Ok, not really. If you didn't catch it from the title, this is not a going to be a romantic Valentine's Day post. Instead, I'm going to share with you how I created a fun and thrifty birthday party for my son.
Before you go and think that we are some kind of redneck monster truck fans I can explain... :)
My son got a package of little monster trucks for birthday last year. He thought they were fun to play with so my husband recorded a "Monster Jam" competition for him on the DVR. Me, being the paranoid mother that I am, decided I needed to screen the taping of the competition thinking that there would be lots of cursing, smoking, scantily clad women, and beer commercials.
My hubs and I were happily surprised to find just the opposite. In fact, Monster Jam is really kid friendly and family-oriented. There was no nastiness or PG-13 stuff whatsoever.
So, we let our boys watch the competition on TV and they were hooked... the rest is Monster Jam history. We have all kinds of the toy trucks and little fake dirt tracks and plastic cars that smash and go back together. The boys absolutely love it.
As luck would have it, a Monster Jam competition came to a nearby town just a few days before our big boy's birthday so the hubs took him as part of his birthday celebration. They had a great time and hubs was very impressed by the kid friendly atmosphere and professionalism and friendliness of the drivers.
So what else could we do but have a Monster Jam themed birthday party?! Perfect!
We decided to let the Big Boy invite some of his little friends over for the party rather than having it somewhere. Not only did this save money but I really think he enjoyed it more because it was tailored to him, what he likes, and what he likes to do.
Big Boy's favorite truck is called "Grave Digger". I know, great name for small children, right. For some reason, despite the disturbingly morbid name, the Grave Digger is really popular, like one of the most popular trucks out there.
Thankfully, when I asked the big boy if he knew what a "grave digger" was he looked at me like I was crazy and said "a monster truck". Good answer... sweet innocence. :)
Since Grave Digger is "the coolest truck", we used it as our theme....
Pretty, isn't he?
The highlight of the party was the Grave Digger monster truck cake that my mother-in-law made. She did such an awesome job! She is a really talented cake decorator and even used to sell her cakes when her kids were little. She claims to be a little rusty because she doesn't do it anymore but I think it looks perfect!
We had the party in our finished basement in the play room area. I bought the "official" plates, treat bags, and plastic tablecloth. Everything else I did in black and green (Big Boy tells me "purple is for girls") which saves a lot of money. The themed party supplies are about double the cost of the plain colored stuff.
I used some streamers to liven up our basement. I was planning on balloons too but found out my youngest is scared to death of them so we decided to just put them on the mailbox so the guests could find our house.
Those things on the wall are little flags that come with the hot wheels size monster trucks, each truck has their own flag. Finally a good use for those things! :)
Next to the mini flags I made a collage of the pictures taken at the Monster Jam show Big Boy went to so he could show all of his friends.
I used this funny Grave Digger hat they got at the show for a centerpiece...
For a fun Monster Jam themed game I drew Grave Digger on some poster board so the boys could play "Pin the license plate on the Monster Truck". I tried to find a Grave Digger monster truck poster and couldn't find one (reasonably priced, even on-line!).
I made the license plates out of large notecards, each boy got one with his name on it to tape on the board while blindfolded. They had a good time with it and the big boy liked my poster drawing so much he wants to keep it. :)
We also played "Hot Potato" with a grave digger truck and raced remote control monster trucks.
|Excuse the yucky flash, basement pics, what can I say. |
I filled the party favor bags with stuff mostly from the Dollar Tree. By splitting a few packages of 3 pack bubbles, 3 pack stickers and a few bags of candy (including Transformers candy which was a big hit) I was able to come up with pretty decent favors for cheap. I also picked up a bag of m&m mini packs and a package of reusable silly swirly straws and that was it. Everyone like it and I managed to make sure no one opened the bubbles inside my house. The trick is to give them the bag as they are walking out the door...
As you can see I didn't go way extravagant. This was a party for kindergartners, I'm not sure if anyone even noticed my streamers or lack of balloons. I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time, especially my big boy. I know to him it didn't seem like a budget conscious party, but a fun Monster Jam party that he'll always remember ( I hope!) :)
Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!
xoxo, from a Grave Digger mama. :)