Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'LL BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR and throw a birthday party

If you're on a budget or just frugal (or both like me), you know the expenses of a child's birthday party can really add up. But, parties can still be fun and inexpensive thanks to the dollar store. If you have a fear of the dollar store selling only cheap crap, you'd be surprized what kinds of quality items are available. If you still have an aversion-many mega-stores such as Target, Wal-Mart and even the sports store Academy have $1 aisles or areas in order to compete with dollar stores.

My daughter recently turned 5-years-old. Being that it was such a milestone, I asked her where she'd like to have her party. To my surprize, she simply requested a party at home. I'm thinking easier and cheaper-great! I then asked my daughter what theme she wanted for her party and she replied, "fish." Um, fish, interesting-how was I going to pull this one off? So I came up with Birthday Bash By the Bay. For the main activity, I set up two baby pools and a fun rope-type sprinkler.
The games included balloon toss and Fishin'. (I wrote the name of the prizes on small, floating foam rings that I placed face-down in the baby pool. I used a kid fishing rod with a hook I made from a large paper clip. The kids then fished for the foam rings-which ever ring they caught was the prize they won. The littler kids were allowed to use a butterfly net to catch their prize rings).
Fish of all kinds, lighthouses, sailboats, etc adorned the food tables on serving trays my mom loaned to me and even the napkins (which I found cheap at WalMart). I had small, beach-themed tumblers full of goldfish crackers and goldfish pretzels. As for the cake, it was a fish too! I highly recommend cupcake-cakes. They are awesome -whether you make it yourself or buy at the store. It's simply several cupcakes placed and iced all together forming what looks like a traditional cake-but without having to cut it up! I happened to be blessed with good birthday party karma the night before the party and found this cake at Signature Kroger's (for $14.95!!):
Party Favor Bags...

Construction Paper I drew several fish shapes on the entire pad of construction paper and my daughter and her friends helped me cut them out. The kids enjoyed the craft project and I ended up with cute fish decorations. They were so proud of their creations hanging up during the party too.
Streamers party decor
Balloons party decor
Water balloons party game (TIP: For toddlers, fill regular balloons with water since they don't pop as easily as the thinner, smaller water balloons)
Plastic forks, spoons & knives

Spiderman & Scooby Doo water bottles
300 page activity books
Disney Princess Markers (the dollar store has TONS of Disney items!)
Disney pom-poms
Disney Princess brush set
Mini flashlights (batteries included)
Balloon launcher
Water Guns (6 per bag)
Bag of misc sea shells
Sponge Bob temporary tattoos

from TARGET'S Dollar Area
Baseball caps (with a fish embroidered on it!)
Bubbles (actually 6 for $2.25)
Mini Straw Beach bags (2 for $1)
Transformers pencil bags (2 for $1)
from WAL-MART's Dollar Area
Goggles (6 per bag)


Invite the Party said...

I have always done my children's parties at home. They love them!!! I'm an invitation designer so I always do fun invitations and I let them have any theme they want. I also LOVE Oriental Trading. I now take whatever favors are left over and save them for prizes at class parties. One of the best favor bags I gave out was for my daughter. We went to the dollar section of Target and got woven tropical purses and flip flops. That cost me $2.00 total and them I had bought lip gloss pencils about six months prior at about 75%off and I put that in. It cost me about 2.25 total. You would have thought I spent a million dollars. Parents alway think I'm very extravegant with favors, what they don't realize is I think ahead. I buy things when they are 75% off for future parties or gifts.

Tipsy McStagger said...

Wow! Guess we didn't have a dollar store when I was growing up. Next time, invite Kilwhillie and I, we'll bring the wee weins a keg or two!