For Jack’s Birthday party this year I came up with the idea of having the kids build robots. I like the idea of creative or active birthdays with a structured activity as it tends to keep the party moving along and helps prevent boredom.
Jim added to my idea by suggesting they build the robots out of PVC pipe and different connectors. The kids would be able to fit the pieces together easily and we wouldn’t need to glue them (they could later if they wanted them to be a bit more stable). After a research trip to Home Depot we settled on ½” PVC pipe and connectors, including crosses, t’s, angles and straight couplers.
Jim then cut the PVC pipe into three lengths, 3”, 5” and 7” and we put together a sample to see how many pieces would be needed to make a reasonably sized robot. Each boy started out with at least those pieces and then could go get extra pieces as needed.
Once the robots were put together we had a whole table of decorations/embellishments that they could use including colored duct table, pipe cleaners, washers, card-board, sharpies, googly eyes and pompoms.
We had nine boys total, including Jack and Will and three extra helpers (thanks Allison, Dana and Alan). Jim helped attach screws, Alan cut card board and duct tape, Dana made pipe cleaner bracelets, Allison took all the photos and I manned the hot glue gun. Everyone was very excited and so creative with their ideas. They each were so different; it was really fun to watch. Even Will worked on the sample, adding arms and decorating it.
The boys were so into their projects that we had to push them out of the garage to go have robot cake (with raspberry filling that the boys thought looked like blood) and open presents. Allison was able to capture photos of everyone with their creation.
A few of the boys commented how this was their favorite birthday and we received emails from several parents shortly after who were told by their kids that it was the best party they have attended. It made me feel so good that they were having fun and we did it for under $200. Pretty good I would say.