Saturday, February 6, 2016

How to Have a SUPER Party on a Budget

Here's the thing: I love making my kids feel special on their birthdays but I don't want to spend a fortune. I want everything to look cute but don't like to spent a lot of time on things that are just going to be thrown away. Again, I don't want to spend a fortune (or a lot of time for that matter) and this is where party planning on a budget comes in--not a lot of time to set up and prepare, not a lot of money spent either! Win-Win!

My son is obsessed with superheroes. He especially loves Spiderman but loves the other ones too. Knowing this, I set out to plan a SUPERHERO themed 4th birthday party for him and a few of his friends. And since I'm know I'm not the only one with kids who love superheroes, I'm going to tell you exactly what I did and how you can host a successful party for $30 or less!
 This personalized invitation is customizable with several different superheroes to choose from and includes a matching topper for your party favor treats (see the picture at the end of this post). You can order your invitations HERE.
 The spiderman tablecloth was the only superhero themed decoration I bought. (around $3) The rest of the decorations I got out of our tote I keep in storage that has crepe paper, the reusable Happy Birthday Banner, and the banner that is hung above the sliding glass doors.) You could easily print off more superhero pictures to add to existing decorations to match your theme.
 My son invited a few of his little buddies over to our house for his first ever friend birthday party. He was so excited and thought everything was just wonderful and amazing. Makes you feel pretty good as a mom to see that kind of reaction.

When all the kids got to the party, I had them sit on a blanket laid out on the floor and we did a little story time. I read them 2 superhero books I found at our local library. They were super cute and geared toward younger kids. My son and his friends loved them! (cost of books: FREE from library)

Next, the boys played "Pin Spiderman in the Web". Instead of spending money on a premade game, I took 10 minutes (probably less) and made my own. I used a large piece of butcher-type paper from my kids' craft supplies and drew a web. Then I just googled spiderman and found an image I could print out for each guest on cardstock. We used one of my husband's ties as a blindfold. I didn't give a prize to the "winner". It was just a fun game we played. (cost of game: FREE)

 Then I gathered the kids at the table where they made their own superhero mask and shield. I bought the mask set from Oriental Trading for $7.50 (I was able to score free shipping). For the shield I used some cheap paper plates and taped a strip of cardstock on the back to make a handle. The kids colored and decorated their own shield with markers and glued some shapes I had precut out (stars, lightning bolts etc..)

After the craft I let the boys play for a minute in this "obstacle course" I set up in our basement. (My son's birthday is in the middle of winter...for a summer bday an obstacle course outside would be really fun!) I needed a minute to clean up the table and the boys LOVED pretending to be superheroes with their new masks and shields.
Obstacle course aka: go down the slide, climb through the tunnel, climb over the ottoman, touch the wall, and then run back to the beginning. (Cost of obstacle course: FREE)

After the table was cleaned up I called the boys back up for cupcakes
 I had a local bakery make the cupcakes. For a half dozen it was $3.50. I printed the superhero toppers from this site,taped them on toothpicks, and stuck them in the cupcakes myself. It's crazy how having the bakery add some kind of topper to your cake drastically increases the price.
Then it was present time!
Our hour and half was almost up by that point so the kids just played until their parents came to pick them up. On their way out the door they got this personalized party favor. The personalized topper is included with the purchase of your personalized invitation. It fits across the top of a baggie (I used a snack size bag). I filled up each baggie with some M&Ms (around $5 for a large bag) and then stapled the topper to it. That was the only favor we gave out. I figured between this and the mask and shield each kid made, that was pretty good.

And there you have it! We had one happy birthday boy at the end of the day!

Budget Breakdown:
  • Colored Ink (I did have to buy a new ink cartridge but I'm not counting this as part of the party budget because it was something I would have bought for our family regardless and it's not like I used an entire cartridge for the party anyway)
  • Pack of white card stock to print the invites (2 on a page) party favor toppers (3 on a page) and sheet of superhero cupcake toppers, and  spiderman for game--this was less than $5 at WalMart and I have plenty of cardstock left over for other projects.
  • Cupcakes--for a half dozen it was $3.50 at our local bakery. Obviously you could make them yourself for cheaper. Decorating the cupcakes could be one of your activities too! But for 4 year olds, I decided against it.
  • Printable Invites and Party Favor Toppers--$10 for personalized invite and a personalized ThankYou favor topper found HERE
  • Large bag of M&Ms for Thank You party favors -around $5
  • Spiderman Tablecloth around $3 
  • Make your own superhero mask craft $7.50
  • Pin Spiderman in his web, superhero shield craft, superhero books to read, obstacle course: FREE