Until ds turned 6 we always just did a small gathering of our friends (who had dc's the same age). Last year when he turned 6 he wanted to invite his school friends so we did a bowling party. It was fine. This year I'm sure he wants a party but it is soooo not my thing. I am not creative with games, not comfortable with a bunch of kids and planning activities. Not to mention we have a 4-1/2 year old dd and 15 month old twins so having it at our house sounds chaotic to me. We don't have access to much childcare/babysitting. His birthday is at the beginning of Nov and there's a very good chance that the weather will be cold and rainy so outdoors is not something we can count on.
I am looking forward to him being a bit older and inviting 1-2 friends for a sleepover or planning a special outing with a couple of friends. Unfortunately, we live in a small town and there are not a whole lot of options in terms of places to celebrate.
Are there any great ideas that I'm missing? Something fun for the kids but not involving all the traditional party stuff.
We have 5 children (so far), so we don't have parties each year. However, each b-day we try to make tremendously special. We will have the b-day kids special day. They can pick (within reason) breakfast, lunch, dinner. We do something special just for them-like go somewhere or have a movie theater in the house....then Nana and Papa always come for cake! Fits any budget, special, includes our whole family approach we take in everything, etc.
Happy B-day to your special one!!
I'd do a couple of friends for a sleepover personally. Have something special for dinner and rent some movies.
We did our son's 7th bday at a gokart place. All the kids were too young for the gokarts, but they were very happy with the rock climbing wall and other games. And all the parents stayed so I didn't have to deal with all the kids on my own.
When my son turned 7 he took his 2 'best' friends to the science center. So maybe its time to transition to picking 1-2 friends to do an 'outing' with. Do you have any indoor type things they can do. Most towns, even small towns, have things like indoor mini golf, those inflatable bounce places, $1 movies, etc. Then they can come back (if you want) to the house for a snack and 'cake'.
Last year, ds just had a friend come over for dinner which was pizza and cake. The year before, we went to a museum with a friend and her mother and had them back to our place for dinner. We did do a party this year but it was pretty simple. 4 friends were able to come. It was at home with the only activity being a pinata. The kids just played while the parents sat in another room and chatted. I only served chips, hot dogs, fruit, and cupcakes. Would have ordered pizza but it was easier to do hot dogs and buy gluten free rolls than make gluten free pizza since one of the kids is gluten free. Having a couple friends over for a special birthday playdate can be a lot of fun for the birthday child.
We just did a weekend away instead of the traditional birthday party. It worked great for us. It also cut down on the mess and extra toys at our house for our 8yo.
Thanks for the ideas. Surprisingly, when I asked ds tonight about his birthday he told me he just wanted one of his friends over to play (he had just been to a party with lots of kids and I thought he would want to go that route). This friend has a huge playmobil crane and ds wants to see if we can borrow it and he and his friend can set up a huge construction zone in his room and play without his younger siblings - lol! Hopefully we can arrange something like that and add in a few extra special things for him.
I am looking forward to someday taking a few kids to a movie at a theatre for a party. Spendy, but when compared to the money we spend on cake, games, etc, probably fairly economical! Plus no cleaning the house!
My two fav. parties growing up were
1) my parents rented a few tents from a camping store and we slept out in the backyard (we were probably 10 or so)
2) a picnic dinner at Walden Pond. I just loved that one.
I love wienie roasts. Kids and fire..... yes, my. But, I set everything up on the little red wagon... have the fire already burned down a bit ...... they roast their own hot dogs or sausages on sticks.... toast marshmallows for dessert.... the mess stays outside and you have nothing to clean up.
Kids today are missing out on some of these very simple traditions....... my kid's friends raved about this kind of party for weeks. And all the moms were impressed.
Do have an extra adult home with you. Do have a bucket of sand or water nearby for flaming sticks.
Something outdoors is fun too, with a friend or two. Late autumn at the beach, hiking in a state park and then having a special picnic. I believe that we massively overthink b-day entertainment for our kids. Simple, family oriented, never seems to fail.
Having a friend over sounds like a great idea. That's what I did for my kids this year. They each had 2 friends over around their b-day but we didn't call it a party, the kids just came over and played.
Sounds like a great plan! To have a party at a house doesn't require utter chaos though. I'm not the crafty, fun mom type but we manage to do b-day parties at the house with not that much fuss. I clean but I don't clean that well. I don't do games, last year DD1 requested a pinata. The key is the limit the kids, last year we did 4 for DD1 and that was it. I offer simple snacks, popcorn that type of stuff. The kids play, we do cake, presents, they play some some and then they go home.
As a child we often did the invite one friend and do a fun activity so I'm not opposed to that either.