You might be looking at this photo thinking, “that doesn’t look like a spy party!” And you would be correct. My youngest celebrated his birthday right after Christmas and this year I wanted to keep the party really small. Since I only get two chances a year to throw a kid’s birthday party, I usually go crazy. But seeing as this birthday is so close to the holidays, I decided to do it different. This year we had only family and a few of the neighborhood kids, who would have probably played together that day anyway. And while my son wanted a spy party I didn’t have the energy to get too themey.
So instead of throwing a traditional spy birthday, we threw a spy birthday party disguised as a regular birthday party. Genius, right?! I just put together a really simple invitation and then since we only needed to give out a few, I bought each kid an invisible ink pen and wrote a secret spy message on the back. I know it is hard to see but the message just told them that there was a secret spy component to the party and to get ready for some fun in the secret lair. This killed two birds with one stone, easy decorating and a happy spy obsessed kid.
The decorations in the house were kept to a minimum. Aside from the balloon sign and marbled balloons from the first image in this post, I only decorated one other wall in my house. This wall will eventually be a super cool gallery wall with all of our fave artwork. But since it was blank I decided to put up a temporary gallery of the birthday boy. I had these photos printed from Pinhole Press. They are actually vinyl so they could have been stuck right on the wall! But because I knew they weren’t staying, I put them up with washi tape. And this is the first wall you see when you enter the house so there was no doubt we were celebrating a fifth birthday.
There were just a few ways that I made sure this party was spy themed. In an empty area of the kitchen I put up the “Disguise Department.” I gathered all the dress up items that my kids already had and then picked up a few more things to round it out. Since I knew about the theme for a few months, I was able to get a screaming deal on most of this right after Halloween. I mean, a good spy uses disguises, am I right?
I’m not sure what these people are disguised as but we had a really fun time at the party watching how the kids put themselves together. You guys. Stick on mustaches with kids will never get old. But stick on eyebrows and sideburns are hilarious too!
I created super easy name tags for the spies to wear. There was no real reason for them to have these name tags. But my son’s, when they are playing spies, make us go by an agent name.
I knew that I wanted to have a spy lair in the backyard. Since I have the most amazing friend who is a printer I decided to take a photo of this area in the backyard and have him print it, life-size, on a banner. This would disguise their secret spy area. The day of the party was soooo windy and I was worried we weren’t going to be able to use it. That is why my husband’s bowling ball bag is right there (omg, did I just write that? Yes, my husband has his own ball and shoes…nerd). Totally takes away from the amazingness of the banner but we didn’t really want it to fall on the kids.
The birthday boy had a great time and all the kids loved playing in the “lair.”
I wanted to keep the party really free-flowing so I just set out a table and put out all the spy toys we had and the spy kits I had picked up from the dollar store. Since most of these kids play together anyway, I knew they would come up with their own games to play. My niece was the oldest kid there and she is a natural leader. She took it upon herself to give out spy assignments and decide who was good and who was bad. It all went really smoothly. I had one other activity (a shooting practice) for the kids but it was far too windy for it. Boo.
You may remember these balloons from a post I did before Christmas. They are reusable so I used them again for this birthday. I’m obsessed with them. And these marble balloons that I found at Party Lab. And I added a yellow finger-knitted garland for a pop of color. I had made them for my Christmas tree so just grabbed one to use here too.
I kept the food really simple. We had the party in between meal times so it mainly needed to be snacky. I made caramel corn and a bread salad (hopefully Kristin will share the recipe soon!) and my neighbor made some chocolate chip cookies. Now let’s talk about the cake! Kristin humored me and made a cake similar to one I had seen on pinterest. I LOVE how it came out! I’m pretty sure every single person at the party asked about it and my son thought it was so cool! I topped it with a topper by Little Cat Design Co available at Sweet and Saucy Shop.
Pinhole Press also makes labels for bottles. I freaking love this picture of the birthday boy so I decided to make a quick label for the beer at the party (while this is a kid’s party, I always have some drinks for the adults too. Grandpas like beer. Grandmas like wine. Super easy).
I also had juice for the kids and some Boxed Water. Here’s the thing, most people at the party had never seen Boxed Water before. The kids chose to drink water over the juice which made me super happy. And that never happens at a party! It was a total conversation starter and the boxes are recyclable. So rad. And they just look super cool. This is a MUST for your next party! Buy them here.
Then we sang. Here you can see the marbling on the white chocolate on the cake. It tasted amazing too. Kind of hard to take this kid seriously, right? And I’m not sure why my kid’s always end up without shirts…
Next it was time to open presents. Some kids remained in costume.
Then it was time to grab a favor and head home.
In the brown lunch bags I gave each kid their own disguise kit including mustaches, eyebrows and a pair of sunglasses. It was super simple but seeing how much fun they had with the stick on stuff at the party, I knew it was a good decision.
This party was super easy to put together and the kids had a GREAT time! As long as my kid’s let me have a little say with their party themes I know I can throw a party everyone can be happy with. And how great is that shirt by Prefresh!? Not sure why it isn’t on my child…
How do you give your kid’s the party they want while still having fun with it.