I love going all out for kid’s birthday parties — maybe it’s because it’s a chance to be a kid again, but I suspect it’s mostly because kids appreciate it so much. But sometimes party planning for kids can go too far, and you end up being stressed out for an hour and a half of kiddie fun. Or you end up at one of those impersonal birthday party factories, which certainly make it easy on the parents, but can cost a fortune.
What kid doesn’t love Mario Brothers? I’m sure there are kids out there that don’t, but they’re certainly not one of mine. When I was planning my son’s party, I wanted to incorporate old-fashioned games with the techie theme (he was turning seven, and we do try to limit screen time) so I decided to play pin the moustache on the Mario.
Except that I couldn’t find a ready made game, so I had to make my own. WARNING: I am not the craftiest of people, so drawing a mustacheless Mario is beyond my abilities. Then I figured out that all I needed to make my own was an inexpensive poster (I bought this one for less than $2), plastic wrap (yes, the kind you already have in your kitchen), printer paper and a black sharpie, so I made one in less than 30 minutes. While I watched TV. Multitasking!
Did anyone care that the Mario in the poster had a mustache already? Of course not! I told them that the one who got it closest to his nose, won. The kids had a blast, and my son still has the poster hanging in the playroom.
Here are the super complicated instructions on how to make your own. Of course, the plastic wrap trick will work with any poster — not just Mario. Use your imagination, and have fun!
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The secret: A custom stencil 1 of 5First, you need a stencil for a custom fit mustache. I went crazy looking for a mustache that would fit just so, and then I realized all I needed was plastic wrap and a sharpie -- really!
Step 1: Trace your mustache 2 of 5I placed the plastic wrap over Mario's face, carefully traced his mustache with the sharpie and ta-da! Instant stencil. Here I moved the plastic wrap so you can see what I did. So easy, right?
Step 3: Transfer to plain white paper 3 of 5Next, I traced the mustache from the stencil onto plain white paper. I got mine from my printer. I managed to fit six mustaches on a sheet, and then I filled them in with the Sharpie. Easy peasy.
Step 3: Master sheet 4 of 5Once I filled in all the mustaches I was tired, but I still needed 12 more, so I just made two black and white photocopies of the colored in mustaches.
Let the games begin! 5 of 5All that left to do is put up your poster, cut out the mustaches and back them with some masking tape, blindfold your players and let the fun begin! When the party's done, your poster can be hung in your kid's bedroom or play room.