Marshall’s Fifth Birthday (Mario themed)

For Marshall’s fifth birthday, he requested a Mario Kart/ Super Mario theme.  I’m not a person that loves to incorporate a lot of TV or video game characters into our parties (or books…or clothes) but I figured we could make it fun and it’s his special day after all!

Just like last year, Marshall asked if he could invite classmates to his party.  I’ve met some local moms since last year and I knew his teacher, so Brad and I thought this may be a good year to actually allow him to invite kids from school.

The Super Marshall invitations. You pull the mushroom out of the mystery box to get all the fun party details.

Marshall and I looked for ideas and he really helped pick and choose what to do for his party this year.  There was a lot of crafting involved for this party and my little buddy loved helping cut and glue it all together.


It was so nice being able to decorate the night before the party, instead of scrambling around the morning of.  We really tried to make it feel like the kids were in the video game.  Pretty much everything was handmade using paper, cardboard, balloons, and dollar store tablecloths.

The food table

The background is supposed to look like a Super Mario layout, instead of question marks on the mystery boxes it spelled out “Happy Birthday”.  Brad painted PVC pipe and flower pots to look like warp tunnels.  Those held: homemade chocolate mario mustache lollipops, utensils, and strawberry/grape chomper skewers.  We also made little cars out of apples, peanut butter, and halved grapes- that’s what is sitting on top of the mystery box.  I also printed off little Mario, Luigi, and Peach labels to put on the juice.  The cake was a green mushroom because green mushrooms “up” your lives by one…and one of Marshall’s buddies is allergic to red food coloring so the red mushrooms were out. Scatter some chocolate coins and racing plates/ napkins as homage to Mario Kart and you are good to go!  Brad brought Pizza Hut home for the main course and that completed lunch.

The table layout

With it being a bunch of four and five year old boys, I wanted to keep the table setup simple to reduce clutter and chance of spilling.  I couldn’t find brown butcher’s paper to use as a table runner to make the road, so I cut up some plain paper bags.  I also found those adorable little cactuses on clearance in the garden section and I think they look like perfect little real life chompers!

The entry way with star coming out of mystery box and some goombas looking to cross the road

The race track was made from dollar store tablecloths cut in half and white duct tape.

The road helped bring the Mario Kart theme into play a bit more, but I also used it as a little subliminal way to guide the kids through the house.  It brought them to the bathrooms, dining room, and play areas but avoided all the bedrooms and the basement.  It worked beautifully too!

The goombas and bob-ombs lurked everywhere. P.S: there’s a Mario/Nintendo station on Pandora, that was fun to play over the TV/surround sound for the immersion effect.

The favor bags and contents!

I finally remembered to take a picture of favor bag contents!  Only five years of parties to learn, ha!  I made the chocolate coins and chocolate Mario Mustache lollipops.  The little mystery boxes I found as a free printable online and printed that out on heavy stock paper- simply cut along the lines and voila: I had the perfect little chocolate coin container!  I purchased the mushroom cups off of Oriental Trading and found those nifty Mario character Hot Wheels cars at Wal-Mart for less than a dollar.  I decorated the favor bags with simple construction paper, extra paper bags, and glue.

The favor bags, party hats, and photo props

The Super Mario photo booth

Before the guests arrived, Marshall and I took some pictures in front of the backdrop.  He loves to pose.

I can’t believe he is FIVE years old!

Super Marshall! (His sign says “Mama Mia!” a phrase he actually uses quite a bit)

The boys all pretty much arrived at the same time.  This was the first classmate party for quite a few of them so some took a little bit to warm up.  Hence why only three of the five posed for pictures at first.  I printed off the photobooth props from free downloads and then hot glued the stock paper to wooden skewers (sharp end was encased in glue on the paper, dull end was held by the boys).  At this age, I wouldn’t spend the money on expensive photobooth props since they still aren’t quite the age to fully enjoy them.

Bowser, Mario, and Luigi

Before jumping into the games, we had lunch.  The boys dug into the pizza and the Mario and Luigi juices flew off the table- the grape flavor juice was liked but they thought since it had a peach dress on that it was for girls.  Oy vey.

Not pictured: me trying to feed Vi the fruit and her literally throwing it at my plate and yelling for pepperoni pizza

We started the games right after lunch; that really helped break the ice with the boys and help them loosen up and have fun.

Brad spent a few days leading up to the party making cardboard Mario Karts and painting them up to theme of different characters.  Then he painted red lines around the backyard for lanes of the racetrack.


The kids and moms loved the Mario Kart fun.  Brad hung streamers from a clothesline to make a fun little tunnel to go through, there were banana peels (we saved the bananas for bread) strewn about the course, as well as various mystery boxes along the way.

For our next game, we put the cars aside but lined up all the kids at the start of the track again.  I used a classic game from my childhood and put a Mario twist on it. We had them balance an egg on a spoon and try to race around the track without cracking the egg.  I told them that it was Yoshi’s eggs that they were trying to save.


They loved the competition and especially loved getting to break eggs with no consequences.  After the race was done, I let them throw their surviving eggs at a tree.  Apparently I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and just bought a few dozen eggs because, oh my word, do four and five year old boys love throwing eggs at a tree!

For our last outdoor game, we grabbed a bunch of the goombas and bob-ombs for a good goomba stomp.  In the game, Mario has to jump on the little villainous goombas to crush them, but if he jumps on a bom-omb he has to restart the game.  So that was the basic concept of this game as well: stomp the goomba balloons but avoid the bom-ombs.  It was another popular game with the boys!


We moved the party back inside for the last two games.  I had all the boys sit down at the table and handed out party blowers to be their little Yoshi tongues.  The day before the party, I printed off pokeys and cut and glued them to plastic cups.  In the game, yoshi can eat/destroy the pokeys with his long tongue.  So I balanced the cups and the boys took turns racing each other to knock them over.


For our final game, we used one of the mystery boxes Brad made and stuffed it full of goodies.  Chocolates since most of the boys love that and then individual goldfish snack packs since my little guy hates candy.  Brad took tissue paper and layered it over a hole in the bottom of the box.  The boys then each got a turn to punch the bottom of the mystery box like Mario.


The party ended with opening presents and digging into the cake and root beer floats (Marshall’s preferred ice cream treat).  This was my favorite part of the celebration, a bunch of his little buddies singing Happy Birthday to him and Marshall’s face was just lit up with joy.  It was just the party he was hoping for.

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