The challenge for me with this party was entertaining the kids. We invited his entire class. I know there is a theory that you only invite the number of kids for the years the child is turning. I just felt that was unrealistic for a couple reasons. One day, a near 5 year old comes home and tells me about his best friend Joe, and the next Joe took his toy. I don't find the mind of 4-5 year old entirely reliable on who to invite or NOT invite from a class. My rule has been that if he wants 1/2 the class, you really have to invite all. If it was 3 or 4 kids out of 14, maybe a different story. We ended up with 8 of the 14 coming (including K-Man), along with 8 others from the neighborhood (including siblings and Mini-Me).
My goal was keeping the kids downstairs, and allowing the adults to mingle between the floors. For the most part, it worked fabulously. Our basement, as I said, is still a bit of a work in progress with no furniture or rugs down, so loud might be a bit of understatement. But there is nearly 800 sq feet of space including the playroom. The volume at times overwhelmed the adults for certain and even the kids.
Each child was given a blow up Light Saber upon arrival, along with their Padawan Tunic. We fashioned an obstacle course for the kids. Mustafar Lava jump aka hopping on specific floor tiles to avoid the lava, Escape Roll courtesy Tae Kwon Do, Light Saber Balloon Battle, and then fighting a 2 sabered Sith, the Mister. TKD always has obstacle courses and the kids love them, so other than making sure they weren't piling on top of each other, this was an easy sell. The Mister also works well the the kids, "Do you like to run?!" LOL.
Next up was Pin the Light Saber on Yoda (a fathead type thing from K-Man's Room). That was pretty entertaining. I don't think many kids have played Pin the Tail on the Donkey! Apparently, that is old school and I am old. But they thought it was fun! Of course, the highlight was the Death Star Pinata. I am proud to say that my handiwork made it through whacks by every child before finally giving in and spilling it's contents. We had Mardi Gras beads, glow bracelets, stickers, Lego Minifigure Crayons (made by myself and K-Man), and mini Tootsie Pops.
I was trying to see if there was really a savings, so I wrote down my costs:
$16 printed invites with envelopes
$28 for 24 Inflatable light sabers
$3 for 24 Bottled Water with leftover
$6 Gold Spray Paint with leftover
$8 Pinata Supplies
$8 Pinata fillers
$2 Balloons & Streamers with leftover
$15 for 15 tunics
$7 Pretzel Rod Light Sabers
$2 Plates with leftover
$0 Table Cloth
$2 Themed Napkins
$0 Plain Napkins
$10 Cake Topper
$2 Yodarita cups with leftover
$0 Fruits/Veggies, beer - would have bought for house anyway
$167 Grand Total
I think that was pretty good actually! I know we spent just that much on the venue each of the last 2 years. Some of those expenses would have been incurred regardless - invites, cake, napkins, refreshments, etc., and we have leftovers for future parties. All in all, I think it was a success. We had several kids not wanting to go home, others that were exhausted and ready to go home. Hopefully, they slept well last night for their parents. I know mine did!
Hope you had a great birthday, K-Man! We love you!