If one isn’t careful, planning a birthday party can be a bit like a competition to outdo all the other birthday parties that your children has attended. It’s like the expression keeping up with the Joneses. Or maybe we just keep trying to outdo the previous year’s party that we planned. Either way, I couldn’t take another party at Fundazzle and didn’t want to bother with an offsite venue. Why pay so much money for an apartment if we aren’t going to use it? And so, for Reina’s 8th birthday bash, we decided to host a simple affair at home with just a few of her close friends – no more parties with 30+ people please.
The result was easily achieved, took a minimum of preparation, and was enjoyed by the kids. Here’s what we found worked well. For decorations we put up streamers and used a variety of balloons on the floor. We thought about helium balloons, but didn’t have time to get them on the day of the event.
For activities, we had three winners. First, the kids decorated their own cupcakes. This gave them a chance to get creative and instead of just candles on a birthday cake, everyone got to blow out a candle on their own cupcakes. Second, it was a beautiful day, so rather than subject the kids to a bunch of games indoors, we headed out with a soccer ball and a bag of toilet paper rolls. Although I had some game ideas, the kids were quite content to burn off the sugar high by running after the ball. When they wound down a bit, we invited them to form teams and make toilet paper mummies. After the first two kids were “mummified”, everybody wanted to get wrapped.
We thought our party was the anti-planning party; fun, simple, and affordable. Still, I was surprised to hear one of the moms lament that she would have a difficult time planning a party for her daughter now because her child would want something similar. It didn’t matter how simple we made it sound, we had inadvertently become the Joneses.
Photos: Christopher Lay