Cowabunga! It’s time for “heroes in a half shell” fun! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) are a popular crime fighting team that kids love to play with and watch on TV and in the movies. They’re also a great action party theme for your birthday child and his fellow turtle-mates!
For your party invitation, use a regular sheet of copy paper to create a stencil of your child’s favorite ninja. Spray paint the stencil over a sheet of white paper with red Krylon paint. Use black paint to write, “Deep in the forest _____ (birthday child’s name) held a secret meeting and decided to train his own ninjas. He has sent messages to only a select few of the most talented, stealth, and clever warriors he knows. Please join ____ for ninja training!” directly over the image.
Other festive language to use on your invitation includes:
· “Cowabunga! If you come to my pizza party, it’ll be awesome, dude!”
· “Dude, it’s time to band together to celebrate _______’s birthday!”
Place green, red, purple, blue, and orange balloons around the party entranceway and main area.
Spray paint a manhole on a piece of heavy butcher paper so that it looks like the entrance to the TMNT headquarters, and hang it on your front door.
“Decorate” the party area to look like TMNT’s sewer home:
· Scatter empty pizza boxes, rubber rats, and insects around the room.
· Hang things on the walls so that the room looks like a subway tunnel, such as poster board covered with graffiti.
· Crumple newspaper and leave it lying around.
· Place martial arts equipment around the room (but high up enough that kids can’t hurt themselves).
Place gray butcher paper on the party table as a tablecloth, and scatter crayons and markers around so the kids can draw during the party meal. Use solid-colored tableware. The kids can color on this as well.
Hang TMNT posters around the party table.
Speaking of the party table, Celebrate Express has a great selection of TMNT-themed goods.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match solid partyware with themed items. Solid-colored items are usually less expensive, so they really can stretch the party budget.
When the kids arrive at the party, have them tell you a TMNT phrase to gain admittance, like “cowabunga” or “dude!”
While you wait for everyone to arrive, have a helper apply temporary tattoos to the kids.
Make TMNT swords. Cut foam pipe insulation into three-foot-long pieces. Have the kids wrap colorful duct tape around their foam to create their swords.
Other items to provide to the kids with when they arrive to get them outfitted as Ninja Turtles include:
· Oversized green T-shirts
· Green headbands
· Cloth belts to match the Ninja Turtles:
- Leonardo – blue
- Raphael – red
- Donatello – purple
- Michelangelo – orange
Tell the kids to “turn it on, crank it up, and shell it out” to protect their city from the evil Shredder! Have them train to defeat their enemy.
- Martial arts kicks, jumps, punches, and moves
- Sword lessons (give each child a balloon, and have them move it to one end of the party room and back using their swords)
- Crawling like a turtle around the party area
- Rolling around in ooze (a green towel on the floor)
- Shouting out TMNT phrases
- “Totally awesome!”
- “I love being a turtle!”
Once the training is over, play games:
Target Practice. Divide the kids in two lines. Each person gets one turn to throw a plastic ninja star into a basket. Play until each guest has gotten three stars into the basket. The first team done wins!
Ninja Limbo. Have the kids limbo under Donatello’s bo staff (a big fighting stick). After each round, lower the bo staff and have the kids chant, “How low can you go!”
Ninja Obstacle Course. The Ninja Turtles live in the sewer and love to eat pizza! To get to the pizza restaurant, they have to wear disguises so no one recognizes them. In the main party area, set up a green nylon tunnel, provide a pile of disguises (trench coats, fedoras, and sunglasses, like the turtles wear), and tape paper pizza slices to an empty pizza box stuck to the party wall. Have each kid crawl through the sewer, put on the disguise, get a slice of pizza from the pizza box, run back to the sewer entrance, take off the disguise, and crawl back through the sewer. Repeat until everyone has gotten a slice of pizza.
Spoof your favorite party games to make them TMNT-themed. Play Pin the Mask on Leonardo, TMNT May I?, Shredder Freeze Tag, Follow Sensei (like Follow the Leader), and TMNT Tag.
This is a perfect party for pizza since it is the turtle’s favorite. Make it fun and have the kids make their own personal pizzas using English muffin slices. Place sauce, cheese, veggies, meat slices, pineapple, etc., into separate bowls and let the kids make their own.
Serve mutant juice. Mix lemon-lime soda with lime sherbet for fizzy fun.
Stir up some sewer slime. Make a batch of green Jell-O and place gummy worms and insects into the Jell-O.
Make chocolate turtle cupcakes with green frosting. Peel off the muffin cup and frost the cupcake green. Use dark green icing to outline a turtle shell on the top. Attach four Tootsie Roll legs around the shell with frosting, and stick a toothpick through one Tootsie Roll and attach it at the top to make it look like the turtle’s head coming out of the shell. Put two small dollops of green icing on it to serve as the eyes.
Send the kids home with their headbands, T-shirts, cloth belts, TMNT swords, and ooze. These are all items that the kids made and/or used during the party and are perfect mementos. To make it particularly authentic, have a box of large black garbage bags available for the kids to stuff all of their TMNT goodies into and take home with them.