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It was decided – we were going to have a party George’s birthday. Even though we were in the middle of finishing our home remodel and preparing to move. It was not like I was doing anything else, or had any other details to plan. (Part 1)
With the theme now decided, party favors found, I moved on to games and decoration. We were taking a risk by having the party at the local park. However, it had been a mild autumn so far and I hoped it would continue as such.
In the spirit of keeping things simple, I looked around for items we already owned to reuse. If it had been solely up to George, the whole pavilion would have looked like an aviary, live birds and all. For decorations, here is what came about instead:
- Reused a birthday banner , hanging it up high along the side of the pavilion, facing the parking lot. It is similar to the one linked, but not that exact one. We picked our up from the dollar store a few birthdays ago; this was it last time to be used.
- Gathered up large limbs, tying them around the support posts.
- Placed various stuffed plush birds of George’s in the branches of the trees.
- Used table clothes, previously acquired at an end of holiday sale, and various colors of crepe paper. This was one of the great benefits of not having a color theme.
As for games and snacks, we began with the game – Hawk and Sparrows, a.k.a. freeze tag.
Then a horrible thing happened – the fox got into the hen house and stole all the eggs. Each team had to go find their own specific color of eggs, a.k.a. an egg hunt using easter eggs. The kids were great about finding their eggs, even calling out the colors if they found one that did not belong to them. In the end, all but one team could not find their last egg. It turned out that I hid it too well, even I could not remember where they were. We finally found them, in a circle out in the grass, in plain sight. The point was not to make it a hard ‘game’, but to make it a fun one. That being said, as you can see by the pictures below, I had to get a bit creative in ‘hiding’ them around the area of park we were in.
Once all the eggs were found, we gathered the kids together to make bird feeders using peanut butter smeared on cut up paper towel rolls/toilet paper rolls and rolled in bird seed. (note: if are you dealing with peanut butter allergies, shortening could be used as an alternative.) Each kid had a plate in front of them which began with one roll and a glob of peanut butter. Once it was smeared on, bird seed was added to the plate, allowing the majority of see to stay contained and making clean up extremely easy.
The kids were not too sure about spreading the peanut butter till I demonstrated that it really was okay to take a bunch on your fingers and smear it around.
A string looped through the rolls meant they would hang it up once they got home. A paper lunch sack meant transport home would be mess free, which I am sure the other parents were thankful for.
The kids were beginning to wind down, it was time for snacks. Prior to the party we had made birds nests, a.k.a. haystacks made with chocolate chips but no nuts or marshmallows, leaving them in the muffin tins for transport. Each kid was given their “nests”. Small bowls of jelly beans were sat out along the table, allowing the kids to choose which eggs they wanted to place in their nests.
The birds’ nests had all been made inside cupcake tins, with paper liners. This made it very easy to transfer them to the table for each kid, then to a paper lunch sack for the kids to then take home, if they did not eat them at the party first.
Next up were cupcakes, drinks, and opening gifts. Once everyone was done, they were off and running, making use of the nearby play equipment and open space.
My lack of photos for this post has nothing to do with me being frugal with my time or pictures. It has everything to do with my mom taking most of the photos for this day, while I was helping direct the kids.
In the end all had fun helping George celebrate his birthday, which was the point of the whole endeavor.
P.S. I have enjoyed using the remaining erasers we acquired from the party. Not only are they cute, but they work very well and are of a great size for hands, both large and small.