Monday, October 20, 2014

#MegaBloksParty

And Now I'm a Mommy ... Having a Blok Party


HouseParty.com is a really cool site--it is all about word-of-mouth advertising, and encouraging people to try/buy new things by giving them the chance to experience the products in person. I was recently selected through the site to host a Mega Bloks® First Builders™ House Party. Woohoo!
I was sent a big box of (free for me) supplies to use at the party.
Our free party pack included two track sets, a bag
of loose pieces, extra cars, and a bunch of coupons.


Before the party, my family and I opened the sets
and put stickers on the new blocks.

Decorations: 
A simple sign in the front yard,
and...
Mega Bloks® everywhere!
 We "showcased" the tracks and cars that came with the sets on the main play table, and also set out the Mega Bloks® we already had so there would be lots of options for play.
The main components of the fabulous new sets!
 
A two-car collision race, or downhill-uphill track.

Side views of the initial configuration and a look at some of our fabulous stickering work!

Steep ramp.

Mega Bloks® Castle

Old-style Mega Bloks® piano

Characters.

Big vehicles.
A big ole pile-o-blocks.
Snack area.
I set the packaging from the free sets around the snacks. I put both sets of directions in one box, and the snack wrappers in the other (in case there were ingredient questions) so they'd be easy to grab if someone wanted to know more!

Party Music:
No! By They Might Be Giants
 But I forgot to play the CD. :-/

Food:
Three qualities of the Mega Bloks® First Builders sets:
  • The Bloks have a distinct shape
  • The vehicles have round dark wheels
  • The sets are very colorful!
So, I chose snacks to match those elements.

Edible Blocks, Colorful Crunchers, & Wheels.

There were also Kool-Aid Drink Pouches on the side, since little builders get thirsty, too!

Wheels (Hostess Donettes)
The wheels were easy. I opened the bag of donuts, and arranged them on a plate, putting the "nicest" looking ones on top.
 
Colorful Crunchers (Bell peppers & ranch dip)
Peppers are one of my older son's favorite snacks. So, to make the colorful crunchers, I used 1/2 of a green pepper, 1/2 of a yellow pepper, and 1/2 of a red pepper. I sliced them into strips, then tinted some ranch dressing blue with food coloring.

Edible Bloks (Jell-O Jigglers)
 These wiggly blocks were very messy, and not very successful overall, even though they were gobbled down by the kids. I think if I made them again, though, I'd be able to do better.

Since they were the biggest "snack project" from the party, here are some details about how the (non-stackable) edible blocks were made:
I used some of the new Mega Bloks® and washed them several times, because I wanted them to be very very clean! We stacked the "single" blocks into larger blocks for stability and portability.
I sprayed the insides with cooking spray, and put
them into a large tray to catch any spills.
The outsides got sprayed, too, which made them super-slippery.
Wipe off the outsides immediately if you try this, and/or
be careful and don't get any spray on the outside.
I added food coloring to some.
The food coloring was way too messy--during prep and eating.
I used too much. But I also think maybe any was too much.
Ladling molten gelatin into toys.
Jigglers use a lot less water than Jell-O, so you get
a lot less "finished product" per box when you make them.

I let them chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Then I used warm water + a knife around the interior edges
+ a bunch of shaking to release the gelatin.


The water to help release the Jigglers should be slightly warm, NOT HOT.
I melted a bunch to an unusable state while discovering this. :(
Nailed it!
 Jell-O brand worked way better than Royal. But I also used the "Jigglers" recipe with Jell-O, and the on-box "mold" recipe with Royal. If I use Royal brand again for hand-held gelatin, I'll skip the cold water addition altogether, not just reduce it.

The few that turned out stood on their own, and did look very cute.
The best ones each went into a cupcake wrapper.
  Since, even with just the "good" ones going to the party, several were still quite wobbly, I added a cup with spoons to the snack table.
The Party:
I invited a bunch of people, but only two were actually able to make it to the party. Oh, well. I think/hope everyone still had fun.













The guests got to take home some Mega Bloks® vehicles and coupons. The extra vehicles and coupons will be going to the guests who thought they'd be able to make it, but had to cancel.