Hi. I am Pam from Pam’s Party and Practical Tips. I am very happy to be guest posting for Becky today. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. On my blog I share crafts, family meals, fun activities, and planning a party on a budget. I am a veteran mom of two teenagers and a tween. Over the years, I have thrown at least 40 birthday parties. Most of them have been for my kids, but I have also thrown a few a “big year” birthday parties for friends and family as well. I am going to share with you some of my favorite party tips that I have learned over the years.
Tip #2 If your child has their heart set on themed tableware, compromise, and buy one or two themed items such as the plate or napkins. Color coordinate your themed item with plain color items. The plates will be covered with food while they are eating , and then thrown in the trash when they are done. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend $1 for 16 plain plates, instead of $4 for 8 just because it has a picture of a princess or ninja turtle.
Tip #3 Recycle cardboard and other items, and make your own decorations. It may take a little bit of time, but you can make them for very little money. My kids and their guests have always loved the unique decor we have at our parties. I used old cardboard boxes to make a Triceratops, and a six foot T-Rex for my son’s dinosaur party. As you can imagine, the boys were beyond thrilled. I used paper mache to make the Pokeballs at our Pokemon party. All I needed was a few balloons, some old newspaper, and some paint. We had to make our own falling food at our Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs party, since it was such an unique theme. We used cardboard, poster board, and card stock to make the food, and hung them from the ceiling with thread. I recycled a few long boxes to make the life size surf boards that we used at my daughter’s Beach Bash Birthday.
Tip #4 Do not bother to buy the cardboard party hats with the elastic. The elastic hurts, and kids really do not like them very much. Instead why not make a hat or accessory for the kids to wear. Not only will the kids be a lot happier to wear something fun at the party, but they can use them again when they play dress up. When my oldest was 3, she had a Madeline party. All of the girls loved their yellow felt Madeline hats. I used craft foam to make Scooby Doo ears and ribbon to make the collar for my son’s Scooby party. My youngest was so excited to wear her tulle Tinkerbell skirt and star crown at her Tinkebell party. I remember her wearing the skirt for days afterwards. Guests at the unicorn party loved that they got to wear their very own unicorn horns made with a dollar store headband, felt and yarn.
Tip #5 Make up your own activities using items you already have at home. We set up stuffed animals all over the house and backyard for the Safari party. My son really enjoyed leading all of his friends on a Safari tour. One of the games we play at almost all of our parties, is the Pin the Tail game. I use poster board to make a game matching the theme. The lion in the picture was actually used twice. It was used for both our Safari, and our Zoo party. Some of the other Pin the Tail games have been pin the tail on Pikachu, pin the hat on Madeline, pin the rocket on the moon, and pin the cherry on the top of the sundae. The dinosaur dig was super easy to set up. We had to do it in the garage since it was raining too hard to go to the sandbox. We hid some dinosaur skeletons in a large box of sand. Each of the boys had a plastic shovel and paint brush, so they could become pint sized Paleontologists. Using a dollar store hula hoop and some rope, I put together the perfect lasso, for our cowgirls to try and lasso the foam board horse.
Tip #6 Use props, and make your own photo booth. I have been taking photo booth type pictures years before it became a fad. One of my favorites has to be the year my son turned 1. The Teletubbies were very popular then, and all of the guests were 3 or younger. They all happily posed as the baby in the sun. Those photos made a really cool scrapbook page. My daughter looks teeny next to the very large T-Rex from the dinosaur party. I made a cardboard corral for the horse party. Each of the girls got to have their picture taken while sitting on Buttercup the horse that my daughter got for her birthday. (I found it for 50% off the day after Christmas. Score!) You may be wondering what is going on in the last picture. That is the monkey cage we used at the zoo party. A friend of ours is a rep for a blinds company, and had many long thin boxes we could use to make the cage. The monkey in the picture was actually a great investment several years ago when I bought it for $10. We have used it for four different parties. It has made an appearance at both luaus, the safari and the zoo party.