For cute party ideas on a budget here are a couple of easy decorating ideas for kids’ birthdays, based on classic video games. One is for Space Invaders, and the other is Pac-Man.
After seeing several reviews here this week indicating that some people are still enjoying older game consoles, and the games that were designed for them, it has reminded me of a couple of party themes I used when our boys were growing up. We had almost no spare money for party decor which would be discarded soon after the festivities, but these ideas were really inexpensive, and the kids loved them.
For Space Invaders, I put a blue tablecloth on the table, and used plain white paper to cut out the large-pixeled shaped of the various aliens that fall from the top of the screen. I also cut each kid’s name from white paper in block letters that connected together in sort of a digital mode to mark their places. To give each boy something to fiddle with while we ate and did presents, I grabbed white Legos from the building set and made the aliens that you see standing by each name. Cost? Maybe a dime’s worth of paper? Time- about half a day if I recall.
The Pac-Man theme was even easier to make, but cost a little bit more. The background is actually the same blue tablecloth (different light intensity in the photo). I used masking tape to make the grid, and cut the pac man and ghosts from construction paper. The only reason this one cost more is that I made the dots of pennies, which the birthday boy got to keep. I don’t remember exactly, but from looking at the picture it appears that there are about $2 worth of pennies, and a couple of dimes for special dots. I remember the boys had a lot of fun pretending to play the game and “eat” the pennies. I think in the end he gave some of his penny loot to his friend.
Over the years, we never repeated a party theme. I always tried to surprise them... that helped make the low-budget parties more fun. We never did parties with lots of kids, the birthday boy was allowed to invite one friend. So I didn’t have to provide multiple favors for a ton of children.
Nevertheless, there are always ways to make a holiday interesting without spending a huge pile of money. Fun memories!