When my youngest son turned two, he was completely into robots of all kinds, so I decided to throw him a retro robot birthday party. However, because a robot is not a licensed character, the party stores and websites were empty of any supplies catering to this theme (unless I wanted to do all Wall-e). So, I decided to scour the internet for retro robot party decor and put together my own theme, which turned out to be a lot of fun. The cool thing about a robot birthday is that you can get as creative and imaginative as you wish, since robots come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I had a blast gathering party ware, finding decorative touches, and designing a robot cake. Below is a guide to help you navigate through throwing your very own retro robot party for the special child in your life.
The best thing to do first when planning decorations for your robot party is to come up with a color scheme. This can be based on your child’s favorite hues, taken from an existing robot you wish to showcase, or you can stick to traditional colors. Saturated shades of red, blue, orange, and green all work well, and accenting with silver gives it that space-age, 1950s retro feel. Gather crepe paper and balloons in your colors of choice and go to town decking out your party space. These Robot 18″ Foil Balloons will add a nice touch as well; just purchase them and take them to your local party store to be inflated.
Removable wall stickers are also a fun way to jazz up your party area; there are several sets to choose from. When I did my son’s party, I purchased a few sets and then mixed-and-matched around the room. My older sons had fun helping, too. These decals are completely removable and reusable, so you can also let party guests get in on the decorating by designing their own robots on the walls, and put them on the walls of your child’s room when the party’s over. Here are some different robot wall decals available:
Robot Wall Decals $12.99
This decal set comes with 65 different stickers to make 4 full-sized robots. Mix and match for more robot party fun.
Giant Robot Decals $39.99
These decals include 5 complete robots, 1 robot head, and a light switch cover.
Blik Robots Wall Decals $20.00
Modern, monochromatic robot decals and some missile decals as well. Perfect for a boy who’s into action. Several colors and 2 sizes to choose from.
Robots in Space Wall Decals $13.99
These whimsical robot decals also include retro space ships, stars, and planets in fun, bright colors.
Plates, cups, napkins, and plasticware are essentials for any party, but for a robot birthday party, you have several options. Your nearest party store will have these items in just about any solid color imaginable, so go with your color scheme and mix and match place settings. Try blue plates with orange napkins, red cups, and silver utensils, or whatever strikes your fancy. Square plates are also a fun way to nod to your robot party theme; try putting Sharpie Retractable Permanent Markers on the table, which come in a pack of 12 different colors, and let the kids decorate their own plates before they eat. Paper plates with colorful, geometric designs like circles and squares work well, too.
If you want a more festive look, try these fun options:
3D Robot Party Set $19.95
This set includes a 10-foot garland, 16 3D napkins, 12 3D paper plates, and 12 3D glasses. Sure to be a hit for your retro robot party! This site also sells coordinating 3D Robot Party Invitations and Thank You Notes.
Robots “Happy Birthday” Dinner Plates 8 for $3.49
Robot Square Melamine Plate Set $32.00
This plate set from French Bull is so cute, I bought it for my son’s party and my kids still use them on a daily basis. The company also sells coordinating bowls and cups.
For a robot birthday party, the food can be as themed and whimsical as you wish to prepare (or buy). Serving a lot of square-shaped foods can be a fun way to incorporate the theme, such as square sandwiches or pieces of pizza. For my robot birthday party, I bought all silver, disposable bakeware to serve my food in, which gave it a retro, industrial look. Loaf pans, pie plates, square bakers, and cupcake tins work well for finger foods, and larger platters, lasagna pans, and pizza tins can serve the main dishes. For snacks that fit the theme, try “Motherboard Pretzels” (Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Snaps), “Robot Springs” (Cheetos Twisted Puffs), and “Nuts & Bolts Mix” (Nuts, dried fruits, and M&Ms mixed together). Circle foods like Smucker’s Uncrustables PB&J Sandwiches, carrot discs, cucumber slices, dried apricots & bananas, bagel or English Muffin pizzas, and circular corn chips can be called “gears.”
Of course, the key to any retro robot birthday party is a really great robot cake. This was my favorite part of the party, since I let my imagination go wild as I designed a robot out of cake, rainbow-colored icings, and lots of fun candies. A simple robot cake can be made by baking your favorite flavor in a 13″ x 9″ pan and cutting out the pieces for a body, head, feet, and hands. I connected my body parts with Nilla Wafers “glued” with colored icing. A great robot cake template and picture can be found on Cookie Magazine’s website here. This Robot Cake How-To Video and Instructions from Betty Crocker will also help you create a fantastic robot cake.
Rather have cupcakes? Here are some products and ideas:
Robot Cupcakes Photo
These are quite possibly the cutest robot cupcakes I’ve ever seen. All you need is cupcakes, icing, and rolled fondant in different colors. Cut out your shapes and let your imagination run wild!
DIY Robot Cupcake Toppers
Learn how to make your own simple robot cupcake toppers. You could even stick these into store-bought cupcakes for an easy birthday dessert.
3D Robot Cupcake Kit $11.95
This set comes with 24 robot-themed cupcake wrappers and toppers. Try serving these cupcakes in a silver disposable cupcake tin for a space-age look.
There are lots of directions you can go with party games, depending on the ages of the kids attending and the amount of time you have. Creative play areas can be just as fun as games; the choice is up to you. For fun, creative play, set up a “Robot Station” and encourage kids to design their own robots for fun. Use Legos, K’Nex, building blocks, or one of these Connecting Gears Toy Sets to get kids’ imaginations going. They’ll have a lot of fun just playing, and this can be a great activity to do at the beginning of the party as guests are coming in and getting to know one another.
Here are some other fun robot games and activities you can try:
Build a Robot Puzzle and Spinner Game $14.99
Each player gets a robot template and must spin for pieces to be the first to build their robot. My kids love this game; at the end, they always come up with a fun name for their robot.
Wood Stacking Robots $14.99
These 9 wooden robots all fit together in endless combinations; try to stack them all in the pictured configurations, or make up your own. My kids get hours of entertainment out of this simple toy; my only regret is that we only have one set–I may be buying more.
Robot Explorers Solar System Race Board Game $16.23
Help your robot race around the solar system to all eight planets, collecting specimens for research in the rocket lab. Fun for elementary-aged kids.
Robot Matching Game $15.00
It’s the classic memory game with a robotic twist; match up colorful robots and parts as you use your memory to win the most matches.
Overall, have a great time being creative with your robot birthday party. There are lots of fun robot items out there, so let your imagination run wild with this fun and versatile party theme.