Tuesday, May 08, 2007

8th Birthday Party Luau

My oldest daughter just had her birthday part this past Saturday. I actually scheduled the party from 4 PM to 8 PM. Yes, I broke the holiest of birthday party rules--never schedule the party for longer than 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I'll give you a run-down of our schedule and you can see why it was just barely enough time!

  • Arrival
  • Play on the see-saw and bounce house (a small one we already own thanks to very generous grandparents).
  • Tie-dye (really not a bad activity at all! The worst that happened is one girl found a way to get dye under her gloves and the yellow ended up a wierd light greenish-brown shade from mixing). For the tie-dying I picked up bulk packages of undershirts (t-shirts for the boys and camisole tops for the girls), rubber bands and five colors of dye. We had yellow, hot pink, light blue, red, and regular blue. The kids donned smocks or my husbands old t-shirts, latex gloves and then twisted or folded their shirts, secured them with rubberbands and then used cups to pour dye over different areas. We let the shirts sit until my husband could go out later and rinsed them off.
  • Limbo--everyone was excited for this game.
  • We brought everyone inside to make necklaces using hemp cord, barrel clasps, and beads with a seashore-theme. Even the boys made necklaces--only one charm and using the cord made it a good unisex craft.
  • Pizza!
  • After pizza everyone retired to the family room to watch Scooby Doo (the first live-action movie which is set on a tropical island).
  • Then it was time for the cake. During the cake, I handed out party poppers to all the kids. After the Happy Birthday song was finished, they all opened their poppers and confetti went every where!
  • We gave out the goody bags to be prepared for the next activity.
  • The pinata!
  • We then roasted marshmallows and made s'mores.

It was a very full time. Occasionally some kid (including the birthday girl) belly-ached about doing the next activity, but I was very firm in letting them know this is what the plan is, and everyone is going to do it. Otherwise you end up with kids spread all over your house and not enough people to watch them. After getting such a firm response to the requests, or whining, they settled in.

Decorations and centerpieces were a large part of the expense. I went overboard. Most the kids were just impressed with the bounce house and didn't notice the decor. Soemthing to keep in mind for the next one! We spent about $150 on pizza, sodas (which the kids devoured as an extra-special treat), juices, water, chips and dip, various cut fruits, and the cake. Tie-dying was $2 for each dye, an entire container of salt, and $30 for shirts. I already had the latex gloves, and smocks. The necklaces were $5 for the cord, $2 for the jump rings, $7 for the beads, $4 for the barrel claps. The pinata itself cost $10 and I think I filled it with $16 worth of candy.

And this is still less expensive than the outside parties we've held at minimum of $250 for the entertainment without including food, cake, or decorations for the party room.

The luau was a lot of fun and the kids had a great time. We're still cleaning up!

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