|A Minecraft cake birthday cake for my Minecraft loving boys|
Usually I have a theme for my kids' birthday parties, which allows me to figure out low cost party games, which don't end up having a cheapskate feel to them because they all go together with the theme. These themed parties usually take place outdoors due to our 484 square home being small for a family of 6, let alone an entire party. However, today's party couldn't take place outdoors because, unlike September, when it gets dark later on, by 4:30 pm, it's already getting dark here and we can't have a birthday party in the dark. Add to that that it was supposed to rain and results are that the party had to be indoors.
So then I had to come up with some fun party ideas that would be able to be done around a table- since we'd be able to just fit all the guests around our dining room table plus a folding table, but there wouldn't be room to run around. So essentially the theme was- sedentary activities that would still be enjoyable and frugal.
What I came up with was this- and while not the lowest cost birthday party ever, it cost $40 total (and could have been cheaper had I had the energy to do some bargain hunting... but I didn't), and that included supper, crafts, games, etc...
First everyone came and we sat down to some snacks- vegetable sticks, some gluten free pretzels, and a puffed corn snack that I bought super cheaply at a discount supermarket.
Then we played pass the parcel, and in each layer I had put some fun stickers, but in order to keep the stickers, the person who opened that layer had to do the task written on the stickers, such as sing a song, talk non stop for one minute straight, count backwards from 20, things of that sort. The final layer revealed a bunch of jump ropes that I'd bought for 50 cents each- so the lot of 12 was only $6. Each kid got their jump ropes which had wooden handles, and then they decorated theirs with markers. I wasn't sure at first if we'd do that as an activity, but I put out the idea and everyone liked that idea, so that kept them busy for a long time- even when it was time to move on to the next activity kids said they'd wanted to keep on doing it.
Then we all made pita pizzas. I bought multipacks of gluten pitas on sale cheaply at the local supermarket, as well as a 5 pack of gluten free pitas from a discount store- only $1.40 for the package. I'd made homemade pizza sauce with cheap tomato paste and spices, and bought cheese on sale as well. Everyone had a choice of toppings available- tomatoes, onions, olives, corn, and mushrooms, and they had fun doing that.
After a quick bake in the oven (only long enough to melt the cheese, since the pitas were already cooked), everyone enjoyed their pita pizza dinners.
The next item on the list was balloon twisting- I bought a bunch of balloons which I then blew up for each kid, and then demonstrated to them how to twist their own balloon sword- it is actually super easy! Some kids attempted to make their own balloon sword, but the ones that didn't manage to do so got assistance from me.
Once everyone got their own swords, balloon sword fighting commenced. This was the wildest part of the party, but the kids really had a great time!
I had to pry them away from the sword fighting, because it was getting late and I wanted to wrap things up and serve the cake.
My boys love Minecraft, so I made them a Minecraft birthday cake. This actually was the hardest part, because finding a vanilla gluten free cake recipe that didn't require a mixer was challenging- last night I made a triple batch of a recipe, hoping to frost it in the morning, but that triple batch failed and it was really frustrating. I then tried two more batches of vanilla gluten free cake recipes, and the one I finalized was this one, but I doubled it for each layer, used melted coconut oil in place of the butter, and used some pineapple juice instead of the milk. Vanilla cake was necessary because chocolate cake was the wrong color for the base of the cake, but vanilla would be the correct color.
For the frosting, I made my no bake not so unhealthy (other than all the sugar) fondant, and made the red squares on top out of fondant colored with my homemade beet food coloring. It didn't come out perfectly, but I was trying to do it while my toddler was trying to make trouble so I was pressed for time, and even though it wasn't perfect, I think it definitely was good enough.
I decided to skip the candles, what with it being a joint party for two kids with two different ages, and instead I bought these sparkler type things that I put on the cake, and it wowed everyone and was super cheap also- maybe 50-75 cents for them?
Everyone liked the cake, and that was despite the fact that it was gluten free and there were quite a lot of picky eaters at the party who usually wouldn't go for gluten free cakes, so that was awesome.
After the cake it was time to go
Everyone had a great time, and my kids said that it was their favorite party yet, and all the guests agreed- party was a hit. Best of all- I was able to prove to myself that just because we have a small house doesn't mean we can't throw a great party indoors, without breaking the bank.
Have you ever thrown a party indoors for kids, in a small area? What are your favorite games and activities that are fun and frugal and don't require a lot of room?
Thrown any fun frugal parties for your kids in general? What did you do?
Have you ever thrown a birthday party 2 months late?
(P.S. Just had to share- this past year, Mike and I went on our annual birthday date... in May. Our birthday is in February. Lol. This seems to be a tradition. And we still haven't gone on our anniversary date... and that was also in September.)