Our Unique Second Birthday Party

We confess that we were planning Kasen’s second birthday party since last year.  We enjoyed the first party so much, we couldn’t wait to start dreaming up fun themes for a big ole Two Year Old.

Kristin was obsessed with the idea of doing a Frank Sinatra themed party because she loves that Kasen has big blue eyes and shares a birthday with Ole Blue Eyes.  Unfortunately, the planning never really took off because, well, we couldn’t come up with any fun toddler-appropriate activities related to him or his music.  Check out those blue eyes though:

Kasens Blue Eyes

(Picture courtesy of www.sarahschulte.com, Dec. 2011.)

So, back to the drawing board… and by “drawing board” we mean “Google.”  We just did a quick search for what other celebrities share Kasen’s birthday.  Staring back at us?  Bob Barker.  And so the Price is Right party was born.

price is rightWhen you have the right theme, the pieces just naturally fall into place.  We came up with so so so many ideas on activities and decor, but finally settled on these:

  • The famous yellow name tags
  • Bidding podiums
  • A stage where the kids could pretend to be Bob Barker
  • Plinko
  • “Showcase”-themed gift bags

Naturally, we DIYed everything and are going to share our how-to with you.  Everything was easy.  But first, a gratuitous and fun photo of our little munchkin, waking up on his birthday to discover birthday balloons (a family tradition):


Sorry for the iPhone picture instead of something with more quality – our cameras missed most of the action of Kasen’s birthday, so you’ll see a bunch of iPhone pics in this post.  Better than nothing!

Name Tags

The yellow name tags are a classic relic from the Price is Right.  Every audience member is a potential contestant and proudly displays his or her name on a yellow name tag.  We copied found a picture of the name tags online and drew them on yellow contact paper with a black permanent marker.  We can’t tell the difference.  Here’s a pic of Kasen’s name tag – and his birthday cake covered face:


Bidding Podiums

Our next bit of inspiration came from the bidding podiums used at the beginning of every show.  The contestants are told to “come on down” to the podiums, bid on an initial prize, and whichever contestant guesses closest (without going over) to the actual retail price gets to continue on to win more prizes.  The podiums on the show look like this:


We constructed toddler-height podiums using a cardboard and paint.  We had a big box left over from Kasen’s new fish tank light.  We cut it in half and spray painted it gold.  Then we took another box and painted each quarter a different color.  We used black duct tape to connect everything together and added vinyl numbering to represent each kid’s bid.  We stuck some buzzers behind the podiums and viola! instant toddler fun.


kasen bday podium cropped

Kasen still plays with the buzzers every day.  They were a huge hit!  If you’re interested, they’re called Learning Resources Answer Buzzers – they make four noises – a horn honk, a boxing bell, a door bell, and “boing!”

Bob Barker’s Stage

Before Drew Carey took over the show, Bob Barker used to stand on the stage looking over the audience and the contestants at the bidding podiums.  We had the same set up.  We constructed a stage using a piece of plywood on 4 small cinder blocks, which we had around the house.  We put some batting on top of it (the same kind you use for quilting, etc.) to soften it for the kids, threw a white sheet over it, and called it a stage.  We created a nice backdrop with a removable wall sticker that said “Price is Right” and set up some “prizes” for the “contestants” to bid on The “prizes” were actually Kasen’s big birthday present – a play table and chairs.  A microphone completed the ensemble.  Another toddler success!


Plinko Board

After a contestant wins the initial bidding, he or she gets to compete in another game to win some prizes.  One of the most famous games is Plinko, a game in which the contestant drops pucks down the board with the hopes of winning a cash prize:


We made a toddler-sized Plinko board (with the help of Kasen’s Uncle Billy) using a piece of peg board and some pegs.  It was not too tough to manage.  Here’s what we did:

  1. Framed out the pegboard, so the plinko pucks didn’t fall off the sides.
  2. Added a couple small pieces of wood to create “goals” at the bottom of the pegboard.
  3. Installed the pegs at regular intervals.
  4. Cut Plinko pucks using the jig we had in the house for cutting door knobs.
  5. Added a couple of vertical legs to hold the pegboard up.
  6. Decorate!  We painted the pucks rainbow colors and super-glued some scrapbooking letters on the top of the page.

It was a hit.  The kids loved climbing up Kasen’s ladder and dropping the pucks in the top.


The Showcase

At the very end of the game, two contestants compete to win the biggest prize of the day, known as the Showcase.  One player bids on a big prize that often includes vacations, cars, boats, or furniture.  A second player bids on a different big prize.  The player who bids closest to the actual value of their showcase wins the prize.

We know toddler birthday parties can be pretty competitive, but we weren’t about to give away a car at Kasen’s party.  Instead, we packed favor bags with toy cars, doll furniture, and play money.  And, naturally, we had a model showing them off:


The toddlers loved the new toys and games.  Everyone had a great time, especially Kasen!  We were really pleased with how everything turned out.  We know that next year Kasen will probably have his own opinions about his birthday party, but we enjoyed planning a really fun and unusual party this year.  We hope that you were inspired to throw an unusual party too!


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