baskets for goals. The random movements of an air-filled balloon created several nail-biting showdowns. The first girl to make one goal in the other girl's net won that round. The losing girl was bumped out of medal possibilities.
We played three rounds. The winning girls from each of those rounds competed against each other to determine the first, second, and third place rankings.
In addition to the national flag that she had created, each girl was sent home with a a sports bottle (in one of the Olympic ring colors) filled with a sport headband, a zipper bracelet, and some candy.