Birthday on a Budget ~ Party Theme

What will the theme of your party be? With 5 children, boys and girls, we have had just about every type of theme.We have planned ahead and ordered things from Oriental Trading (you can buy summer themes on sale in the winter, if you plan ahead). I have gotten everything I need from the Dollar Store for a few parties.
    For the girls, we have had:
  •  princess parties (dress-up items at the dollar store) 
  • mystery parties (invisible ink pens and mystery solving sets at the dollar store ~ made clues to follow that lead to the goodie bags) 
  • tea parties (tea sets at yard sales and good will)
  • animal parties (stuffed animals at dollar store) 
  • horse parties (also found at dollar stores).
    For the boys, we have had:
  • cars parties (make cars out of cardboard boxes and have them wear them to race) 
  • minute to win it parties (follow the blueprints and get  few items from the dollar store ~ ping pong balls, dice, popsicle sticks, coins, candy treats for junk in the trunk game) 
  • paintball parties (for my teenager, we set up a paintball course in the woods and made sure everyone was covered and protected and had an umpire monitor the game) 
  • buzz lightyear parties (made recycled jet pack out of 2 liters and cardboard wings) 
  • treasure hunt party (made clues in Homemade Rocks around a park that lead to the goodie bags)
  • Easter egg hunt party (I had a son born on Easter morning, so he has had many Easter egg hunt birthdays, but he loves the hunt) 
  • nerf war party(I asked kids to bring their own guns, but we had plenty if they didn't have one. We bought extra bullets because most families know the bullets go where the missing socks live.
I hope you are finding this helpful. Let me know some frugal birthday theme ideas you have.

Birthdays on a Budget ~ Games People Play

Lightning McQueen Pinata
I Love Party Games! Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Pinata, Limbo, etc.
One year, I found a Christmas pinata on clearance. I bought it, sprayed it white and added a picture of a puppy, which was the theme of my daughters birthday.
   You can also make your own Pinata. You can make a paper mache figure that matches your theme, Instructions Here
   We do the same thing for Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I find a picture or draw a picture that matches our theme then, blind fold the child, give him a good spin and let him tape an item to the picture. It could be a tire for a Cars theme, a crown for a Princess theme, etc. 
   We love doing the Limbo and that's as easy as getting a broom handle and some fun music. 

Some other GAMES:
  • Sticker the birthday boy/girl (a mix between marco polo and pin the tail ~ someone blindfolded calls out "Happy" and the birthday child says "Birthday" and the blindfolded child tries to put a sticker on the child.
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Balloon Races
  • Face Painting and Balloon Animals
  • Battle at Sea (You need 2 huge boxes (divide into 2 teams), and ping pong balls or water balloons (for a water party) One team at a time and when the other team has "launched all its missiles, tally up the number that made it into the other teams ship)
  • Boomer-Whiz (hide a toy in plain sight and find it ~ Make it a toy to go along with your theme ~ The birthday child hides a toy and when it's hidden says "Boomer-Whiz" then the others find it and whomever finds it becomes the new hider
  • Relay Race ~ Race to dress-up, Shoe Pile (race to get their shoes out of a pile),
  • Charades
  • Minute to Win It Games Blueprints Here 
  • Hot Potato
  • Hula Hoop or Jump rope contest
  • Animal Safari or Seashell Hunt (use little plastic animals, dinosaurs or seashells to hide around the yard)
  • Follow the Leader
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Fishing for Favors (set up a fishing game for the goodie bags)
  • No Lose Musical Chairs (when you take a chair away, no one sits out, but they sit on someone elses lap. The end of the game is when everyone is sitting on one chair)
Outside Games
  • Bail Out The Boat ~ Use Sponges or Cups to move water from a big bucket to a cup with a line on the top
  • Aim and Squirt ~ Use a Strong Water Gun or a hose with a nozzle to take turns squirting a beach ball across the finish line
  • Bucket or Flower Pot toss with water balls
  • Bubble Fun (from little blowers to Hula Hoop size blowers)
  • Water Balloon toss
Balloon Games
  • Balloon Bop ~ Have children hit balloon over a string and earn two points each time for a set amount of time.
  • Balloon Stomp ~ Put wrapped lollipops in the balloon before inflating, inflate and then have the children stomp on them to get the prize
  • Catch the Balloon
  • Floating Balloons (keep the balloons in the air the longest
For tons of other games and instructions, go here


Birthdays on a Budget ~ Invitations and Venue

          There are so many different ways to save on invitations and where you want to have your party.

  • You can print your own invitations with software on your computer (it's the price of ink that gets you)
  • Buy a pack or 2 at a dollar store that matches your theme
  • Handmade invitations never go out of style. Have your little one draw a picture and you write all of the important information.
  • Online Invitations ~ You can use Facebook, Evite, Punchbowl, etc. to create a really nice invitation to your event and then just sit back and count your RSVP's
  • Start looking at Groupon, Living Social or another local sites for great deals. If your child doesn't have his heart set on a specific place you could get a great deal on a fun place. (We went 1/2 price to an inflatable place in our area and had a great time!)
  • Check the restaurant or play place's website to get discounts and coupons. Most places will give you a discount if you have your party on a weekday.
  • Go to a public park. They have pavilions to use, usually first come, first serve. There will be equipment to play on and a grill to cook on. 
  • Have your party at home. I love opening up my home for a party, but it's the cleaning I need to do before they arrive and after they leave that makes me wish I had the party somewhere else ;)
This last party we had was very simple. I knew it would be after church, with family, so I texted everyone to let them know there was a party happening after lunch. Everyone texted me back, right away, to let me know if they were going to be able to come.

Keep it simple and affordable. The details are lovely, but usually overlooked by your guest of honor. They love playing with their friends, eating cake and getting a few presents. Have a Great Party!


My Preschooler Is 5 ~ Happy Birthday

At this age, my baby's best friends are his cousins. So, when his birthday fell on a Sun. I just asked if he wanted to have a party after Sun. lunch with his cousins and he said, "Yes."
                                                          *Hallelujah, save some money*
We had a wonderful lunch. My husband made a roast and some family add to it. We took the kids outside to smash the pinata, came back in and sang Happy Birthday and then he opened his presents. He had very happy day.

Preschoolers Giving Back 1

Here are the candy cups we are donating, we made over 100 with after Easter sales. Hopefully they will all sell and make some money for ACS.
  If you would like to donate to my team, you can Donate to Relay for Life


Preschoolers Giving Back

This weekend we are participating in the Relay For Life. We have been working this week on a ticket booth. Our team's tent is decorated for Easter and we are responsible for selling the tickets to the rides. So, my boys thought they needed a ticket booth. They would also like to wear bunny ears, so we'll see. Didn't think we'd be doing Easter crafts in May ;)


Happy Mothers Day


Your Childs Art On A Sandwich Box

Complete the entry form and upload your child's favorite work of art on the Rudi's Facebook Page and you'll receive a free custom sandwich box with your child's artwork on it. Like their page, press enter and fill in your information, then it will prompt you to uplaod your childs art. If you don't have a pic ready, you can print out their template, have your child draw and scan it in. I am not sure how long this offer will last, so sign-up now

Preschool Word Week ~ Phonetics or Memorization

There are 2 ways to learn to read; phonetics and memorization. This set is called the alphabet zoo and it works with memorization. This is the first book, I See Sam. It has 3 flash cards for the first book. I went over them and switched them around until JJ knew them and then read the book. He read his first book.

This is a self correcting Learning Palette. There are 12 colored circles and 12 cards. The matching items are on one side and the answers are on the other side. It will show in the middle of the card to match the little f with the red circle. You pick up the red circle and find the little f around the outside and place the red circle in the right place. When all 12 have been matched, you flip the card over and see if your colored circles match the correct colored circle. I hope I did a good job at explaining it.
Another great resource is they have a list a preschool and kindergarten sight word, flash cards. Very colorful and you know you covered all the sight words they need for their Word Wall.

Preschool Word Week ~ ABC Activity

Explode the Code ~ I love these for learning the ABC's. They have different activities to learn the ABC's sound and writing

This is part of Hooked on Phonics. Letter Flashcards. Great to quiz him on the go.

I love the dollar store. They have a whole aisle of affordable, educational resources
Another resource is they have pages and pages to print that help drive the lesson home.

Preschooler Word Week ~ ABC Trace and Erase

Repetition is key. I find as many different, fun ways to learn the same thing and really get it in his little mind. You can laminate and roll your Playdoh over the letter outline.

I also placed a clear dry erase board over the letter sheet so he could practice tracing.

Another alternative is buying the clear sheet protectors, the heavy duty works best with erasing, and placing the sheet inside. Use your dry erase pens to trace and erase.
I found these Playdoh mats at Homeschool Creations . They are free and Jolanthe does a great job with other ABC activities.


Preschool Word Week ~ My Name


Great Way To Spell His Name

He did a great job

We worked on vowel sounds

Another Tactile method to write
    What is the first word most children learn to recognize, spell and know...Yep, their name. Since we got to the ABC worksheets, today we worked on his name. I read on one of the best ways for a child to really get and remember letters is through tactual and kinesthetic activites. Children at this age learn by touching, feeling, moving and experiencing and it is left out of most schools and curriculums.
     I like to excite my preschoolers senses. So, he rolled playdoh like a snake and made his name and I poured salt on a baking sheet and let him write his name and just draw around on it. You can use fingerpaint or shaving cream, all are fun and hands-on.
     You are getting your preschooler ready to write using these activities. Other ways to strengthen these fine motor skills are:
  • Pick up small objects with tweezers or tongs
  • Practice turning a combination lock
  • Tear small and large pieces of paper
  • Practice closing a Ziploc bag
  Other great activities are dot-to-dot and maze books. They are fun and building fine motor muscles.  


Preschool Worksheets ABC's

Today, we started the ABC worksheets. He has been watching LeapFrog and knows his phonic sounds, so we will work over the summer on these worksheets. I am starting with his vowels, so he can start some consonant - vowel blends. Here is a blend ladder you can fill in for your preschooler.


Preschool Worksheets Sequence/Order

Today, he worked on putting a story or action in order. My other children have about 30 days left in school, so this week I needed to get caught up on worksheets. I would like to make some worksheets of my own to share with you,when to find the time.


Preschool Worksheets Classification

Today, he is learning about Classification. He cut out pictures of toys and clothes. Then, he has to glue them in the store it belongs in, the toy store or the clothing store.
I will be making some original worksheets to share with you all.

Preschool Worksheets Left/Right-Directional Concepts

  Today, he is learning about Directional Concepts; left and right, through, in the middle, beside the teacher, etc.
  I will be coming up with some original worksheets to share with you.

Preschool Worksheets Opposites

   We'll the end of the year is coming to a close and we are going to catch up on worksheets this week and I am going to come up with a few originals to share with you guys.
  We use Sing, Spell, Read & Write. It is mostly about the worksheets, songs and read-alouds for the preschoolers.
  Today, we are working on opposites; up and down, inside and out, fast and slow, hot and cold, etc.