Skyler's 7th birthday was just two weeks after Amelia's, and although we weren't planning on throwing a party, we ended up having one anyway (our plans to take a friend to Sea World didn't pan out). Once the decision was made, my goal was to stress as little as possible and I think it turned out pretty well.
We made homemade decorations including newspaper chains and birthday card bunting (pictured above). I've always saved the kids' birthday cards and I was glad to finally find a use for them! I just strung up some yarn and clipped them on with clothes pins.
Instead of a pinata this time, I opted for some simple party games. The kids are playing Animal Twister above; I found it tucked inside a vintage Twister game that I paid a dollar for while garage sale-ing with my friend Jessica over the summer. The animal version is definitely cute and probably easier for younger kids.
We also played a memory game, another simple game that I didn't have to go out and get anything extra for. I found 20 items I was pretty sure the kids would recognize and they got to look at the tray and ask questions for a minute before I covered it back up. Most of the kids had a little trouble remembering (plus we had to write for those who couldn't), so I think that one may be better for kids 8 and up or so.
Chris put together a balloon-target game outside for our third party game. We had the kids draw a target with chalk and then see who could let their balloon go and get the closest to the bull's-eye. Yeah, I'm not sure if there was a winner on that one.
And we did have little dollar-aisle prizes for the games, which was probably a mistake (a certain birthday boy's feelings were hurt) even though everyone got to pick one out in the end. I also had some simple goody bags that included some recycled party candy (shhh!).
Chris grilled hot dogs and sausages (the Polish wedding sausage was really good) since the party fell over dinner time, and I was adventurous enough to make the cake myself (only the icing was from scratch though and I baked it the night before). Skyler wanted a Sea World-themed cake with half chocolate half vanilla, so I had my work cut out for me. I'm no pro cake-maker, so I covered up my not-so-pretty icing job with gummy sharks, worms, and some goldfish crackers. I think my grandparents weren't keen on the toppings, but it was a hit with the kids! Here's Skyler blowing out his candles:
Even if it wasn't the prettiest, it was definitely the yummiest!
And lastly, there were presents (the best part about birthdays, right?). My favorite, of course, was the R2D2 messenger bag I sewed and freezer stenciled for him. I found a great tutorial for making the bag here, with adjustments to make it a bit bigger found here. There's also a great, simple freezer stencil tutorial here. The bag was of course upstaged by the boxed set of original Star Wars movies tucked inside, but I know he really loves his new bag (apparently his best friend has a bag that "goes over your head" and it's really cool). It's good to know that my kids appreciate the gifts I make them, and sometimes even look cool :)
Here's the birthday boy with his new bag (and his new Goodbyn lunch box which is super-awesome!) on the first day back to school.