mr. d’s special requests for his 5th birthday party = a bounce house, birthday cake (not cupcakes), cheetos (his hands in the bowl below, finger lickin’ and all!!!), hotdogs (no bun) and lemonade. oh, and lightning mcqueen of course. love 5-year old party planning!!
as for my special vision for this year’s big event….keep it simple and small….and homemade. you might remember that last year d had a really big country fair party (why did i do that to myself at 34 weeks pregnant?) and you might remember this post earlier this month where i talked about my dream for my kids with their imagination and creativity, so this year i set out to simplify. and i truly did….but i had no idea that i could literally make this party come to life in the way that it did with the crap from my garage. seriously. i know most american families out there can actually park in their garages, but mine is more like a storage shed. drives my hubby cuh-razy (and really me too) but i am exploding with photo props and decor and i really do use it all constantly!! every time i think about clearing room and parting with things, here comes another shoot or event where i put it all to use and there i go thinking it is all worth it. makes perfect sense, right?
mr. d went to work showcasing his stellar 5 year old handwriting skills for me with a welcome sign and food labels. at the start of this fall, he could not even write his own name and now look at him go! proud mom moment:) this party gave us plenty of room for lessons on handwriting and spacing, so yes, i had to help guide him on how to fit his oversized writing onto a small placecard holder:) but despite my perfectionist nature, his oopsies and sign for the front door won me over with his precious smudges and his small “w” up in the corner where he soon saw that he was not writing quite big enough for his big poster. love that memory and my boy!
we cut sponges into squares and painted/sponged all of our black and white checkered racing flags, bunting and posters. great lesson on patterns too although the monotony of this job wore on them. the lemonade stand from my recent sweet and sour sessions became the piston cup pitstop where kids could fuel up with water or lemonade on their way to the bounce house.
we also contacted a local discount tire shop to recycle some old damaged tires and then spray painted them for the party. i loved how this blue one turned out to be a perfect cake stand! gave in and bought the cake after buying all the supplies myself and then coming in $10 under the cake estimate. i figured that was worth my time:) but we did make the topper and also homemade cake balls!!
of course we had our a wide selection of cars themed toys from d’s toybox along with with other basic items from the garage like screwdrivers, mechanic rags and toolboxes that we used as embellishments on the serving tables to bring the theme to life even more!
all this said, i can honestly tell you it was probably the least stressful or involved kids birthday party i have planned. i did minimal cooking and kept it simple with a small spread. i know not everyone has traffic signs and tires on hand but i hope this can inspire you to use what you do have laying around, be creative, ask around and borrow what you can to bring to life a party that your child will love but that does not have to cost a ton of money!!
be sure to watch the full lightning mcqueen birthday party video recap for more details and photos of the big day!