My Daughters' Frugal Ballerina Themed Birthday Party

Last week I made my daughters a very belated ballerina themed birthday party. It was such a hit and cost me very little to make, but everyone enjoyed themselves. I wanted to share what we did, so that you could also do a similar party in the future.

First, I want to share what we served. Because it was specifically not at meal times (three to five pm) I was able to just serve snacks and not a full meal, so that makes things easier. The food that I served predominantly was healthy. I put out cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, pepper sticks, and halved cherry tomatoes. With this, I served a dip made out of the last bits of ketchup remaining in a bottle and some mayo. I also put out watermelon and cantaloupe cubes, as well as bowls of potato chips and a puffed corn snack. I bought everything on sale. I "splurged" on these cute heart patterned plates and a pink tablecloth for the party instead of using what I already had/washable, because I found them very cheaply at a discount store.

This is the set up for the party as it looked when the kids arrived. I'd wanted to purchase a ballerina themed mold and make plaster of paris ballerinas to paint, but I couldn't find molds in the store (and am too last minute of a person to have bought in advance online) so this craft was my "splurge". The party only had 10 people coming, so even though it was $1.40 for each wooden ballerina, I decided to spend the $14 on it. I bought new paintbrushes also from the discount store, that was $2.85. I bought one bottle of pink paint for $2 and the rest of the colors I already had at home.

I gave everyone pink, yellow, and peach (red, white, and yellow) and they painted theirs as they wanted. Some kids asked for plain red or plain white also.

I used my computer to play ballet music, which made it quite a relaxing and pleasant environment while everyone was painting. It was so relaxing and peaceful while they all painted.

After the painting was done, they were set aside to dry, and the kids played pin the tutu on the ballerina.  I bought a large poster board and cut it in half, and even that was more than large enough. I could have drawn it myself, but Anneliese really likes coloring (and is quite good at it, I must say) so she drew this ballerina. Rose helped color it in.

The kids were then blindfolded and spun around, and then they tried to put the tutu in the right place. I bought special frilled paper for the tutus from the discount store.

After this, I gave the kids some beginner ballet lessons.

I've taught ballet in the past, but it wasn't worth it for me financially for the time commitment to keep on teaching it (these types of activities don't pay well in my area) so I stopped, but it was nice to teach again, even if only for the party.

You could see from my girls' expressions how thrilled they are, as were all the other pixelated kids.

We then used some of the ballet moves we learned to play musical chairs. We had a blast.

At this point, the painting was mostly dry, so the kids went back to the table for a second round of painting. I purchased this pack of glitter glue for $2 which the kids then used to add decorations onto their ballerinas.

They got very creative with the glitter glue.

 Woohoo, sparkly!

I still had some more things I'd wanted to do with the children, such as playing "Mother May I" with ballet moves, and "Simon Says" with ballet moves, in addition to teaching the kids a dance, but I realized we were almost out of time! So out came the ballet shoes cake which they all enjoyed.

 And since the party was so belayed that it was really no one's birthday anymore, we sang "Happy Birthday Party To You" instead of happy birthday.

Everyone then had cake, and then went home.

I got lots of compliments on the party, the kids really enjoyed themselves, and best of all, this was all frugal DIY type stuff.

To gauge this for yourself, the kids at this party were mostly 6 and 7 years old, though there were a few attendees between the ages of 3.5 and 5. Everyone participated and was able to enjoy all the parts.

Have you ever made a ballerina themed party? What did you do for the party? What would you add to my list for things to do at a ballerina themed party even if you didn't make one? If you make birthday parties, how much do you generally spend on them?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. This looks like the perfect party! My 4 year old daughter would have loved everything about it. She loves to dance and I'll keep these ideas in the back of my mind (especially the "ballet class" - I love that) for a future party.

  2. What a fabulous party! I love the craft and lesson idea.

  3. Kudos to you for coming up with this theme. We had access to a pool for my daughters birthdays so it was always pool party and the theme was whatever her favorite cartoon character was that year. Pizza and cake. I usually kept the whole thing under $50.

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