Petting zoos, buncey houses, magicians, performers, rides. I love a good kids birthday party. They’re fun, my kids have a great time , and we remember it. What I don’t like, is the PRESSURE to have one.
Something has happened in the last…lets say 12 years…just from what I am noticing…kids birthdays parties have become an EVENT. Like full blown party with themes, centerpieces, caterers and the pressure to outdo what you did the year before.
I love going to parties of my friends kids. It’s a time to celebrate another year as well as a reason for the parents and kids to spend time together which lets face it, it gets harder and harder these days.
But all of a sudden my son was in Pre-school and he started getting invited to other kids birthday parties. So then..of course when his birthday came around he wanted to invite all his school friends.
Being a Mama that wants to give her kids everything I agreed and booked Chuck E Cheese. Since he was turning 5, a whole hand, we would spend a little extra and invite our friends kids and some from his classroom.
Now came the time we had to deal with…what happens if the invited friends bring a sibling..how do we stay in budget..are the parents having a good time..what should I be giving out as favors…
It’s too much. And a lot of money.
This year my son is in Kindergarten and he wanted to have his friends from his class invited and have it AT OUR HOUSE! I might have had a little panic attack when he told me that.
Granted I love staying home and having parties. But gone are the days that the parents drop off their kid for 2 hours while kids play games. The parents stay. I don’t know these parents. Now I have to feed them? Keep them entertained? Keep the kids entertained?
After trying to figure out what we were going to do..I decided, you know what? I am bringing back the basic birthday party.
Growing up and having birthday parties my friends would get dropped off, we would play a few games, have cake and ice cream, open presents and that was it. Fun to the point and didn’t take up the entire day.
So that’s what I was going to do.
On the invite I made it 1:30- 3:30. 2 hours. That’s it. Clear start and end time. I also wrote “Cake and Ice cream party” with the times, and by writing Cake and Ice cream party I was signaling that there would not be food served.
That’s it. The kids came, we put out some yard toys, we have a swing set, and THE KIDS PLAYED. They ran around, played tag, played Ningas, kicked the soccer ball and just had a great time.
Since my sons birthday is in October I also purchased small pumpkins so if things started to get a little rambunctious or they needed a breather, we stopped and decorated the pumpkins for 20 mins.
At 3pm. Time for cake and ice cream. I purchased a bunch of fun toppings for the ice cream and they made their own ice cream sundaes. When they were done it was time to go.
You know what? The kids had a blast. My son loved his party and running around with this friends. Another thing happened. 2 of the Moms that brought their kids thanked me for having a simple party. One told me she was so glad when she saw the end time on the invite and told her husband, “This is my kind of Mom”. The other was saying she was worried about her sons party about having a bunch of kids at her home. And this was a great idea. Short and to the point.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a big elaborate party. I am all game. I hope you invite me. But what I am saying is that you shouldn’t feel the PRESSURE to HAVE ONE.
Kids remember the fun and how they feel at the party, My son could not care if there were balloon arches or matching spoon colors. He remembers running around playing tag with his friends and eating an awesome homemade cake.