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Thursday, August 9, 2012

LEGO DUPLO Read & Build Party

Yesterday was non-stop fun at our house; we hosted a LEGO DUPLO Read & Build House Party. We had 12 kids and four adults over for some games, snacks, and an opportunity to enjoy a new LEGO DUPLO set.

About a year ago, I signed up for House Party. After registering (for free), you can apply for all sorts of parties: beauty products, food, beverages, crafts, toys, household products, video games, and more. They pick a certain number of applicants per party, and I happened to be selected for the LEGO DUPLO Read & Build Party. Yay!

Once selected, the party host uses the House Party web site to invite at least ten people. There is usually a pre-survey and a post-survey about the product, plus hosts need to post photos from the party afterward. And the best part is the free party pack.

This party pack contained:

  • Four LEGO DUPLO Read & Build - Busy Farm sets
  • LEGO DUPLO stickers and photo-frame magnets for all the kids
  • LEGO DUPLO brochures for the parents
  • LEGO DUPLO napkins and paper plates
  • A Busy Farm poster
Our party had a farm theme to go along with the Busy Farm set, and we began the festivities with a Chicken Egg Hunt. Some crazy chickens laid eggs all over the front yard, with bonus Hershey's Kisses inside! The kids had fun finding them all.
Next, we had a Horse Trot. We used two lacrosse sticks as the horses, formed two teams and galloped around for a while. The kids didn't really embrace the competition aspect - which is absolutely fine by me, and they had a blast just trotting and cheering for each other.
We kept the fun rolling with Pin the Hat on Farmer Ted. I turned the Busy Farm poster from the party pack into the game by tracing Farmer Ted's hat and cutting it out of construction paper. The younger kids were not fans of the blindfold, so they just closed their eyes instead.
Then we had the kids sit down for the unveiling of the LEGO DUPLO Read & Build Busy Farm set. We gave each child the pieces needed to complete one animal and then I read the book to them. The kids built their animal when we reached the appropriate page in the book. When it wasn't their turn to build, the kids had fun making animal noises; it was very cute. Moo!
The Busy Farm set includes blocks to build a rooster, pig, sheep, and a cow. I think the rooster was the popular favorite, but they really liked them all.
At lunchtime, the kids had Annie's Homegrown Bunny Pasta mac and cheese (in bunny and carrot shapes - perfect for the farm theme!), PB&J sandwiches cut into Lego shapes (I got the idea from another blog and used a small cookie scoop to press circles out of a piece of bread, and attached them with a dab of peanut butter), and watermelon slices. The grown-ups had strawberry salad (baby spinach, Romaine, sliced strawberries, and toasted cashews with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette, or poppyseed dressing), toasted baguette slices with Brie, and zucchini squares. And of course, there was a LEGO DUPLO block for dessert:
I just used a boxed cake mix and poured four muffin cups two-thirds full of batter, then poured the rest into a 9x9 square pan. I frosted the square first, cut the tops off the cupcakes to make them flat before frosting, and setting on top of the square. It was yummy.

We had a range of ages (2-5, plus some older siblings), and everyone did well with their animals. These sets would make a great gift for a two-, three-, or four-year old boy or girl. Besides the Busy Farm, there is a Let's Go! Vroom! set and a Grow Caterpillar! Grow! set.

The LEGO DUPLO Read & Build web site has a fun Activity Guide for parents with additional ideas for playing with the sets, plus coloring pages for the kids. The site also has a link to download nine free kid-friendly songs that go along with the sets, called the "Duplo Jams."You can also visit the LEGO DUPLO Jams channel on iTunes.

While I was collecting ideas for this party, I started a Pinterest board with tons and tons of LEGO party ideas. My five-year-old has already requested a LEGO birthday party for next June, so they should come in handy next summer. Feel free to steal as many as you'd like!

Whether your kids like the bigger DUPLO blocks, or they have graduated to the LEGO bricks, I hope you found some fun ideas here. As always, thanks for reading.

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