Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mr. Roboto

Robots!  Who doesn't love robots?!  There's just no way to go wrong with a robot birthday.

Plus, I've been wanting to make a robot cake for a while now.  And with J's sudden interest in all things robotic, this was the perfect time for it.  I scoured the web for robot cake pictures, stole the ideas I liked and made up the rest.  This is one of the few cakes I have made that I sort of wished I didn't have to carve into pieces.  He just turned out so stinkin' cute.

Ok, for any cake afficionados that happen to stumble across my blog, here are the nitty gritty details.  The body is made of three cake squares, the head is two layers.  I used foil wrapped cardboard to support the body and head layers.  The arms and legs  and neck are mini chocolate donuts with frosting stars between them.  The arms have a cleaned wire hanger running through them and the cake to support them.  I just didn't like the arms-stuck-to-the-side look that I saw in so many of the similar robot cakes.  Feet are just made from cake carved to the right shape.  Eyes are peach rings with brown m&ms.  The mouth is a piece of fruit stripe gum.  The ears are blow pops stuck through apple rings.  Antannaes are tootsie pops.  The orange patches are made from molded starburst.  The rivets are chocolate sprinkles.  (Yes, that was tedious!)  The control panel is fondant with mini m&ms.  And all the dials (made by my creative assistant, aka hubby) are made from fondant and colored with . . .  ahem . . . sharpies.  Yeah, not so edible.  Which we made sure the kids knew.  But they were easy and sure looked great.  Who needs a cake to actually taste good? 

Oh wait, I do.  Which this one did once the dials were removed.  But really, the donuts and the suckers were the coveted parts of this cake.  I could have scraped the rest in the garbage and I don't think the kids would have cared all that much.
Except for baby B and little R who were all about the frosting.
The poor little robot got very tired as the day wore on and began slumping over to one side.  But he managed to stay upright and even keep his head until dissection time.
Good robot.  And there are actually seven candles on this cake, even though it looks for all the world like there's only five.  I know for certain that J would never let me get away with a mistake as monumental as the wrong number of candles on his birthday cake.
Apparently, if you're going to do a robot party, you have to make some sort of nuts and bolts snack mix.  It's the robot party standard.  So I went to Walmart to hunt for some ideas.  My mix has pretzel sticks, honey chex, mini Ritz crackers, fruit loops, and m&ms.  What is snack mix without m&ms, after all?  The kids liked it, but it was the computer chips (aka Doritos) that were inhaled at a dizzying rate.  To be expected, I suppose, since I haven't bought them in years.
There are three main reasons for a kid to attend a birthday party.  1) Cake.  2) Games.  3) Goody bags.  They could care less if these three things relate to each other or the party theme, if there is one.  They just have to be cool.  But I enjoy making everything relate to the theme.  It's a trivial little challenge that I happen to find fun.

So my goody buckets were made to look like robots with some leftover craft supplies I've been debating throwing out.  Guess it's good I delayed.  Inside my goody buckets were the following items:  robot ducks, suckers and erasers from OTC, robot sticker books from Amazon, and a jar of robot batteries.  It's amazing what you can do with an extra bag of m&ms and some washed out baby food jars.
We played a robot version of Simon Says with this robot face Shaggy made.  Tissue paper covered the mouth and eyes and the flashlight let the kids know when they were supposed to follow instructions and when they were supposed to ignore them.  Maybe it's just my kids, but they were really terrible at this game.  Which made it funny to watch.
We found a Creativity for Kids kit that had some little make-your-own wind up robots.  They turned out pretty cute and bought us a good 45 minutes of calm party time.  Races were planned, but the kids got sidetracked.
Shaggy and the girls decorated these boxes for robot demolition.  We wanted to do it outside with a swinging wrecking ball, but it was pouring rain.  So the kids just built them and knocked them down repeatedly.  Which was actually a lot more entertaining than it sounds.
That wierd looking green box with a pie tin inside was for target practice.  We rounded up some nerf guns and it made such a satisfying ding when the target was hit.
The highlight for J came when he opened his cash box and he discovered that it came with two whole dollars already inside.  Best present ever!  Or so he says now.  For weeks he's been telling me all about his various key hiding spots.  And how if a bad guy broke into our house, he'd never be able to find the key to open the cash box.  He was totally thrilled with how unbelievably safe his money was--all 19 dollars and 57 cents.  Until I ruined it all by pointing out that said bad guy could just pick up the whole safe box and walk away with it.  He was dumfounded.  It had never occurred to him that somebody would be able to actually open the box without the key.  Darn reality!

He still adores his cash box, though.  So I didn't rain on his whole parade.
Of course we had to use J's halloween costume as a photo op for those that wanted to try it on.  B was dying to get into it when she saw the other kids doing it.  She just needs a few years to grow into it.
Any of J's birthday parties that don't come with an anxiety meltdown are considered huge successes.  This one was a success.  Even though poor S is crying in the group photo.  Someone had just bumped her mouth, smashing her lips into her braces.  Ah, well, with kids you just can't win them all.

1 comment:

kara said...

Will you please come and host all my children's birthday parties? I just try to find the cheapest place I can rent--let alone dream up great themes with awesome cakes, favors, games, etc.

And, I, too, am all about the frosting. Always.