These were the invitations. The information was printed and rolled up inside.
The robot centerpiece is made from cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, aluminum foil...you get the idea.
These felt robots were simple to make and added a lot of atmosphere.
Mitch and I built D6 out of cardboard boxes and stationed him outside the front door. And with a carefully placed walkie talkie and D6's remote-activated-leaf-blower arm, we had a lot of fun "greeting" the kids as they arrived.
For our first activity the kids decorated a robot body. We utilized a lot of spray paint and a lot of, well...trash...to prepare this activity.
This is called Can-Do Robots by familyfun, and the kids got really got creative putting their hardware on their can-robot heads (there's a completed example on the right side of the table).
They had to move a bunch of "robot components" in an assembly line fashion without moving their feet. I called this one Conveyor Belt. Brandt got into this one. It was so cute.
Each team was blindfolded and had to listen to their robot controller to sort out the components into red and blue piles. Then they tore off the blindfolds and assembled their robots as quickly as possible. I gave them these photos to reference.
We did a game called Robot Rescue where they had to use the robotic arm to rescue the robots from the doorknobs and place them in the "decontamination unit."
We had a really close nuts-and-bolts relay race. Dallin's team won by the skin of their teeth.
Update: I've had some questions about the relay race so I've added some details. My husband had a bunch of large bolts with wing-nuts in the garage that we used. I recommend wing-nuts so the kids have something more to grab with their little fingers but regular ones would do. I broke the kids into two teams and at the opposite end of the yard I placed two bowls (one per team) containing one bolt and wing nut for each kid. You can even thrown in some nuts of the wrong size in there to throw them off. The kids line up single file and at GO! the first person in line on each team runs as quickly as they can to their bowl, screws the nut completely on the bolt, and then carries it (as fast as they can) back over the starting line. As soon as they return, the next person in line runs to the bowl to screw a nut on a bolt and carry it back, and so on. The first team whose last player crosses the finish line with his completed nut/bolt wins!
We also did a Robot Freeze Dance to this cute song, and when I stopped the music they had to stand still, and if they moved they were out. Dallin loved this! It turned out to be his favorite activity of all.
Then we did cake and presents.
And I gotta say, D6 looked even cooler at night.
We discovered he's also very useful for spooking teenagers in the neighborhood.
All in all it was a lot of work, but Dallin loved it, which is what really matters.