Okay, here's the deal. I like birthday parties. I do. I love them. But I do not want to be one of those people who sort of loses her ever livin' mind every time one of her children celebrates another year of life.
My parents were not wealthy people, but every year we knew we would wake up on our birthday to see the kitchen decorated in streamers and balloons. Every. Year. It never got old. In fact, I rather miss it. One year, my Dad hand-crafted tractors out of construction paper to hang from the ceiling for my brother's birthday. They always had cake and a few presents for us. They did a wonderful job of making us feel special and celebrated.
And that is what I want for my children. So you'll remember my big birthday bash for Maddie's first birthday. That was fun. Very fun. And really, honestly, goofy cheap. I did a LOT of the decorations myself and really loved doing it.
So with Reagan's 4th birthday approaching and family in town and able to attend a birthday party (due to Thanksgiving celebrations and holidays), I decided to throw a little bit bigger party. Without totally blowing my budget. My budget of $30 or less. Yeah, its not much. But it was enough.
I decided to go with a zoo/animal theme for Reagan since she had such a good time at the zoo this fall and because she seems to LOVE animals. This party took quite a bit of preparation and not very much money.
First, there were the invitations which had little critters on them like this sweet little penguin. I made them. They sort of stole my heart, actually. They also decorated the table where we had goldfish, gummy bears and animals crackers. The animals cost $0 and the food was $6.
I saved for a long time and made binoculars from tp tubes which I covered in black paper and stapled together. Grand total of this was less than $1.50.
I hung streamers and green balloons - hoping to imitate trees and the forest canopy. The table was blue because that looks like water. The table runner is animal patterns we photocopied and taped together. I also spread out stuffed animals in the area. Cost: $4.
I made a sign and some fun friends for the wall. Cost: $0
I made the cupcakes. Oh they were fun. It took some careful planning and it was not "easy" or "fast". But when they were done I may have danced in the kitchen. My personal favorite is the elephant. Reagan loved the tiger. My parents made endless fun of my ZEBRA! They were all great fun. I'd love an excuse to make these again!
Honestly, I think it cost me less than $20. We'll just not talk about the hours I spent ;)
Right when the party started I got a phone call alerting me that the animals had escaped from the zoo. Immediately I asked Reagan if she could find some friends and her binoculars to help us catch the animals. I may have overdone the acting a bit. Some people thought I had lost my mind and Reagan looked initially a little freaked out when I told her the animals were in my basement. But it all worked out. I handed her a sheet with pictures of all the escapees and down we went to search them out. Can I just say this was really fun and we are going to play this game again and again and again. Reagan loved it.
Then it was time for singing and cake and snacks.
And then it was time for birthday presents. Reagan got a My Little Pony Castle and 6My Little Ponies from us. She got many other fun presents. Maddie was not just a little jazzed about all the loot pouring forth from the boxes her sister was opening.
After more playtime and fun, we said goodnight and sent our very special guests on their way home. It was a blast and we are so glad that BOTH sets of grandparents could come celebrate Reagan's 4th birthday!
I love celebrating her!