Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When Geeks Celebrate: All the Little Things

So we've just about wrapped up geeks partying (and just before we get started on the next party!)  There are just a few more little tips and tricks I think every host/hostess can add to to their bag of tricks that we used for the Unicorn Adventure.  So lets jump right into them.

Balloons are a staple.  I've learned that locally, mylar balloons at the dollar store are the same price as latex at the grocery store.  The selection is moderate and you aren't going to find any of the themed characters, but if you can just about make a rainbow with basic stars and you can always find a few designs that say happy birthday.  You can also get the fill your own kit, but then you have to find time to fill and tie and hope you don't run out of helium.  I like the simplicity of picking them up, but I don't live very far from the dollar store either.

While you are at the dollar store, it's great to get creative with items.  For the rainbow party we lucked out and scored some garland with stars in it.  We got enough colors to simulate a rainbow feel and it didn't cost us nearly as much money as ordering stuff online.  You can also score all kinds of creative things in the housewares, inexpensive clothes, and cheap theme toys.

Party Bags/Take Homes:
Before you load up on cheap toys for party bags, think, can you use them during the party?  If you can, I think you should.  It's always more fun to get something from the party rather than a bunch of candy in a bag.  Of course the candy is cheaper, but if your kids are like mine they get so much candy throughout the year and are going to have so much at the party that it's not really a treat, plus with toys you can avoid most allergies.  In fact if I can find an inexpensive party item to let the kids take home (like the stars) I'd rather spend a bit more on that, than get a bag of random junk for them.

Make it Work:
Now, what if you can't find the perfect thing.  DIY.  Did you know for example that plastic stones, or those gems in tiaras can undergo dramatic color change with the help of A SHARPIE!  It's true, and the color doesn't rub off for almost a month of daily use (just tested it with Ver2's formerly pink, now yellow tiara).  Darker colors last longer of course.

Crafts can be a great filler for the grouping kids together at the party, especially after an activity or when everyone first arrives.  But the craft needs to be thematic, especially if its going to start the event.  Getting everyone into the theme.  With unicorns not being in the year, we were able to take some horse cut outs and pipe-cleaners and make our own unicorns.  The kids were then able to color them with markers and  sticker gems.  Although I will have to say finding silver and gold pipe cleaners to twist together into a horn was much harder than a thought.  A little school glue held the pipe cleaner horns in place with minimal drying time.

Name tags/or buttons can also be a fun craft.  While those who make cards probably have an easier time of this, our local crafts store carries snap together buttons.  This lets the kids color their name tags and by placing a sticker, or coloring with a sharpie, the back of the button allowed us to sort the kids into groups for the adventure.  The same could be done for choosing teams, or a lotto prize.

I hope this brief list of party tricks has helped you out, or will help you out in the future.

Want to see all the other posts in this series?  Start Here

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