Look up "Dragon Birthday Party" on the Internet and you'll find a lot of How to Train Your Dragon, or Knights with swords. That was not what we were going for. There's a balance to be struck and I think we found it this year. Besides the challenge of the theme, we're working off of a very tight budget.
So, how did we plan and execute a very successful Dragon party on a budget, for 5 girls ages 4 - 7 (plus a 2-year-old brother)? Let me break it down for you!
Dragons - we had quite a few toy dragons from the year before, purchased at my local Michael's for a couple of dollars each, plus the cute little dragons from their Little People Castle Playset from when my girls were toddlers. I used these, along with a balloon and streamers, as the centerpiece.
Table Cloth - Purple is my girl's favorite color, so we skipped the party in a box and spent just $2.99 on a plastic table cloth that was super easy to clean and will top our own picnic table all summer long.
Plates, Cups, Napkins & Cutlery - The budget in mind, we used our own and skipped the matching napkins. Birthday parties do not have to be picture perfect, fellow parents. They just need to be fun! By using our own, we saved money and a tree or two (no plastic or carton to throw away).
Balloons - We spent $23 at Meijer for a Helium Balloon Kit with 30 balloons. We spent a couple of dollars extra on a "Happy Birthday" balloon, but overall saved money by doing it ourselves, as opposed to having Party City do it for us.
Favors - A last-minute planner, I express shipped Dragon Tattoos and Dragon Stickers from Amazon. I spent $0 on the shipping by signing up for a trial of Amazon Prime, which I'll cancel before the 30-day period is up. The guests went home with their choice balloon and a sheet of stickers. We forgot to do the tattoos, so that will be a little extra dragon fun for my kids soon!
Schedule of Events:
3:00PM - Guests arrive. We kept things small with just 3 guests (plus my 3). This was a drop-off party, meant to be a sleepover for two of the girls. I'll address the sleepover in another post!
3:30PM - Dragon Hunt! For our first gift, we bought an interactive dragon. It was supposed to be storming outside, according to weather.com, so we planned the hunt indoors instead of in the woods behind our house. My daughter was the one to suggest going on a dragon hunt. She wanted to find one and keep it as a pet, or steal the eggs and raise a baby dragon of her own!
That morning, knowing it should storm during her party, I wondered aloud about where we might look for a dragon in the house if we had to hunt inside. She suggested our very messy storage room or the closet in the basement. Good idea! We hid this dragon in that very closet, behind the big cardboard playhouse that is stuffed in there. We hid it in its nest (cardboard box with shredded paper) with colored "dragon" eggs (hard-boiled and colored like you do Easter Eggs, but very roughly for an authentic look) and a few dragon treasures. "Magical" stones led the way from upstairs to the closet. The dragon has a remote control, so we made it roar as the girls searched the house. Once they were close enough to hear it they saw the stones and followed the path. My husband kept making it roar with the remote control hidden in his shirt pocket. The girls tore through the closet until they all giggled and shrieked upon discovering the dragon! It was great fun!
4:00PM - Gifts! The younger kids (and Papa) just couldn't wait until cake time for the gifts, so we did this before dinner. New earrings, a couple of cool Dragonology books (this one is her favorite) and a hand-made book from her best friend topped the list.
5:00PM - Dinner & Birthday Cake! My homemade pizza was a hit with the kids and obviously so was the cake.
|Add a cool Dragon to a store-bought cake and BOOM! There you go!|
6:00PM How To Train Your Dragon Movie Time!
It was a very fun day. Long, fun, delicious. So there, if you have a girl who loves dragons, fear not! You can make a great party too!
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