In this house we are die-hard University of Oregon Duck fans, but some of our family and friends root for the state rival, the Oregon State Beavers. I wondered if these two groups could get along during basketball season? Well, we shared our love of b-ball, great food and time with friends in our #KettleMadness Basketball Party this week. It was all good fun.
My husband and I both attended the University of Oregon and I worked as an RA in the athletic dorm. This really ignited my interest in college sports. Of course, we have shared this passion with our kids who have turned into little mini duck fans. I love throwing parties and since our beloved Ducks are currently doing so well in the championship games, I thought it was a great chance to celebrate.
For the party I created a couple fun and simple crafts. Just a little something to add a personal touch to our party. My kids love craft time and it really got them excited for our big event.
I created these easy Basketball print shirts for my kids to wear. They only take a few supplies and a few minutes to create, just give them a full day to dry before wearing.
- Lay out your t-shirts flat and put a piece of cardboard or a place mat inside to keep the paint from bleeding through.
- With a small paint roller, roll a small amount of orange fabric paint onto a basketball. For the most definition use a side with lines and texture.
- Press the paint side of the ball down firmly onto your t-shirt.
- Allow to dry completely and follow the laundering suggestions on the paint bottle.
I also painted some glass gems with acrylic paint basketballs to decorate the serving table. They were fun to put around the food and really caught the kids' attention. They are also a great way to decoratively hold down your napkins or plates if there is a breeze, or kids zooming past. Draw the black lines first on the flat (underside) of the gem and allow them to dry completely before painting over the top with orange. I made mine the night before and they were dry and ready to go for our party.
For this party I went simple! Walmart offers a wide range of vegetable and deli trays to keep your guests full and happy. I went with a sandwich bar, vegetable platter, cutie "basketballs", cocktail weenies in the crock pot and a wide variety of crunchy Kettle Chips. Check out my right sidebar for a printable coupon for $1 off your own bag of Kettle Chips.
I had a lot of fun decorating for this particular party. Instead of only using my teams green and gold colors, I chose simple basketball orange. The theme is not only classic, but easy to incorporate with our favorite foods. I found orange paper lanterns and using a simple black marker turned them into basketballs to hang. I had basketball toothpicks for the cocktail weenies, and made simple orange paper cones for the kids to hold their chips in. Paired with an orange banner and paper basketball plates, our theme was hard to miss. For a big crowd using these homemade paper cones and paper products allowed for easy clean up afterwards.
I love serving parties with a buffet or "build-your-own" option. With plenty of choices, it kept even the pickiest kids happy and allowed me to just enjoy the party and not be a slave to the kitchen.
Of course, simple finger foods like chips are always a big hit and easy for the kids to get excited about.
Now, you didn't think I would leave out dessert, did you?
Our final "slam dunk" of the evening was a batch of homemade sandwich cookies. I made the dough up the day before and rolled them out to bake right before the party. They were filled with a simple vanilla buttercream. Since most of my other party items were store-bought I wanted to add a little homemade touch to our spread. It also made the whole house smell amazing as the guests arrived.
One of the highlights of any party are the finger foods or snacks. You know, the things you crunch on in between game action and great conversation? I remember enjoying Kettle Chips with my family as a kid. They have such a rustic and bold flavor it is easy to see that they are real potato chips made with real ingredients. The Kettle Brand Potato Chips have been keeping it real and natural since 1982, and though I might have only been 4 when they first came out, they left a big flavorful impression on me and were always a treat.
In the championship game spirit I kept track of our favorite Kettle Chip flavors for our own little "chip bracket championship". This big flavor competition was decided by my guests.
I surveyed our friends before the party to find their favorite flavors, threw in my family's and a wildcard option. I collected everyone's opinions and also watched how fast the bowl had to be refilled. For this party I offered: Backyard Barbeque, Sea Salt and Vinegar, Jalapeno, Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper as well as New York Cheddar flavored Kettle Chips.
The overwhelming winner was definitely Backyard Barbeque. The sweet and tangy flavor really appealed to both kids and adults alike. I was really rooting for my favorite, Sea Salt and Vinegar, but I knew with the crowd they were an underdog going in.
Our party guests each went home with a "goodie bag" filled with a basketball pen, small soft basketball as well as their favorite Kettle Brand Potato Chip flavors.
Our party was definitely a hit with both the parents and kids. We would have to rate it #1! We did prove that yes, rival team family and friends can come together for a night of good food and basketball fun.
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*Disclaimer - I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Kettle Chips #cbias #SocialFabric . All opinions and experiences are my own.