I always make sure to ask the kids about what theme they want at least a couple months out so that I can begin keeping my eye open for things that would go with the theme (re: decor, party favors, etc.) when I'm out in the store . It also helps me from getting stressed because I'm giving myself more time that if I CAN'T find what I need in the store, then I have time to order items online if needed.
This time, I happened to stumble upon a goldmine of baseball themed items at Hobby Lobby in their clearance area! I LOVE Hobby Lobby's clearance area and if you have never taken the time to go to the back of the store to look at it, I would suggest going and checking it out next time you are there. Here are some of the items I found back there (by the way, I found out that they were getting rid of all of their baseball merchandise to make room for a new display, so I completely lucked out, but this is not the 1st time I have found wonderful items back there):
Baseball pinata, whistles & yo-yo's
Baseball drinking cups
Hot dog holders (how fun are these???)
Baseball window clings
My favorite project was the "floating balloon picture collage". I had about 25 pictures of my son in his Cardinals gear over the past 9 years and tied one to the end of each balloon string and had the balloons floating all throughout the living room...it was fun for all of the guests to walk through and see all of the fun pictures!
We had a couple of Cardinals balloons there as well that we tied to my son's chair when he opened up his presents...
We decided to go with a Cardinals jersey cake and some cupcake baseballs...I was really happy with the results! Before I could get started though, I needed to find something large enough to put the cake on, so my solution: an old wipe off board and a red t-shirt...
We had wiffle ball for the kids to play outside as well as this large baseball for the kids to hit/kick around either outside or in the basement...
Extras / Crafts for the kids:
We filled the baseball pinata with many of the typical items, but I also found these cute chocolate baseballs from the local candy store. I also put some foam water balls (for the pool) that look like baseballs that I found at the Dollar Store in there as well.
As you all know, I like to tie in some type of craft item for the kids that will serve as an activity, but also as a party favor. This year, I had small canvas bags for each of the kids to decorate that they then used to put all of their "loot" from the pinata in.
Given the baseball theme, I couldn't resist getting some of the traditional baseball park treats to send home with the kids as well...
Overall, I would say that we "hit it out of the park" on this one! The kids all seemed to have a lot of fun and I had A LOT of fun planning it!