We had a half green/ half traditional birthday for Braden in June. I had my reusable balloons but for the friends party we had paper plates ( 14 5 year olds with my ACTUAL plates was NOT happening) (plus I haven't sprung for bamboo ones yet... maybe next year)
Actually we had two parties. One for the family with my parents in attendance and the other a week later for all his friends. Both were half and half.
I stole Tasha's idea about telling each guest not to bring a gift but instead to have their child draw a picture for Braden.
And for the take home goody bag main treat each child left with a picture of themselves and Braden in front of the pictures they had brought. With 14 kids it was pretty easy to get a shot of them when they first walked in the door, then print the photos up during the party and place them on already made thank you construction paper with photo corner holders.
I got great feedback on both ideas. People commented on how excited their son/daughter was to draw their picture - or they would say "Jane drew her picture the day we got the invitation"
My friend Deanna corrected her son when while pawing through his take home bag enthusiastically said "there's a picture of Braden and ME in here!" "No honey, that can't be right..."
The lanterns (resuable balloons as I like to call them) got some positive comments to.
The Speed Racer theme worked perfectly with Braden turning 5 and after a rousing rendition of pin the 5 on the Mach 5 we all had pizza and number 5 cupcakes.
It was such a fun party. It was such a treat to have all my friends and all of Braden's friends their to celebrate his first big kid friends birthday party!