So, we started with food. We made up names based on local sports teams- everything from local high schools and colleges to our favorite pro and semi-pro teams. Browns Brownies, Smithie Smoothies, Bobcat Burgers, Rubber Ducks $1 Dogs, Indians Ice Cream, OSU Buckeyes, Cavs Corn, Cedarville Yellow Jackets Lemonade, Buffalo Bills-Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip etc. Some of the other food items weren't tied to a particular team, but were still sports related. Gatorade, popcorn, peanuts, crackerjacks, Sports themed cake, "adult beverages"= soda pop, and chocolate dipped pretzel rods= baseball bats. My 13 year-old computer whiz made little labels for all the food and attached them to toothpicks or directly to the dishes.
I found some cheap wrapping paper on clearance, so we used it as a table runner. The napkins were clearance too! Sometimes a mish-mash party is more fun than one that's all matchy-matchy. It can be more laid back and cheaper, too!
Decorations were kept simple. My 13 year old can do anything with Word and Paint, so she made up a bunch of pennants featuring all the local sports teams, including the colleges of all the guests. The birthday girl is a big fan of my Little Pony, so big sister even made a pennant for Canterlot High!
Pennants and sports stick-ons
As you can see on the middle picture, above, we also had sport shaped stick-on all over the walls. The little sisters traced cookie cutters onto construction paper, cut them out, added details, and stuck tape on the back. If you don't have sports shaped cookie cutters, you can use stencils or print templates off the computer.
Middle sister made a "scoreboard" out of cardboard and stenciled letters to highlight the birthday kids' new ages. Once again, our "100 Cookie Cutters" set came in handy!
Sports memorabilia help with decorating
Mother Goose got a helmet and jersey to help celebrate. $1 games on the coffee tables gave guests something to do in between main events, and doubled as guest prizes.
Little Brother, who was also the youngest birthday kid, dressed up his special friend so they would be twins for the party.
Party games included backyard baseball (ok, it was really whiffle ball), and basketball with the Little Tykes hoop. We also had other balls available for impromptu 2 square or other ball games. Some other activities we thought of doing were tug-of-war and bean bag toss.
Party bags!! You can't have a party without giving goodie bags to the guests. We pretty much raided the $1 Store for this part. We found drawstring sport bags, referee whistles, balls, and water bottles. We also added handfuls of candy and granola bars. A couple other things we had thought of were ball caps, stickers, and individual boxes of cracker jack.
We found these 2 websites to be helpful: http://www.birthdayinabox.com/party-ideas/sports.html
Have fun at YOUR next sports party!