These days, it seems that more and more parents are feeling pressured to have birthday parties for their children that are nothing less than an extravaganza. There are even parents that will not allow their children to attend a birthday party if it is not held at an offsite location. In today’s economy, families should not feel pressured to have a mini-circus in their backyard simply to the privilege of sharing some cake and ice cream and their child receiving a few gifts!
Newsflash – birthday cake tastes the same around the kitchen table as it does at a recreation center
When planning to host an old fashioned fun kid’s birthday party, keep in mind that the lengths that you go to plan will largely be lost on your child. They simply don’t care about the hoopla. Your child probably spent hours playing with empty boxes, etc. (Mine attached herself to a pie pan and that was the toy of choice for several weeks.) Your children will remember the fun that they had.
Most children do not spend as much time outdoors as their parents did, being that they are often scheduled with homework, lessons, scouts, etc. after school. This makes your old fashioned games quite novel for most children. Recall the games that you played as a child – sardines, hide and seek, scavenger hunts (have a teen or adult chaperone accompany each group), kick the can, red rover, tug of war, water fights, etc. Your possibilities are endless.
Call it a night to remember
For the very brave, schedule the party as a sleepover. If the weather cooperates, borrow a tent or two and have a backyard camp out. If not, have one indoors either with the tent inside or just have a kids' camp out. Since kids sleeping bags are a staple in most families, it is easy to have the guests bring their sleeping bags and pillows and have fun.
Prepare hot dogs, hamburgers or pizza (you can get the crust pre-baked to make it go quickly), play games, watch a movie and open gifts. These are all huge hits for the younger crowd who will thoroughly enjoy having “down time” with their friends.
You child will likely receive a lot f feedback from his/her friends about the party and how much fun it was. At that point, smile and pat yourself on the back, since the goal of the party was for your child to celebrate with his/her friends and to have a good day. Success!