Over on AMotherWorldmy friend Maria was writing about birthday parties yesterday. Today it is so tempting to go overboard, and make a kid’s birthday party more about the impression we can make with our neighbours then the celebration that it really is. Really, we do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to have a great party for our children. We do not need to be the party mamma.
So how can we give our child a party they will remember and not break the bank: here are some ideas:
1. Think of your theme. In our house we have done a mexican pinata party, a treasure island theme, a spa day, a beach party, and a give back party just to name a few. For the decor we scoured the dollar stores and the clearance section of the party stores.
2. For invites we have done home-made or even gone digital. My daughter loved making and delivering the invites she made by hand, and more recently she has designed some wonderful online creations to invite her friends over.Evite is one site that is great to use when planning a party.
3.Activities. Think back to the basics. Remember some of the birthday games you loved as a kid, use them, the newest latest is not always what is need. Old fashioned is nice. Another thing about activities especially for older children is giving the opportunity to give back. How about using that time to thank someone in your community who means alot to your child. You know that senior on the block who is always so nice to them, how about baking a treat with the kids and they do a surprise drop off. An activity that is great for teens is helping out at a local soup kitchen. Birthdays can be more then getting they can be about giving back as well.
4. Food. Think local and think flyer shopping. We always serve finger foods and snacks for birthdays. We simply do not go over board. How many people really are going to remember what you served a month from now. We also do not do expensive birthday cakes in this house. My daughter has never had a store bought birthday cake. All have been made with love by me.Chicken nuggets, pizza, or bbq are all great for a child’s party. I often shop flyers and sales in the few weeks before the event.
5. Loot Bags. If you are insistent on a loot bag shop the clearance section of the party stores. We have often used just one small trinket per child ie at the spa day each child went home with there own manicure set and nail polish and it cost me $2. per girl.
6. Presents. We often put no presents on the invites, or ask for a charitable donation. My daughter has often asked for food bank items instead of presents. She has also asked for scarfs and hats for the homeless. Really does your child need that much more stuff?
There are many ways not to be the party mama and really you do not have to keep up with the Joneses. So let’s get back to what parties are supposed to be all about celebrating a person and being thankful and appreciative of the people in their life. Maria, thanks so much for inspiring this post.