What is better than a birthday party with a unique theme inspired by the real passions of the birthday kid? My brother recently sent me a picture of a giant squid piñata from just this kind of party. He and his family attended their friend CJ’s treasure-hunt-themed 9th birthday party, “In Search of Squid Island.” I was blown away and I had to see more.
The party was created by Elisabeth MacKnight, CJ’s mom with help from Laura Croome, his godmom. Elisabeth explained the inspiration for the theme:
“CJ has been fascinated by squids since nursery school, when news hit that a colossal squid had been found in the Arctic. He was always into marine animals, but the Legend of the Kraken combined with a real-life discovery captured his imagination. He’s always been bitter about how sharks get all the glory. In fact, when we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year he upbraided the gift shop staff for not stocking “squid resources.” I modeled the piñata after CJ’s colossal squid toy.
The party was a treasure hunt theme, and we reconceived Strawberry Hill in Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park as Squid Island. The kids had to follow the riddles to find clues.
The winners received Super Squid Seeker ribbons.
The squid cake!
Elisabeth made colossal Colossal Squid cookies….
…and giant number nine cookies too!
Elisabeth created the piñata using cardboard and paper towel tubes, masking tape and newspaper. The newspaper is wetted with a 2 to 1 water glue mixture. She constructed the squid to burst open at the ‘beak’ when all the tentacles were pulled, instead of hitting it with a stick (safer for kids!).
Painting the long tentacles!
The favor bags had a little yellow dot sticker with CJ’s squid drawing.
After the party…
Amazing work, Elizabeth … and Happy Birthday CJ!