So I recently threw an "Angry Birds" party for my 5 year-old. I actually kept this party pretty cheap. Here are some cheap ideas. Some ideas can be incorporated into other themes. From what I gather, the kids all had a good time and they didn't realize they were in the middle of a cheap-themed party. The cheaper, the better!
1. Invite less kids. I usually (or in the past, I should say) let my kids invite whoever they want to parties. This time, due to a hectic schedule and me not wanting to do a ton of work, I told my soon-to-be 5 year-old he could invite any 4 people he wanted plus their siblings. So he chose 4 and that was that. I have to say, having less kids around was a lot less stressful. I'm not really a "kid person" - so it doesn't take much for me to get rattled when it comes to kids. It was just less chaotic with less kids and more fun for me. My son didn't realize the difference of having 8 kids vs. 20 kids here.
2. Cheap Bowling. We dug out our Little Tykes bowling set that we got many moons ago. We're missing a pin, so I just saved a soda bottle to incorporate. We did this at the end of our driveway. We threw down duct tape to show where the pins go and where the bowler stands. That way, we adults could kind of be like, "Yeah, just do it yourself kid!" This worked.
3. "Guessing Game". We played "Guess How Many Angry Bird Eggs Are in Here?" I bought a bag of beans at the Dollar Tree. I took an old Rubbermaid container and just rubber banded it for extra support. I guess I could have made it look "prettier" but that's what I did. I printed out a picture in color. That wasn't really "cheap" as color ink is expensive - but for my boy, I gave in to a little luxury.
I even made my kids do the "dirty" work - I had my little guy make piles of 5 beans and my bigger guy make piles of 10 beans. So they essentially counted out the "eggs" for me.
4. Made a Life-sized Angry Bird Game - FOR FREE! This was probably the biggest hit of the party. The kids (ages 3-6) loved having 60 boxes to build and destroy over 2 hours. I got some boxes at the grocery store and some at BJ's. And I just kept boxes from the previous few weeks before the party. After the party, I made my mother break them all down and threw them in the recycling pile on garbage day.
5. Found someone (my father) who had baby chickens as entertainment. My father had some baby chickens (or real life Angry Birds, if you will) so he brought them over and the kids could pet them and hold them gently. For the most part, the kids were entertained by them for 3 minutes and then moved on to other things.
6. Fun with hubcaps! This isn't a good picture - but I forgot to get one up close. Last week, we threw a WHITE TRASH PARTY and I saved the 2 hubcaps that I found laying on the streets for my son's birthday party. We hung them on trees in my yard. Classy, right? I printed out 2 Angry Piggies or whatever they are called and taped them to the center of the hubcaps. I gave the kids frisbees to throw at the piggies. This could work for any themed party.
7. Made Angry Bird Bean Bags. I initially had a game of "throw a bird at a pig" with buckets out. I think the kids just turned this into "chuck the Angry Birds at each other." Whatever works. My picture is on it's side and I'm too lazy to fix it.
Making Angry Bird bean bags is simple - go to Michaels and buy some felt. Felt is .29 cents a sheet and you only need 6-10 sheets depending on how many birds you want to make. I just printed out some pictures of each bird and used that as a pattern. I filled them with beans (the same Dollar Tree beans that we used for the guessing game). We glued googley eyes, beaks and eye brows on them. Then I hand sewed up the bottom where the beans went, and voila - I had 12 Angry Bird Bean Bags. The Googley Eyes were probably the most expensive part of this project - I think I dropped just under $2 on them. So it was probably just under $4 to make these.
8. Have a "Make Your Own Pizza" Station. My little guy loves going to Pizzeria Uno to do the "Make Your Own Pizza" meal. So we brought that to his party. This is really a pretty cheap thing to do. You can buy an 8 pack of individual pizza crusts and sauce for $8.99. Then you just pick up some cheese (I probably dropped about $5 worth of cheese on this shindig) and some pepperoni. Probably $2 worth of Pepperoni. The kids had a blast, it was easy, and it was cheap.
9. When time is money, opt for a BJ's cake. I just did not have time this week to do anything crazy with desserts. Sometimes homemaking ain't easy - so we have to rely on store bought cakes. I got this huge cake at BJ's for $12.99. Had I made a cake, it would have easily cost me $6 in ingredients and you can't put a price on clean up and time when you're in a hurry. So $13 was a deal for me. The picture didn't come until after the first cut and someone said "Oops, I didn't get a picture of the cake yet!". Why we really needed one is beyond me but that's what we do.
10. Get creatively cheap with your goody bags. I made individual piñata goody bags - WHICH YOU CAN READ ABOUT HERE. I did these 4 weeks before the party when life wasn't so hectic. The kids loved them.
So there you have it. Some cheap ways to entertain a bunch of kids for 2-3 hours, Angry Bird style. A lot of these cheap ideas can be turned into other themes if so desired. I want to be a White Trash Party Planner.