Idea No.

16683

Bowling Party -7yr- Bowling Ball Invites

Award

Date

September 2007

From

Laura in Shell Rock, Iowa, United States

Special Mention

Bowling Party

Having a large family, it is difficult to come up with creative ideas year after year for each child.  This year my 7 year old son helped me out.  He's really gotten into bowling and wanted his party at our local bowling alley.  This is a practical and fun idea to keep rambunctious boys entertained and prevent the inevitable mischief (some, LOL)  I'm a big one on wanting to spend the money on a present for my child, rather than the party, so this was great. 

From beginning to end I spent a total of $150.00 for the entire thing and the kids got lots of extras too.  At our local alley, a party cost $11.95 per child.  This includes the shoes, bowling for 2 hours (with or without bumpers), a 16 inch one topping pizza, nachos,and a small drink.  The alley also provides the plates, cups, and napkins in whichever theme you'd like and a wooden bowling pin painted in your child's favorite color for the party guests to sign.  All you have to worry about is the games, goody bag, and cake and ice cream. 

My son invited 5 friends, plus himself and his older brother, bringing the total to 7 children.  I paid around $85.00.  I immediately started searching the net for ideas and then put my own twist on what I found.  I got the idea for the invitations on familyfun.com.  I bought CD sleeves that I found at Wal-Mart for $3.50 a pack.  They came in bright primary colors.  I cut a circle out of black card stock and drew on three circles on the top right hand side for the finger holes.  Then, in the center of each bowling ball" I wrote the child's name and address.  When you slip it in the CD sleeve "Ian's birthday party will be right up your alley!"  Underneath that I put a bowling ball and pins clip art that I downloaded off the net.  Then I wrote "The King Pin Will Be Turning 7!"  Below that I wrote the pertinent information:  STRIKE the date: SPARE the time: BOWL everyone over at: and Get in the FRAME and RSVP by:. 

Then I made sure I noted that an RSVP was needed so we could determine how many lanes would be needed and the children's shoe sizes.  Then after looking up bowling terminology I typed "Don't be a BLOWOUT!  Hope to see you there!  A blowout is the only pin remaining standing at the end of a turn.  My thought being this equaled to - Don't be the only one who doesn't come.  The invite was typed in alternating blue and red bold font.  The bowling terms were all caps and underlined.  Then I put a solid red border around the whole page.  It looked bright and eye catching.  I folded the invitation and slipped it into the CD sleeve and mailed it like any other invite.   

When the boys came into the bowling alley I had a sign in our party area that said WELCOME cut out of white paper glued to a black poster board.  I had also cut out bowling pins from white poster board and gave each pin different primary colored stripes and wrote the boys names on each one.  Those were glued haphazardly all over the welcome sign with my son's pin in the center and a little larger than the others.  After the boys got their shoes I had them sign the bowling pin and I handed out the shirt pins and hats I had made each boy.  The pins were small rectangles of wood that I had drawn bowling pins and balls on and had each child's name on it.  Then I just stuck pins on the back for them to pin to their shirts. 

For the hats I took "Foamies" sun visors and glued bowling balls and pins to the center made from white and black foam sheets.  The ball took up the majority of the front of the visor and the pins were tucked behing the ball and stuck up over the top.  Again the pins had different colored stripes made from colored tape.  On the sides of the bill of the hat I wrote the boys' names in black permanent marker on one side and "Ian's 7th birthday!" on the other.  For Ian's hat I did the same thing and just wrote "The King Pin" on one side and his name on the other with a big #7 on the bowling ball.  Since at our bowling alley they start a timer to commence the 2 hour play time we had to play the games back to back.  We bowled 3 games in the two hours.  The first and last game we played just regular games. 

The 2nd game I called "Crazy Bowl" and the child that was the silliest won. This really cracked them all up.  I typed little things to do during each of the 10 frames on a small individual sheets of paper decorated with either a bowling pin or ball such as:  Bowl with your eyes closed Hop on one foot Act like a monkey Bowl backwards Waddle like a duck Make an animal noise ect.  Then they drew them out of the "Crazy Bowl Bag which was a solid blue gift bag I decorated with bowling pins and balls cut out of construction paper. While we were bowling, the alley served us the pizza, nachos, and drinks and the kids ate at their leisure.  I made sure to plan the party around lunch time so they'd be hungry.   

After the bowling part was over, we played pin the Bowling Ball to the Alley.  For that I simply drew an alley on poster board and then glued the pins to the top of the alley" making them look like a ball had hit them.  I gave each boy a "ball" that I had cut out of different colored felt and had drawn black finger holes on.  I just stuck tape on the back before each boys' turn.  Each one had each child's name on it.  Whoever got the closest to the pins won.  After that we did the norm and opened presents and ate cake which was of course bowling themed. 

When it was time to go home I gave each boy a different primary color paper goody bag.  You can buy a 10 pack of these at Wal-Mart in the craft section for almost $4.00.  They're the heavy duty kind with the good handle. On the bag I glued bowling pins and balls made out of foam sheets and underneath those I wrote each boys' name.  I also tied a small gift tag on each bag with red yarn that I printed off my computer with their name on it and either a bowling ball or pin on it that said "Thank you for SPARING the time to come to Ian's Party!"  In the bag was tucked a bowling pin made out of poster board with their name on it and the date with assorted candy small toysand bowling themed items. 

The whole party really was a great hit and since I made all of the decorations myself and the bowling alley took care of the rest simple to plan and inexpensive too.  Although if you plan to make most of the stuff like I did you might want to begin a month in advance.  I did this and I wasn't so pressured the week before to pull it all together and just enjoyed the party!"

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