At our house, we don't do outside venue birthday parties. This makes us very outside the norm where people seem to think nothing of paying $250.00 for a place to HAVE the party! My kids would never get a gift from me if I was doing that! Birthdays are family events for us, and although Rob had a number of "kiddie" parties when he first came home, it quickly became clear that this was very very pricey. So when we decided to enlarge our family one of the decisions we made was that there would not be kiddie parties. Because it would be kiddie parties times three and there was no way our budget could swing that.
Amazingly my kids have all been totally okay with that. Perhaps because KC creatively came up with the idea last year of having a summer party with friends. Not a birthday party, just a themed party for friends. Which meant Lissa's friends could come too. And Rob is now old enough to help and enjoy that. And to maybe invite a friend to help at the event and hang out with him afterwards.
Last year, KC created a "carnival." And i do mean create. The whole experience was very kid driven. I think I am raising a party planner! LOL
It was a success and about 2 weeks afterwards he came to me and said that the next summer party was going to be a luau. The good thing is that he chews on the concept all year and comes to me periodically with "must haves." The list of necessities were: leis, a limbo, something with water and sand, and tie dying.
We have the guest list together and did the invites today. Between neighbors, friends from dance, the gym and the park we have the potential for 16 guests. Gulp. We planned the events.
We will have a slip and slide so people can cool off in a silly and hopefully safe way.
We will have a limbo contest.
We will have the "aloha hop" potato sack race
We will have a hula hooping contest.
In the crafts area we will have tie dying headed up by Rob who did an awesome tie dye at camp. We will have surfboard shaped scratch art book marks, a necklace making center and some kind of foam art we can stick self stick jewels on. I have tons of that lying around and am envisioning cutting out big flower blossoms?
In a quieter area we will have a moon sand station for those who want to just veg and play in the sand.
I have to figure out the snacks and food table yet as one of our friends is GFCF as well as having a severe dairy allergy and I always check with them to make sure that everything I am planning he can have. I think it is tacky in the extreme to have to bring your own food to an event. So far, the things I am kicking around are some GFCF cupcakes, some pretzels that I know are GFCF safe, fresh fruit kebobs, and lemonade. I KNOW I need more food than that though. So I will be researching the next couple of weeks.
We have decorations set and just need to get tie dye supplies and paper goods, so really we are in pretty good shape. I thought I would have everyone tie dye a pillow case. I can find those inexpensively at a local discount store and I won't have to worry about having the right size shirt for people. Or asking people to bring one and having someone forget.
We keep costs down by making a lot of things ourselves and by ordering from a very inexpensive place on line for some of the supplies. But it is also affordable because it is one party that everyone can share in. If it goes like last year, the parents will hang and nosh on nibblies and have fun while the kids play. The last Saturday in July, we will be luau central! :-)