I'm so glad this is back! These types of posts allow me to get out all sorts of random ideas I have floating around in my head.
My son turned 3 last month. And as I have always maintained we don't do big parties every year but rather small, intimate celebrations for the birthday person and I kind of like them that way. But alas, the party planner in me have some sort of idea of what I would do if I would've thrown him a party!
Food! Who doesn't love good food?! I often have trouble finding food to match a party theme. I often forget that taking elements from the theme will give you food ideas. I love how "boulders" and "drill bits" are used. And the use of props take it over the top! Next year, I'm going to ask if I can host snack time at my son's school since he likely will not get another party until age 5. Hosting snack time at his school will get the "party" bug in me out!
Paper! Invitations, thank you cards, sings, decorations. These contribute to the "wow" factor of the party. For my son's first birthday party I had directional signs posted up of where the bathroom was. Guests were appreciative- especially if you are in an unfamiliar environment. Signs labeling food, games, and other party elements are always a hit. It keeps the guesswork out of things. Since you can end up using a ton of paper, I like to be eco friendly and recycle everything used after the party is done. If you plan ahead properly you can save money by printing and cutting at home. And if that's not your style then Etsy is always helpful. I love Etsy because you have the option to have priting done for you or you can get the digital files if you aren't good at graphic design and print and cut at home.