And, gentle readers, I am so fortunate to have a daughter who also loves rainbows. I was pretty thrilled when, given three options for a third birthday theme, Audrey decided on rainbows.
This turned out to be a pretty big event with 31 children in attendance, plus parents.
I am just going to take a moment to say how glad I am that we have birthday "celebrations" for our kids, not birthday "parties" (the only difference being that we ask for no gifts at our events). My kids live in a daycare. They certainly don't want for toys or books or craft supplies. And seriously, if we had 31 kids bringing gifts yesterday where would we put it all?! All that stuff would have taken over our modest house!
Instead we accept non perishable food and hygiene items from the guests that feel weird going to a childrens birthday empty handed. Tomorrow, when Community Care is open, That Guy will take Audrey down to donate everything she received.
We had a budget of $200 for this birthday and we managed to stay close to budget; we went over by $5. We like to host our kids birthdays between either 1-3 or 2-4 because between those hours no one is expecting a full meal spread (read: cost savings) just light snacks. We spent $75 on food for this event, $90 for decor/games/activities and $40 on guest favours.
Here is how that all broke down:
We kept it basic. Just water to drink. We bought two cases of water, 70 bottles total. We covered the labels with rainbow streamers, then covered the streamers with clear packing tape to improve durability.
|A few rainbow goodies|
Strawberries, oranges, pineapples, kiwis, blueberries and red grapes for a lovely, tasty fruit rainbow.
Tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers and cucumbers on the veggie tray. I had intended to use blue chips and purple carrots to finish off my rainbow. However, the blue chips look much more purple than blue and I ran out of time to cut up the purple carrots.
But it still looks delectable and fed many happy guests.
|Rainbow fruit and veggie trays|
Because we do not accept gifts at these events, I feel justified in giving small tokens of thanks for guest favours rather than elaborate and expensive loot bags. This year I was thrilled to find rainbow pinwheels at Dollar Tree for $1.25 each. I added a small tag thanking our guests for coming.
|This is what 32 rainbow pinwheel guest favors look like|
|A single pinwheel with guest favor tag|
Without gift opening to suck up a good portion of the event time slot I have to make sure that I plan events to keep the kids at least mildly entertained and engaged.
Using some poster board and sticky tack That Guy made a "Pin the Prism" game that all the kids really enjoyed. Sometimes the classics really come through.
|Why yes, it does look a little like a Pink Floyd|
album cover ;)
|Everyone loves to color|
The kids chose the bracelet color of their choice and whatever color and number of ribbons they wanted. Then with a simple loop knot attached the ribbon to the bracelet. We saw some beautiful and wonderful shows of creativity here.
We also bought six bottles of bubbles and prepped the backyard. The kids could go out there, play with the toys, run with their kites and blow some bubbles. It was joyful.
|Rainbow hand kite station all ready to go|
I needed to make as big an impact as possible on my budget. When originally planning for a rainbow birthday I had forgot to factor in that it would mean buying six packs of streamers and six packs of balloons and six packs of paper plates- each a different colour in the rainbow. *DISCLAIMER*-Yes, I do know there are actually seven colours in the rainbow. And Audrey does love indigo. But indigo was hard to find in balloons, streamers and paper plates. So we made the decision to stick with the basic six colours. I don't think anyone but Audrey and I were overly bothered by the omission of indigo.
With basic curling ribbon I tied the balloons into groups of three then tied them to the rails on our banister. Since our stairs are right by the front door this was pretty as guests walked in.
Streamers strung in rainbow order on our piano (for a how to on painting your piano please check out this previous blog post). Yes, that is my beautiful tulip shade Scentsy warmer on the piano...isn't it lovely?! Contact me for all your Scentsy needs!
|Rainbow streamers on our green piano|
|Our dining room set for the birthday to start|