High School Music Themed Children’s Birthday Parties on a Budget

First let me make a statement. I do not like High School Musical. I simply don’t understand it. Did the kids in your high school burst into song at the drop of a hat? Nope, mine neither. However, I guess it is every generation’s duty not to understand what their children see in certain music or movies and my children certainly love High School Musical.

The trials and tribulations of Troy, Gabriella, Chad, Sharpie and the rest of the crew are not only The Disney Channel’s most successful movie of all time, but it has also emerged as one of the most sought after children’s party themesout there and even though I knew it was coming, the day my daughter told me that she wanted a HSM theme party was a day that sent me into a panic. “How” I thought,” can I arrange a High School Musical party without spending a fortune!?”. What I quickly found out is that whilst there is thousands of pre made HSM party packs for sale everywhere you look, there is a much more affordable and fun way to give your child the party she deserves without breaking the bank. What did I do? I simply made my own…. and here’s how!

Step One – The Invitations.

A children’s party‘s theme is proclaimed when the invitations arrive, so this is the first key area you will need to get right to ensure your guests know the theme in advance.. Basketball themed invites work great for the boys and star cut-outs are perfect for the girls. You can create your own quite easily or find themes invites for free on many children’s parties websites including my own website which you can find in the resource box.

Step Two – Setting The Stage…. Literally

If you are as familiar with the Wildcats as I am, you will already know the three main areas you will need to recreate – the cafeteria for all the dining, the stage for all your singing and dancing games and finally the basketball court for all other games.

Setting up the cafeteria is a breeze! All you need is a dining room or area where you can put up a couple of trestle tables. Since HSM is so popular these days you can pick up themed cups, plates and napkins in any party supplies shop, but for authenticity, go with plain cutlery and plates as well as plastic trays to create that high school cafeteria feel. Print out some banners saying things like “Go Wildcats!” that can be hung around the room and make a notice board with some notices about auditions and basketball and your party will soon start to get that HSM feel.

Creating the stage area is a lot easier than you may think. The first thing you will need (and this, I have been told, is a requirement folks) is a red carpet which can easily be made from some inexpensive red fabric, readily available from most department stores. Once the red carpet is in place and you have finished testing it out yourself whilst daydreaming about walking into a movie premiere, you will need to work on the stage and background itself. Create some cardboard stars and decorate them with gold and silver paint and glitter before hanging them from the ceiling. For that extra touch of fun, write each of the guest’s names on the stars. Create stage lighting by tipping two lamps with their shades removed at an angle and covering them with some black cloth – just ensure that the cloth isn’t touching the bulb for obvious reasons. Want to go a step further?

Creating a mini basketball court can be just as simple, regardless of whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Basketball hoops for both indoors and outdoors can be purchased quite cheaply from most major toy stores in Ireland and along with some banners with HSM slogans such as “Go Cats!” which can be printed from your computer are pretty much the only things you need to set up your HSM basketball court set.

Step Three – Cafeteria Food They Will Love!

A High School Musical party menu can be quite simple, cheap and easy to make. Remember we are going for the authentic HSM theme so cafeteria food is a must! Burgers, hot dogs, chips and cocktail sausages work well and when served on a plastic tray with some veg, fruit and a carton of milk or juice offer your cafeteria a genuine HSM feel.

Your cake choices are endless! There are many fantastic cake makers in Ireland who can create a custom built HSM themed cake or you can buy premade High School Musical cakes in many supermarket confectionery aisles.

Step Four – We’re all in this together…………

If your child loves High School Musical and has requested the theme, chances are you will have bolstered the Disney Corporations coffers with all the cds and DVDs that are out there at some stage. This is actually a good thing as we are going to use all of these cds for our party games!

A great game to play is Name That Song. Line all of the children up and play the first 2 to 3 seconds of a HSM song. The first child to name that song gets to take a step forward and the first child past the finishing line wins a small prize! It is okay to repeat the same songs – just skip to a different part.

Another great game to play is High School Musical chairs. The only difference with this game and the traditional musical chairs game is that the children must dance around the chairs to the HSM soundtrack. Children raise their hands to guess what song has been played.

A High School Musical Dance Party can be another fantastic crowd pleaser. Arrange the guests into small groups and give them 5 minutes each to choreograph their own routines to the songs. Turn the game into a contest by having all the guests vote for their favorite!

Got a games console in the house? If you do not already own one, you can easily rent one for the night from most major DVD rental stores and couple with a singing game and your stage set up, they can give your guests the chance to put on their very own High School Musical!

Done with the stage area? Then take your party to the basketball court where all of the guests can play games such as free shot throwing where the guests each take a shot from a certain distance. Those who make the basket must step back one step and try again until the last person has been eliminated. For the children who are eliminated, their task is to create a bull horn out of colored cardboard and try to put the remaining contestants off with their chanting!

So there you have it. A simple, easy to organize High School Musical themed party that won’t break the bank! Just try not hearing those songs in your sleep that night though!