by Roberta P.
Happy Birthdays on a Budget
Barney Toddler Party
- Invitations: burn the edges, have pirate on front, use words like "aye, aye matey", make a map with a red 'X' on it and a trail etc showing how to get to the party. Say it is on the S.S. (your child's name) and the party sails at (time party starts) and docks again (time party finishes). RSVP...have your parrot call my parrot...etc, roll paper up and wrap with old string
- Decorations: To make pirate flags I took black cloth (bought or even old clothes)...cut into many triangles and hang from a string, sew/tape a triangle onto a long/short drinking straw and tape straw to backs/sides of table chairs. You can usually get (for free) the long hard cardboard tubes that the material comes on at most fabric stores. The tube shall be the pirate ship's mast. Hang one "triangle string" from each side of the long tube. Tape ends to opposite walls. Make a look out on your mast with cardboard and tape, put one of your kids stuffed toys (parrot) up there too. You can even paint/sew white skulls + cross bones on the flags.
- Chocolate candy coins on the table, or dollar store fake coins.
- The material tubes are even great to make a palm tree with. The leaves are paper or green material (an old green t shirt) Under the palm tree you make a cardboard treasure chest, sand around the bottom or even in the chest and the kids can dig for their individual treasures.
- They can make their own treasure necklaces with beads, buttons or those iron on beads.
- Ship shaped cake (excuse the pun)
- Water balloons make great pretend cannon balls to throw......outside of course. Divide the kids into two teams of mean pirates and let them throw them at each other. Or make a cardboard Captain Hook face the can throw them at, or different size cardboard boxes made to look like treasure chests, each having a different point value if they get it in.
- A blue sheet (looks like water), paint/sew a big shark's head or mouth on the sheet and an octopus etc. Then put a kitchen chair on each end of the sheet and lay a long board across the chairs....now the kids can walk the plank! Watch out for the shark! (adult supervision so they do not fall)
- Pinatas can be made for any party theme, fill with ripped paper and candies and beads etc. Hit it with a toy pirates sword.
Take homes: Each child gets to take a flag on the straw home. Make them a pirate sash to have around their wastes....just a strip of old black cloth! Toilet paper/paper towel rolls cut into smaller lengths and then inserted into each other and taped together and you have a pirates looking glass for each child.
- A backwards one (make sure the invites state the kids will get messy and dirty....no fancy clothes allowed....pants/shirts/socks on backwards or inside out!)
- Make the invites with lots of colors and balloons and make the text backwards so they have to read it in a mirror! Maybe include a balloon.
- Decorations: I am sure you can come up with something. Balloons are always a must. They are cheap and plentiful. Turn the table upside down, let the kids sit on the floor and eat on the bottom of the table. Tape balloons to the legs of the table. Paper streamers are also cheap.
- Water balloons to throw at a clown face. And Pinatas. Pin the tail on the donkey (use velcro instead) or pin the nose of the clown face.
- Dress up a clown. Greet the kids at the door saying "Bye, thanks for coming!" (It is a backwards party!)
- Hang up a string, hang one of your kids Barbie dolls or super heroes upside down on the string. VOILA! An upside down tight rope walker.
- Take toilet paper rolls and paint/color or wrap colored paper around them. Stack them in a tower. Let the kids stand with their backs to the tower and throw a little ball under their legs and try to knock down the tower. Each paper roll should have a number value written on it.
- Make a strong man weight: stick/broom handle in the middle, cardboard or styrofoam weights on the ends and write 100 lbs. on them. Have each child lift it but they have to make their strongest grimace while doing it.
- Burping contests cost nothing.
- Ice cream cake or cupcakes with lots of sprinkles on them. Confetti on the table.
- Have them sit in a circle with their backs towards the middle. Place a raw egg behind them. They shall roll their egg with their bums, backwards, towards a bucket placed in the middle of the circle. She/he who does not break their egg gets to smash it in the bucket afterwards! They love this. One kid at my son's party could not stop laughing.
- Gift: Most of us have pearl/plastic iron on beads and the forms they fit on. Take one small round one and make a Pokemon ball (red, black and white), happy faces (yellow and black). Or something else...there are lots of ideas on the net. Cheap gift!
My advice: surf the net and use your imagination!
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to MyStory@stretcher.com
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