Monday, November 7, 2011

A Family GAME NIGHT birthday party

Cameron turned 11 in October, as I documented in my Teen Mom blog post.

We kept his party low key and comfy, cozied up at home with family.  Cameron's handful of favorite things is reading, learning, and playing games!  His entire bedroom is all about those things!  To celebrate one of his loves, I made his 11th birthday all about board games. 

Having a board game themed party is entirely economical if you're searching for ideas on how to throw a party without breaking a Benjamin.  Most of your decor and props can be found in your own game closet, making this party theme very inexpensive. 

This awesome Scrabble game inspired sign that is resting upon a stack of classic games usually sits in his room and includes his full name.  I am in {double love} with it!  
Decorating a party with game STUFF is super easy too!  And the ideas on how to incorporate game pieces into party decor are endless.

 I took a lot of empty glass gars and filled them up with various game pieces for the centerpiece. I randomly arranged them on my new chunky knit table runner I made (!!!) to keep it all extra cozy.


Pick up sticks and dice...marbles and dominos...

To add pizazz to everyday items, I added some extra unique and usual party classics: GIANT, HUGE, incredible balloons!

 Another simple decorating tool I used is searching for images online and simply printing them and fitting them into frames.  This could be done with most any party.  Just borrow already existing frames in your house. There are many online sources for free party printables online too.

Can you see how the numbers on the dice match his age? 

 There are dozens of "Special Edition" Monopoly games so I had fun making a special edition just for Cameron's birthday.  Monopoly is one of his top favorite games.

 I printed some full size game pieces to hang on the walls.  To pump up this idea, you could back it to colored cardstock and hang from the ceiling and the walls.

The whole house was made cozy by dimmed lights and stacks of blankets to curl up with as we played.
Classic Family Game Night amped up!

Games set up and ready to play everywhere...
Any game you like...


I also incorporated the game pieces and boards into our food presentation:
Game boards became beverage serving trays.

 And Checker game stuff became the appetizer tray.

Oreos served with the Oreo cake,  just because Oreos seem to be the perfect accompanist to games. 

Adding to the unique GIANT balloons were these super-sized 15" candles!  I can't tell you how much I love these COOL details. {happy girl} 

Ummm, Wow.

Make a wish...always make a wish! 

I can never use regular candles again.  These ruined me.

I thought it would be easy cake crumb clean up super fun for kids if I used a Twister mat as their special space to eat Oreo cake.


Then it was time for games with family.  My parents and brother joined us for Cameron's celebration.  We played Dominoes....ahem, then actually found more amusement setting up lines to knock over than playing the actual game. 

Set up


(then repeat over and over again)

Then everyone held their breaths and didn't move an inch as we watched how tall my brother could build a Domino tower.

 The building type games seemed to keep the guys intrigued.  This is Jenga Max.

Chris and I surprised Cameron with his first laptop for his birthday.  
I was so excited for him to open it!

...but there was a catch.

Because he likes riddles and games 
and because I don't typically enjoy decorating gifts, 
I wrote a riddle to solve on his package
instead of tying it with curling ribbon. 

He wasn't allowed to open his package
until the riddle was solved. 

He finally got it!  And he smiled wide when he found his very own laptop in the box!

As you can see, he also got a new coat for his birthday and wore it for a long part of the night. ;) 
To make opening a coat more exciting
I hid some of his favorite snacks in each pocket. 

I think he was pretty happy 
with his family game night birthday party!

A summary of quick, economical ideas:
- Use props and decor from items you have around the house.  
- Print signs, banners, and fun images from online searches.
- Use frames that you already have to show off a birthday banner and more. 
- After you've gathered items from around the house, try to think of how they could replace everyday items. (example, a game board as a serving tray...a playing card as a beverage coaster...) 
- Use gifts as part of the decor.  If you want to give a new game, use it as part of the party decor too. If you want to give a new wall hanging for their bedroom, use it in the party decor too.
- Find a handful of new, unique items to replace normal items to add the extra WOW and make your child's eyes sparkle.  Unique items are hidden everywhere, waiting to be discovered.  Simply replacing regular candles with super tall ones makes a giant difference. 
- Always serve your child's favorite snack as part of the party appetizers.  
- Add a bowl of candy or cookies, etc with the birthday cake and MATCH the flavor.  For example, serve Oreos with Oreo cake, serve mini Butterfinger bars with Butterfinger cake, serve lemon drops with lemon get the idea. ;)
These are just a handful of quick tips to help make your special days sparkle!

 Cameron, we love you like crazy, 
you know we do! the moon and back, always. 
We are so proud of you, 
our oldest son.


This post is linked to: Savvy Seasons by Liz, Under the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff,   Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design


caveman said...

Wow, I can't get over how grown up our son is looking. And I love how much joy is visible in every picture!

This party was most enjoyable, especially the "building type games". Reading this post makes me want to rush home and dig out something to play for a family game night.

Marcie said...

Happy birthday cameron! What an awesome party!!!! Not to mention all the fabulous tips you put in also.

In one of the pictures you posted your son is playing a building game with red, yellow, and orange pieces. What game is that?

Cameron said...

Thank you so much for the party Mom!You make so many super cool parties for us.
P.S.,I love my new laptop. :)

Karen said...

Cameron is smarter than me... embarrassingly I don't get the riddle?

However that is a perfect party. My oldest would love it too.

Happy Birthday Cameron!!!

Leanne said...

What a fun family birthday party. I'm always so impressed with the great ideas you come up with.

Jane said...

What a fantastic idea...and perfect for Cameron! (Happy birthday to him!)

Lisa, you are such a creative woman...and loving mom. Your men are so fortunate to have you in their lives...ALL of them.
Hugs to you...

Teresa said...

Cameron besides awfully handsome is a lucky guy for having the chance to grow up with you.

You're the Best Creative Mum!!! Would you adopt me?

Congratulations to you for the dreamy - in a manly way - birthday party and to Cameron on his 11th Birthday.

All the Best to you and your Family.


Jenny said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet, sweet son! You always know how to make everything so wonderful!

DIYbyDesign said...

What an awesome birthday party. Your son is one lucky boy. Such fun decor. Love it. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

Gameday Stylist said...

Looks like so much fun!!

- Sara @ Gameday Stylist

Alana of Intentional Womanhood said...

Absolutely love the idea of a family game night birthday party! I may have to plan one of these for my husband's birthday party since we love to play all kinds of boards games. :)

Kelly Miller said...

I love how this party focuses on the small details, but also on the intimacy of a smaller, family-oriented, cozy party. You don't have to invite 100 people to have a fantastic party!

Also, how grown up that Cameron has gotten!

Darcy Anne said...

I love, love, love this birthday party theme!!
My guy turns 11 tomorrow and I am going to use some of your GREAT ideas!!
Thank you for sharing this!!

b. said...

I LOVED THIS PARTY!! It is sooo fun and sooo Cameron! Everything looks adorable as usual but my favorite pictures were...... the one of the three boys eating on twister, the one of Cameron trying to figure out the riddle and..... the one of him after he opened his laptop... he is soooo excited and happy! Enjoyed the pictures and post all together... wish I was there to celebrate with you all but you make it easy for me to at least pretend as I go through what you posted.

sstone said...

Those candles are so cool, but my favorite part was the Jenga Max. I love Jenga, and I've never seen Jenga Max. I'm going to keep my eye out for it.
Super fun party!

TRICIA said...

Great idea! Looks like a fun time!!!

Tenille said...

What a great idea. And even better that you threw such a cute party with stuff you already had for the most part. I would love it if you would link this up to our linky party going on right now.

Courtney said...

I LOVE this! I would love if you would share this at the Crazy Cute link party happening at Between U & Me right now! I've got a totally awesome giveaway this week, too!
OOH! AND, I'm your newest follower! ;)

Maggie Lamarre said...

this is such a brilliant idea
Would luv for my readers to see this awesome idea, will you please join our weekly party at

Michelle said...

I love this! How creative! :)

Unknown said...

Wow!! SO clever and looks like such fun! Would you share this here at my Shine On Friday party?

Kelli W said...

This is such a fun party theme! I love all the games and those huge candles are so much fun! Stopping by from TT&J!

Melissa said...

AWESOME party theme! I'm pinning this to remember! :)

Anonymous said...

What a sweet party, looks like a memorable evening for the whole family.

Chris said...

This is so brilliant! Not only is it fun to look at, but you also got to spend some quality time together--the perfect party! I'm sure he'll always remember it. Thanks for sharing!

Renée said...

What a super fun party and happy birthday Cameron! I'm pinning it to my party board for future use...thanks!

SarahinSC said...

I really love that post! It looks like so much fun. What a perfect way to celebrate a birthday!

I'm your newest follower!

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

I came across this on Blue Cricket, LOVE! My oldest son loves family game night. It is so hard to plan parties for older boys. Great idea. I will totally be pinning this.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Lindsi B said...

I just love this idea! What a great thing "getting back to basics" and playing with all time favorite board games! Such a great party!
Thanks for sharing this!
Could you please link this on my blog as well so I can share this with my readers?

Erin said...

These are really fun ideas! Happy belated birthday to your son:)