In keeping with my son’s usual, for his 7th birthday he requested a birthday party theme that I couldn’t just run to the store and buy pre-printed super hero plates and napkins for. In keeping with my usual, I tried to give him the party he wanted without breaking the bank. Literally, this time. 🙂
I told myself that the request for a money themed party had to do with the fact that his dad works in finance and not because we were terrible parents raising the next Ebenezer Scrooge. I scoured the internet for ideas which almost always provides some jumping off point but to my surprise this time…nothing! I found a few Monopoly themed parties and one gold themed party but that was it. No inspiration. I was going to have to come up with this one all on my own. So if your future banker, stock broker, financial planner or accountant is asking for a money themed party, read on and you’ll see just what I came up with.
I frequently start my party planning with the party favor. I know, I know, most parents HATE the favor but it’s actually one of my favorite parts of a party. The one thing I always make sure to do is fill it with food, candy, or items that the kids can actually use. I hate bouncy balls and plastic garbage just as much as the next gal. Another thing I like to do with my favors is keep the cost between $1 and $2. This particular one came in right at $1.65 a piece. Here’s what I included: A chocolate bar wrapped to look like a $100 bill (sort of, the Government frowns on counterfeiting so this is a stylized version), a snack-sized Pay Day, a snack-sized 100 Grand bar, a million dollar mint, coin wrappers filled with Rolos candies, and a couple of chocolate coins. I put a little bit of shimmery, green shred in the bottom and put a label on the container that said SAVINGS to make it look like a kids bank. The labels I used are no longer available but this version is a great substitute. I purchased the chocolate bars at my local grocery store when they were on sale and I had a coupon (thank you S’more’s season). I purchased the chocolate coins at my local World Market but everything else was purchased at Dollar Tree. The snack-sized candy bars were $1 for a pack of 6. I probably could have found them cheaper by buying them in a larger package somewhere else but since time is money I decided to just complete my shopping there.
After the goodie bags were done it was time to get brainstorming on the cupcakes. I decided on store-bought yellow cake mix and homemade, green tinted buttercream icing. I always use the Wilton buttercream recipe. I decorated the cupcakes with gold sugar and the same chocolate coins that I used for the goodie bags. I used the regular Reynolds brand silver foil cupcake liners you find in the baking aisle. They are super affordable and they fit the theme perfectly.
For decorations I kept it simple with gold and green balloons, gold and green streamers, and paper money that I also found at Dollar Tree. I absolutely LOVE digital invitations and found this one on Punchbowl that worked beautifully with my theme. I customized the invitation with the party details and a little poem that read,” Let’s invest in our friendship and spend time together. We’re banking on a good time.” Cheesy, maybe? But I thought it was cute.
Now for the activities. My son wanted a pinata and all I could find was a small one that looked like a $100 bill. It was too small to fit much of anything in it so I decided I was going to have to make something myself. Since I was trying to gear this money themed party towards the idea of earning and saving, not consuming, I decided that a pinata shaped like a safe would be fun and easy to make. I had successfully augmented store-bought pinatas before so I was sure I could do it. I set out to find an affordable, large rectangular shaped pinata and ended up finding one at Wal-Mart for $10. It was originally fashioned to look like a wrapped present but I knew that all I needed to do was tear off the decorations and then add my own. When I started to tear off the decorations I expected to find the typical chicken wire and paper-mache pinata I was used to. Oh no, what I found was a plain old box. Seriously? I could have saved myself the $10 and just grabbed one of the many boxes I had in the garage but that was neither here nor there at that point. I wrapped the box in black tissue paper, made a door out of a piece of cereal box that I covered in duct tape and then created the dial portion with the lid of an oatmeal canister and the top of a milk jug. It turned out absolutely adorable (if I do say so myself )!
After the pinata the kids played a game of pin the dollar sign on the safe. For that I just used a piece of black poster board, made a safe door out of duct tape again and drew on the dial with black sharpie and silver paint pen. I made little money bags for prizes from leftover chocolate coins.
In order to drive home the message that this money party was geared towards earning and saving I created a fun obstacle course type game that had the kids doing “chores” in order to earn money. I set up stations; pick up your toys, take out the trash, walk the dog, and set the table. Two kids at a time would race against one another and the one who finished first would “earn” a bag of chocolate coins. This was far and away everyone’s favorite activity. They even liked it better than the pinata which says a lot in my book.
All in all the party was a success. I had a very happy 7 year old and lots of tired and thankful friends.