Poppy's 9th Birthday - a Kmart Birthday Party!
It's been a while between blog posts, but here I am, back again with something fun to share.
My daughter, Poppy, recently turned 9, (yep - I know. The SAME Poppy that was 12 weeks old when this lil' old TopKnot makin' biz began!) and she wanted a party to celebrate. She's born in January, less than a month after Christmas, so I wanted to do something fun for her, but I also wanted to do something that was simple for me. Haha! In hindsight, I made this party additional work than it 'needed' to be, BUT I had fun doing all the extra bits and pieces even though they weren't necessary.
Whenever it's time for a party of any type, I turn to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, and this time was no different. I got searching with things like '9 year old parties' and 'easy tween birthday'. I honestly find Pinterest the best place for inspo for these things - anyone else? Anyway, I had asked her what her favourite thing would be to do with her friends, and she told me it would be to go to Kmart for a shopping spree and then have Maccas for lunch. I mean, of course it would be - she LOVES Kmart, and why kids always seem to love Maccas so much is beyond me. I had also remembered seeing a 'Kmart Party' idea on Facebook group a few years ago, so knew the idea was out there.
So back to Pinterest I went again, this time searching 'Kmart Party'. Surprisingly, a few ideas came up. I saw a few blogs and Facebook group posts that gave me some good ideas and framework on how I could make her dream into a party.
First up, we needed an invite. As it was in the school holidays, I just sent the invite virtually, because it was unlikely she would see most of her friends beforehand. I limited the party to 6 friends + her - so 7 girls in total. It was so hard for her to decide who to invite. I realise it doesn't sound like many guests, but boy am I glad it was only 7!
I designed the invitation, attempting for it to look like a Kmart receipt. I used Canva and made this up from a basic template I found and edited. I found it pretty simple to make, but I do use Canva quite a bit. I have linked the template here if you'd like to use it. You can edit my template by clicking the pencil icon on the page linked above.
I like the idea of a scavenger-hunt style party, that I had seen on my Pinterest expedition. Poppy and I sat down and brainstormed what the scavenger hunt 'rules' would be. The function worked with the idea that each girl was given their 'credit card' (a Kmart gift card) and their own set of 'rules'. We had fun coming up with these, and used a few we saw from the Pinterest parties. I also took into consideration the girls' ages and interests. These rules could be edited to be suitable for others. I wouldn't mind doing this with my own friends! I've also linked this template, with the invitation here.
Because I am crazy, I decided to make each girl a 'shopping bag', personalised with their initial. I purchased some blank tote bags in this cute lilac colour and Poppy picked a fun, pastel-yet-neon toned leopard print fabric, which I used to make the appliqué letters onto the bags.
I had some fabric leftover and decided it would be cute + practical to whip up a few lanyards for the girls to wear with their rules + credit cards attached. I printed the rules cards off in an A5 size and laminated them. I hole punched through these and the plastic gift cards and attached them to the lanyards. They all loved them, and hopefully they can be used by the girls beyond the party, for something. I found the heart-shaped clips from Spotlight and knew they would be a cute touch. The beauty of making things yourself is that it's often unique!
When the girls arrived to Kmart, I met their parents at the entrance and Poppy handed them their tote bag with the lanyard inside. They then were briefed on how it would all work, which I would more so call it an attempt, as you can imagine, it was an exercise itself with 7 chatty tweens! Each girl had $25 'shopping money' loaded on their card, which meant they had to be mindful of their budget.
The girls had fun finding and scanning items. Lollies, bath bombs, face masks, small toys, stationary and make up were the most popular items.
It was a mission, to say the least, keeping up with them all, helping them to add up totals (multiple times, each!) and work out if they had ticked all the boxes in the scavenger hunt. It was overwhelming at times, but a whole lot of fun.
From what I have learned, I would probably recommend doing this with slightly older kids, that are confident in math skills and understanding adding and subtracting - or having a helper or two. I was on my own with them all, but did rope in my 12yr old son to help, but he actually wanted to participate and was no help to me at all in the end! Haha!
The checkout process was a sensory overload for us all. Scanning countless small items on self-serve machines and processing 7 gift cards with bagging-area alerts, hyped up girls and less-than-enthusiastic Kmart checkout workers in the mix. I was somewhat relieved we were heading to Maccas for lunch.
McDonald's was only about a 6min walk from Kmart. I would have drove, but couldn't fit everyone. When we arrived we all plopped down at a large table in a 'meeting room' they have there, luckily it wasn't being used. The staff were amazing and came over to our large group and accommodated us well. They were happy to help with things like waters and extra serviettes and turned the air-con on in the meeting room. I would totally recommend booking a room if your Maccas has one! It kept the girls together and the noise trapped in a bit. Ha!
I ordered the food via their app. I thought this would be easier than going to the counter. Asking each girl what they wanted was a task! Most wanted nuggets so I ended up ordering a bunch of 20-pc nugget boxes and large chips and they split these between a few. Was much easier than buying lots of individual meals.
Everyone was happy. While they ate lunch, I presented 'awards' to each girl. I made sure everyone was presented with one. Again, Canva for the win. I designed, printed them and laminated them. We had awards like 'Biggest Item', 'Cheapest Item' etc. This was great as the girls were involved in finding out if they could be in the running for one. They were looking on their receipts at the prices they paid and holding up items saying "This was $1" and "My keyring was only 20c". It was quite fun, I really enjoyed this part of the party. Find the awards template here.
'Most Expensive Item' award was this set of grapic markers, which was about $15.
'Most Sparkly Item' award was this little kitty softie, which had glitter all through the fabric. Cute!
'Funniest Item' award was this squishy banana - all the girls thought this was the funniest thing! One of the girls did buy a fart-in-a-can toy that made noises, so this qualified too.
They played for a while in the playground and with their purchases, and we had cupcakes and Poppy opened her presents from friends.
All in all, the girls had a blast - and I am still hearing from parents and the girls about how much fun they had. I think they all went home raving about the party and how much they enjoyed their shopping spree!
I went home and happily put my feet up with a cup of tea. I was exhausted!
Poppy got out all of her Kmart purchases and showed me what she had bought. She's been really enjoying playing with her baby dolls, as my cousin recently had a baby and it spiked a renewed obsession with Poppy. She themed some of her buys around this.
I hope this blog post has been fun and informative - oh, and given you some ideas as to how the party worked. As I was planning it, I had a lot of you ask me about it and I thought that posting a more detailed blog about it all was the best way to do it!
Please jump on over to my Instagram and engage if you have any questions. Comment on my party post and let me know what you think! Also, as many of you know, I am a huge believer in supporting small brands and businesses, and I know this whole shenanigan promotes the big biz, however, I do believe that these larger companies have their place, and there is accomodation for these things.
Thanks for being here and if you read all of this - well done! As a thank you for being you and enjoying this blog post, you can use the code 'KMARTPARTY' for 10% off storewide! Shop Here.