Thanks to our guest writer, Iris Metal for this story.
How to throw a Candyland Birthday Party
The day after my son Brody turned 4, I started planning his 5th birthday party. Yes, I am one of those “passionate” party planners who is always thinking of the next party, even if the party is a year away. Fortunately, Brody is still at an age where I can coax him into wanting a party theme that I secretly want to throw. This year, I wanted so badly to throw a Candyland party. I had just started my obsession with reading party blogs, and candy buffets were everywhere! And of course I am a sweets lover, along with my two children. My husband doesn’t care much for sweets, so he finds it humorous when he sees me as excited as our kids when we pass a candy shop, ice cream parlor, or bakery. Another reason why I had to throw a Candyland party is the fact that Brody and I love playing the board game. It is always so much fun sitting down on the floor and staring at a board full of yummy treats and bright colors while spending quality time with my little one.
To start the party planning process, I always start with what colors I want to use so I can start designing the customized party printables (the banner, labels, cupcake toppers, etc.). Without a doubt, the Candyland board game was my inspiration.
Thankfully my husband gives input from time to time when I am unsure of certain designs, and we both agreed that the colorful track of the board game would be a focal point on the printables.
Next, I knew that I would have to buy lots of candy to make a nice looking candy buffet. Not only would I need candy for guests to eat at the party and take home, but I would also be using candy as décor in vases and pots or whatever I would use to bring in pops of color. Since my parties are always budget-friendly, I started buying candy almost immediately after I knew that I would be throwing a Candyland party. One of my best finds were bags of jelly beans at 90% off at CVS after the Easter holiday. I bought all the bags they had which was about 25 bags for 10 cents each! And after Christmas, I found large swirly lollipops for a quarter at Target’s dollar section since they were marked down 75% off. The lollipops were in Christmas boxes, but the lollipops were still wrapped in cellophane so taking them out of the box, they were just regular pink and red swirly lollipops. Of course I made sure to check the expiration dates and all of the candies had expiration dates well past Brody’s party date. And just my luck, the week before Brody’s party, Publix had boxes of Mars candy bars Buy One Get One Free. Another great shop for bulk candy is BJs. I got a majority of my candies there.
With lots of candy, I needed lots of candy jars. Thankfully we have an IKEA near us now and that store is a great source for storage needs! They have jars of all shapes and sizes, at very low prices.
Of course I couldn’t forget the party favors. I needed some sort of container for the kids to bring the candy in. I wanted to buy something really cool, like a tin container or gable box, but with over 20 kids coming, it would be a costly expense. I knew I had hundreds of standard lunch brown bags in my pantry, so to be cost-effective, I customized the bags by printing onto them “Sweet Treats for Sweet Friends. Love, Brody”. And since I felt a little guilty providing all of this candy to Brody’s friends, I knew that I wanted to give the kids toothbrushes. Toothbrushes are really affordable now since they are in dollar stores, but to get them even cheaper, I actually kept a lookout for all of the sales at drug stores and combined those deals with coupons bought on EBay, I was able to save a lot!
The last budget-friendly purchase that makes me really proud are the Candyland board games I bought as prizes for the birthday party games. During Christmas, the board game was on sale for $3 each, but with a $2 mail-in rebate, the final cost was $1! My husband and I each bought one, so we ended up getting 2 birthday party prizes for a total of $2!
In the end, the most important thing to any party is that the special birthday celebrant has a wonderful time and Brody had a blast! I am so grateful to our friends and family who were there to celebrate with us. And it’s nice to know that I can throw a great part without breaking the bank!
Iris Metal is a mom to two small children and loves throwing parties and making crafts on a budget. Iris enjoys sharing her ideas with parents and with My Baby Clothes. My Baby Clothes also enjoys sharing boutique baby clothes, baby headbands, and baby hats to budget friendly families.