At the end of the summer, our middle guy turned five! Because his birthday falls at the peak time when people are away, trying to get their last bit of summer holidays in, we’ve always found that having a big party has been tough. But, he obviously still wants some kind of celebration, so this year, I decided to do a simplified dessert party for him and few of his closest buddies.
The theme was an obvious one as my son is OBSESSED with Lego right now. He has so much Lego that I am constantly finding pieces ALL over the house, sometimes in the weirdest places (like the dryer).
I’ve been known to go over the top with some of the kids birthdays and while I enjoy doing that, I also enjoy trying to keep it simple. But I still believe that in the spirit of “keeping it simple” you can still pull together a great theme for not a whole lot of money or effort.
I wanted to show you how I pulled this Lego party together in a limited amount of time, with a small budget (meaning less than $100). I’ve also created a video to share the whole process with you. It’s more of a “vlog” style but I hope you enjoy watching the whole party come together! See below!
For the backdrop, I found free letters online here and had them printed at Stapes, for about $3. Then, I used wrapping paper for the blue backdrop as well as the yellow bricks. To complete the brick look, I added yellow paper plates on top. For the balloons, we simply blew them up and hung them upside down (a little trick instead of filling them with helium) and drew Lego man faces on them with permanent marker.
To start building the table, we used a mat that we found at Ikea in the kitchen section. I don’t know the exact name (sorry) but it’s the rubber mats that you can cut and place inside your drawers so that your pots, pans, plates, etc don’t slide around. These particular ones at Ikea had little round “bumps” on them just like Lego! I purchased two and some inexpensive green spray paint and it created the perfect table runner for the party.
For the plates, we got yellow square plates and then added a little “hat” on each one using colored print paper as well as faces with permanent marker. This was fun to create as each plate had a different face.
I also found juice box covers online to look like a brick of Lego, for free. These I just printed at home on colored printer paper, cut and tapped them onto the boxes.
Now let’s talk about the food! I find that themed food really helps solidify the theme and take it to the next level!
I started with these Lego head marshmallow skewers. Using a large and small marshmallow, covering them in melting candy and then painting faces on them with edible icing, I think they were the cutest part of the party!
Next, I made Lego men and brick gummy candies. I will be uploading a video tutorial on these in the next few days on my YouTube channel, so make sure to subscribe so you will be notified when it goes live. They were quite easy, although time consuming to make, only requiring three ingredients, but a lot of patience!
We used these for both party candy on the table and also packaged them (using another free printable) as the party favors.
In addition to these sweet treats as the party favors, we also gave away passes to Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan, for the kids to go explore with their families at a later time. Make sure to watch out for that video review coming to the YouTube Channel soon!
For the cake, I made it myself. I did have a lot of problems with the fondant that day so it was a little lumpy bumpy. But at the end of the day, it looked just like lego and my son didn’t actually realize it was cake and thought it was just huge bricks! Mission accomplished!
For activities, we made lego man masks where the boys could cut out black felt and make their masks have whatever kind of expression they wanted.
I also set out all my son’s lego on the kitchen island so that they could play for a bit. Of course, this was a HUGE hit!
I was so pleased with how the party came together visually. And really, at the end of the day, it cost me less than $100 to pull it all together, including the food. I did have to run around quite a bit to find all the items and made a few things myself, however, in the end, it’s all worth it when you see your kids faces light up with delight at how special their party is.
The really cool part of this party though, was not the theme, but rather the gifts.
Kids these days have more than what they need. And often times at birthday parties, they end up receiving tons of smaller items that they probably don’t need or maybe even want. But of course it’s considered rude to show up empty handed at a party, so people will go out and try to find SOMETHING that they think the kid will like.
For my son’s birthday party, we decided to do something different. Something more meaningful to HIM but also to MANY OTHERS.
You see this year, we partnered with Echoage to get my son the gift he REALLY wanted but also, to help hundreds of other kids in need. Let me explain.
Echoage is a new way of giving gifts. To start, the birthday boy/girl chooses one large gift that they’ve wanted for a long time and set it as their goal. For my son, it was Poe’s X-Wing Fighter Lego. He’s asked for this for awhile now but being over $100, we kept saying “wait til your birthday or Christmas.”
Then, you invite your guests to give online towards this gift. Instead of everyone bringing small gifts, they can contribute online to the party. Echoage has already done all of the leg work for you and has customizable invitations that you can send out. Then each guest can decided how much money they want to contribute and do so online (this saves the hassle of going to the store, finding a gift, buying gift wrap and wrapping it).
As if that wasn’t already great news about saving you time with finding a gift, what Echoage does is gives HALF of all the money collected to a charity of your choice. This donation is tax receiptable (if it’s over $20) and your child can choose the charity of their choice. For my son, he chose the Make A Wish Foundation.
This was the key factor in all of this for us: give the gift of giving. It’s so important that our kids learn at a young age how to give to others in need. This wasn’t something that we forced on our son, but rather, it was an amazing conversation starter where we were able to talk to him about kids in need and how important it is to give.
Here’s where the real beauty came in: people were so moved by this idea of giving that they gave MORE, because they knew it was for a good cause (also doesn’t hurt that they get a tax receipt for it). So in the end, my son brought in so much extra money that he was able to get a SECOND large Lego that he had always wanted! He was SO surprised and even his friends were freaking out!
Instead of all the little gifts he could have gotten, by pooling everyone’s money together, we were able to not only give HALF to Make A Wish, but also DOUBLE his gift! It’s truly incredible how giving can reap so many benefits.
I was SO PROUD of my son for making this choice to do this. We talked through a bunch of the different charities that Echoage supports (hundreds in Canada and the US) and he chose to help other kids in need. He is a hero and his generosity has made a difference in other kids lives. Bring on the tears!!!
I honestly have never been more excited to have partnered with an organization that I was to work with Echoage on this birthday. I think in a world that is consumer driven, it’s SO important to teach our kids about the importance of giving. It’s also crucial in helping your guests save time and money and ultimately have the guest of honor get a gift they never would have been able to afford on their own.
I am SO excited to let you know that I have a gift to give to YOU, on behalf of Echoage! To get you started on your next party through Echoage, I’m giving away $20 to get you started with your first party. When you set up your party on their site, use the code $20CHAOS and you will be given an additional $20 towards the final gift! How awesome is that?!
I honestly can’t wait to do my next Echoage party! I just love that this option is out there for more meaningful and practical gifts, while making a difference in the lives of those around the country.
Phew! That was A LOT of information! I hope you enjoyed that birthday recap and learning about a new way to give! Now, check out this video to see how I pulled this party together!