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My son Bruce celebrated his seventh birthday by having an “Almost” Slumber party with his friends. It was a good first step towards the real thing, and hopefully gave the parents of his friends either a night out to themselves or some quality time with their other children. My sister-in-law made things a lot easier on me by taking my two-year-old daughter out to dinner during the whole event. Thank you SIL!
Here are some ideas that I used to plan this party, in case you want to try an “Almost” Slumber birthday yourself.
How I worded the Evite:
Please join us in celebrating Bruce’s 7th birthday with an “Almost Slumber Party”! We will have pizza, ice-cream cake, party games, and a showing ofPokémon the Movie 2000 (rated G). Bring a sleeping bag and pillow, but leave your pajamas and toothbrush at home because this slumber party ends at 9PM. Moms and Dads, this is a drop-off party, so have fun going out to eat on your own or spending time with your other kiddos. Please let us know if there are any food allergies we should be aware of.
It turns out that my glorious schedule had about thirty minutes too many in it. The boys ate pizza a lot faster than I had predicted. Luckily it was a pretty day, so we all went outside to play tag for thirty minutes.
The Goody Bags:
I tried to choose things that weren’t annoying and that would actually serve a useful purpose in the future. The licorish and jacks we used during the party. The basket could be used to store books in the future, the white board could be used for doodling or writing a Morning Message with younger siblings, and I passed out the fidget toys to play with when Bruce was opening his presents. I picked up all of these items at the Target Dollar Spot and the total cost of each basket was $8.50. That was the bulk of this party’s budget.
Setting up for the Movie:
Before the kids arrived I put down masking tape around my media cabinet because I didn’t want stinky, seven-year-old boy feet kicking it while they watched the movie later. This had the added bonus of creating an exit path, which was probably good from a safety stand-point.
The Sign-in Sheet:
When parents dropped their kids off I had them write down the phone numbers for easy reference. Later on when the party started to get wild, I had to gently explain to a couple of boys: “This is a party and we want you to have a good time. But our house also has rules that we would like people to follow. I have your mom’s cell phone number in case I need to call her.”
For dinner we had an untouched, fruit and vegetable platter…
…and pizza. This is where I could have shaved off $30 from the party if I had gone for take-and-bake pizza, instead of delivered. But our family never orders delivered pizza, so this was a special request from my son, and made things a bit easier for me. 3 large pizzas was the perfect amount.
Don’t rat me out to Martha Stewart, but I ended up just making cupcakes out of a mix. Usually I bake from scratch, but I had to save time and make things easier for myself somewhere. Commercial cake mixes really freak me out because they have so many preservatives in them, and it is really unnatural how perfect the cupcakes turn out. I did make homemade frosting though, because that’s really easy.
For the movie the kids had licorice from their goody baskets, and popcorn. I wouldn’t be a good Girl Scout if I didn’t mention that it wasn’t just any popcorn, but Boy Scout popcorn. 🙂
Each goody basket included a bag of jacks, and so this was the first game the boys played. It took about two minutes before they started spinning the jacks like tops, and playing Lego Spinjitzu with them. For those of you who do not know what Ninjago is, consider yourself lucky.
“Frozen Solider” is a fun game that we played too. The first person to melt their solider out of the ice cube wins. Unfortunately, I messed up and forgot to give the most important rule of all: You can only use your own body heat! What ended up happening was that the boys just threw their ice-cubes repeatedly on my wood floor until the ice cracked. My poor floors!
“Who Am I?” was the most fun game to play of all. After the kids at eaten their cake, we sat around the dinner table and took turns playing one at a time. I had written up the papers ahead of time, so nobody knew what was on them. The way you play is that you lick the piece of paper and stick it to your forehead without reading what it says. Everyone at the table knows who you are but you. You ask questions to figure out your person. The funniest “Who Am I?” character was when one of the boys was wearing his teacher’s name, but didn’t know it.
“Toilet Paper Mummy” is a party classic, and was also a lot of fun.
I don’t like talking about money on my blog, but since this post is about planning a party I guess that warrants some specifics. This party was for 8 boys and cost about $150. That included making a goody basket for my daughter too. There were ways I could have saved money (like forgoing on delivered pizza and skipping paper plates and napkins). But for our neighborhood and situation, $150 is a reasonable amount to spend.
I could definitely have been a better environmentalist if I had used my own plates, cloth napkins, and cups instead of juice boxes. On the other hand, hopefully the goody baskets we spent home will actually be used and not junked. Soooo…. although this birthday party could have been more environmentally friendly, it could also have been a lot worse.
Egad… I never want to have an at-home birthday party again! I am sure I am going to be changing my tune in about four months when Jenna turns 3, but for now, when I say never I mean NEVER!!!! 🙂