Mario in the Middle: A 4-yr-old Birthday Party

October was a busy busy month for us. Not only did we have our third child, but Little O had his fourth birthday and of course there was Halloween. Because I knew this month would be just a little bit crazy I really wanted to make Little O's birthday both very simple and very special.
You see Little O has been thrown into the middle child slot...and he's feeling it. Because we've all been sick he's not been allowed to really interact with the baby much and is constantly being shooed away...and he's over it. I feel for the poor kid.
Which is why I'm glad that I stayed up until the crack of dawn to make this little Mario costume for Little O. And why I'm glad that I threw together this little birthday bash last minute. And why I'm seriously grateful for a gigantic polka-dot "mushroom" balloon that can transform an ordinary day into an extraordinary one.
We kept things simple by having the party at a local park complete with a playground (or "Mario Land") and a covered picnic area.
And we made things special by bringing simple white linens and dishes to dress things up a bit.
And of course we had to have chocolate mustaches. (Like my sister, I've never really gotten into the mustache craze -she has an entire pin board for ridiculous trends that are way overdone, it's pretty funny really- but I felt that this party was the perfect place for it. And I think even she might approve. I know Little O definitely did.)
We brought along some sodas in bottles (a huge treat for the boys as they typically don't get to drink soda in this way), threw together some star cookies (thanks Jon!!!) and bought a simple cake. We also put out some grapes, string cheese and crackers so it wasn't a total sugar fest.
And thanks to the dollar store we were able to outfit each goodie bag with a self-sticking mustache.
We chose the park for the easy already-something-for-the-kids-to-do-so-we-don't-have-to-plan-games aspect but ended up loving it for the the real life Super Mario game play aspect of it. I mean just look at that slide. Doesn't it just scream plumbing tube?
The kids had a great time and really interacted well together. I was so impressed with how they initiated their own game play. Sometimes I think we forget that you don't really need that much structure for a birthday party to go well. Just a decent area for kids to run and play in...and they'll come up with the rest!

And this little Pizano? He was in Super Mario heaven. And well...I'm not sure he's left it since.

Man I love this kid. Here's hoping he stays in this magical make-believe world of four forever.


  1. Love it! The whole concept is amazing, plus I love how you kept the activities simple and let the kids have their own imagination and play.


  2. The cuteness is over the top awesome!
    You rock mama!
    He will remember this forever!!!!

  3. Ah, what a beautiful and sweet party. You did a great job on his Mario costume. So glad he enjoyed it. Lots of great photo ops. Even though you say you kept it simple, it still looks like you put a lot of thought and love into it! That's what counts!!!

  4. Oh I LOVE it! I'm so glad he had such a great birthday. I know how it is to have a birthday right in the middle of everything, you did awesome making it special!

  5. Such an awesome party! Love all the details, and you little photo sketches too!

  6. Oh he is too cute dressed up like Mario!!! Awww!!!