Monday, September 3, 2012

Princess and Knight Party

This Friday, Eliza had a princess and knight themed birthday party. After watching the Yo Gabba Gabba "Birthday" episode countless times, she actually asked me for a party of her own. She has seen that show far too many times for her own good.

Before we began planning things, Nathan suggested that I give myself a strict budget. Instead of buying Eliza a present, we put 40 dollars towards the party. Because I am weird and love Excel, it was pretty fun to plan everything while trying to stay within my budget. Most of the ideas I came up with were free or extremely cheap. I figure three-year-olds don't need much in order to be entertained. 

The party began with the little girls who arrived picking out a princess dress to wear. This is only part of Eliza's dress collection:
I know. It's out of control. In my defense, every dress has come from a yard sale and was $1.00 or less. Four of them I got for 10 cents!

After the girls were dressed, we went outside to make crowns and tiaras. I felt bad that I didn't have outfits for the boys, but no one seemed to notice or care. Like I said, they are 2 and 3 years old. The boys had green crowns to decorate and the girls had purple tiaras to glue various gems and foam shapes onto. Cheryl, my mother-in-law, is a preschool teacher, so she fortunately had a stash of fun materials we could use.

After the crowns were made, we started our knight's quest. Sadly, I don't have many pictures of the quest, as I was the one leading the little ones on their journey. The quest began with "defending the castle." 
We made the castle using the Ezra and Elliott's car seat boxes. We just cut another box to go on top and spray painted everything. Instant castle! The kids then played a game of ladder ball, which was supposed to be like a catapult of sorts. They loved throwing the ball at the ladder! It was definitely a success.

We then went on to the trampoline as the kids tried to "catch a fairy." They took turns jumping as we threw huge marshmallows (aka fairies) at them. They laughed as they tried catching the marshmallows and everyone enjoys a good jump on the trampoline.

After we caught our fairies, we followed the clouds and found the dragon! The dragon pinata was the most expensive part of the party. It was 16 dollars on Amazon and totally worth the money. I couldn't decide if I wanted it or not and actually delayed buying it until the last possible day. I am so glad we bought the dragon, though!
Because we wanted to save the candy for later, the kids took turns shooting the dragon with our bow and arrow. This was a huge hit. The boys (and most of the girls) loved trying to shoot the dragon. 

After we wounded our dragon, we were able to move onto the final part of the quest-- finding the knight's treasure. The kids used the final clue to make it to the sandbox and eventually uncovered our chest of treasure (aka party favors!).  

 Thanks for the boxes, Amazon! They made a perfect treasure chest!
The "treasure" included a few yard sale finds and $1.00 gift bag prizes at Walmart. The kids got to choose a few items to keep, and we then celebrated our triumphant arrival home with cake, fruit, and punch.

Eliza loved everyone singing happy birthday to her and couldn't wait to blow out the pink "3" candle.

After the cake, we inflated our water slide and the kids changed into swimsuits. 

My in-laws have had this slide for years, and it is always a favorite summertime activity. I love that it costs absolutely nothing to use this slide and that it was such a great part of the birthday celebration.

While most of the children played, Eliza opened up her gifts. Of course, she loved everything she received: bubbles, hair bows, a bubblegum machine, a bracelet, cookies, My Little Ponies, Princess coloring books, and even a shirt that says: "I speak Porkacheese!" (Eliza said "Porkacheese" instead of "Portuguese" once. It was a super thoughtful gift). 

Finally, we smashed the pinata. Everyone had several turns hitting the dragon, but the pinata just wouldn't burst open! 

I finally stepped in and bashed it to pieces. It was fun.

As you can see from the pictures, we had a great time. All the boys and girls seemed to really enjoy our backyard games, and I loved hanging out with all of their amazing mothers.

I was exhausted afterwards, but it was definitely a birthday success (and I only spent 36 dollars on everything from the dragon to the cake).


  1. That was really a great party full of neat ideas. If I ever have a girl, I may steal it! But hey, it could work for boys too. Great job staying within budget too. I think 3 is the perfect age to start inviting friends. That's when we did Evan's first big party! :-)

  2. Ummmmmmmmm, BEST...BIRTHDAY...PARTY...EVER!!! I would have loved to have a themed party like this. You guys got so creative. I'm sad we missed it.

  3. Awesome party! Happy Birthday Eliza!!!

  4. SUPER CUTE PARTY!! I love all of it. And I'm impressed with your budget. It's easy to get carried away with things like that. $36 is awesome! The pinata was worth the money. And Eliza looks like she was having so much fun!! Also, Ben loves Excel too. You should ask to see his spreadsheet for our honeymoon. It's color-coded and amazing.

  5. I have to tell you I'm so sorry I got your three year old a gumball machine. I was not thinking correctly I guess. I hope you don't get gum all over the house now.


A Penny For Your Thoughts