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#1 of 16 Old 07-24-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you give your children kid birthday parties? My dds are 3 and 6 years old and they haven't had a kid party yet. Every year I host their birthday parties with just family members invited. Well a few times we invited the neighbors and their two kids but we didn't do any kid games or anything and it was kind of awkward. Anyway, we have several relatives from both sides of the family that always come so the house gets full, loud and very hectic. I can't imagine planning another party with just kids, the one is overwhelming enough!  My dds love their parties and haven't asked for anything else..yet.

The thought just stresses me out. I always hear about how no one ever rsvps these days so you don't know who is coming (or if anyone will!) You have no control over what kind of crap your kids will be getting (no one I know agrees with my philosophy on toys). Then you have to entertain them for hours which isn't my cup of tea. I feel bad that the main reason I don't want to do it is for selfish reasons. But if my kids are having the time of their lives with what I give them isn't that enough? Growing up I always had little kid parties but we never had any relatives that lived near by or were able to come so I can't say which I would have preferred. My girls have been to many other kid parties and have a blast so I know they would enjoy having their own. I just don't want to do it. Thoughts? 

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#2 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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we do parties!  We love parties.  I don't see why you think you need to have one if you don't want to and your kids are happy though.

 

I'm a fan of using age as a guideline for how many kids to invite.  3rd birthday-3 ish kids invited, etc. it has seemed to keep it in a reasonable place for us.  Also, family parties.  Family parties is what we tend towards.

 

The other thing is that our parties end up being one huge playdate, kids hanging out with the friends they happen to like hangin out with so it's not like I have to entertain them.  Are their friends that your kids would want to include in their celebration but haven't yet?

 

as far as the gifts, that's something that you are going to have to deal with and learn to handle eventually.  My kids know that stuff that's unused gets passed on, or if it isn't taken care of.  They are pretty good by now at being able to tell if a cheap, shiny toy isn't going to keep them happy for long and will donate it or sell it (yay cash! lol) immediately.  Other than that, I have managed it a bit in previous years (especially at your kiddos ages) by talking to them ahead of time about what they are interested in and then letting guests know (when they ask, I wouldn't put it on invites or anything) what your child is interested.  I know I like to have an idea of interests when I'm taking a present to a party.

 

Another idea is to request kids make something for their friend, we've gotten hand drawn pictures, bouquets of flowers, or hand me down toys from friends. Or put on the invite that kid would like no presents, or donations in his/her name.  Just talk to your child ahead of time!

 

 

Our parties at those ages look like this:

several families that are our friends come over.

Kids all go in back yard and act like hooligans while the other parents and I hang out and I make some snacks

(parents may or may not open a bottle of wine.  snicker.)

call hoolligans in for snacks and ice tea (fruits, veggies, maybe chips and salsa)

kids go play again.  get out messy things like sprinklers, or face paint.  Or I'll head up an activity or game but I don' really like to play entertainer either.

 

call kids in for presents and then cake.

 

hooligans go play a while longer.

parents start rounding up children to go home.

 

As they get older, we do more sleepovers, so I make dinner too.  But by the time they are 6 or 7 a big part of partying is cleaning house beforehand, all the guests help tidy the place while they are here, and then my kids help me clean up after.  or it just ain't happening.


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#3 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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my dd had her first friend bday party at 5 years old. i wasn't ready to deal with it and she didn't really care or ask before then.


mama to one '07 and one '09
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#4 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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if you are both happy with the arrangement, i don't see any need to change it. there may come a time when they ask for a kid party and you could address it then... We started kid parties for my son when he turned 5. We have no family in the area and he was old enough to have made some of his own friends. We keep it simple. About two hours. Some parents (usually friends) stay and others drop off. ours ends up like a big playdate with kids running around as well. We usually have a treasure hunt and slip n slide, but otherwise it is pretty free form.
 

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#5 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 02:03 PM
 
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we host smaller gatherings but my kids enjoy going to their friends' big parties as well.

I say do what works for you.

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#6 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 02:42 PM
 
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Yes, my kids have had large and small parties.  I consider it a big part of their birthday present from us, and I enjoy planning the parties.  We've done Chuck E. Cheese with a small number of child guests, and playgrounds with many guests.  The kids love it either way.

 

I only hosted one party at our house, with only 3 children as guests, and their parents who are our friends.  We just don't have the space for bigger parties at home.


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#7 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 04:37 PM
 
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I have 3 kids, age 7, 5, and almost 4.  We have never had a friend party, only family parties.  Between all of my sisters, we have 13 kids, and usually 9 of the kids are at each party, and honestly, that is plenty.  We have had parties at home, parties at the movie theater, at chucke cheese, pool parties, and my youngest is having his party in 3 weeks at the bounce place.  They have tons of fun with their cousins and could care less if their friends are there.  Oh, and they've actually never been to a non relative party either.  It has just never managed to line up so we could.


Cassie, mom to Alex(7), Aidan(5), Andrew(4)

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#8 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 04:40 PM
 
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My kiddos are 3 and 2, and I've always given them a party! For my daughters 4th birthday coming up, we're doing a Menchie's party!


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#9 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momma2beaugirls View Post

Do you give your children kid birthday parties? My dds are 3 and 6 years old and they haven't had a kid party yet. Every year I host their birthday parties with just family members invited. Well a few times we invited the neighbors and their two kids but we didn't do any kid games or anything and it was kind of awkward. Anyway, we have several relatives from both sides of the family that always come so the house gets full, loud and very hectic. I can't imagine planning another party with just kids, the one is overwhelming enough!  My dds love their parties and haven't asked for anything else..yet.

The thought just stresses me out. I always hear about how no one ever rsvps these days so you don't know who is coming (or if anyone will!) You have no control over what kind of crap your kids will be getting (no one I know agrees with my philosophy on toys). Then you have to entertain them for hours which isn't my cup of tea. I feel bad that the main reason I don't want to do it is for selfish reasons. But if my kids are having the time of their lives with what I give them isn't that enough? Growing up I always had little kid parties but we never had any relatives that lived near by or were able to come so I can't say which I would have preferred. My girls have been to many other kid parties and have a blast so I know they would enjoy having their own. I just don't want to do it. Thoughts? 

 

Yes, my kids invited their friends to their birthday parties. Once they started school, it was pretty standard. If your children are happy with family parties, that's great. You may find they change their preference in the next couple of years, if they attend school. Particularly since their friends may stop inviting your children to parties if your children never reciprocate with invitations to their own parties. Eventually, you may find that your children are excluded and missing out, which could be sad for them - or maybe you and children don't mind if they aren't invited along with other friends. 

 

A few thoughts on children's parties - 

- you can limit the number of invitations and keep the party, food etc. simple and then it doesn't matter as much if you don't get RSVPs

- you can limit the length of the party to one or two hours, if that's your preference. I found 2 hours was plenty - time to play a few games or make a craft, have some cake and open presents and then send everyone home with a smile before the kids were tired and fussy. 

- you can suggest donations to a charity in lieu of gifts - one family we know asked for items for the food bank and another held a party at a local park and did tree planting as an event  and asked for donations for plant stock 

- another idea is to suggest a type of gift - eg. books to build your home library or outdoor toys and games - which borders on being rude but walks the fence (IMO) because you aren't dictating exactly what gifts guests should bring. 

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#10 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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We had a kid party for my son last year when he turned 3. It was really memorable for him. I only have my in-laws in town and my mom usually flies in for birthdays. This year his party is at the bouncy place with his daycare friends. He's really looking forward to his party this year.

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
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#11 of 16 Old 07-28-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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DD is turning six this September and we've only had one organized party for her (when she turned four) that involved both family and friends.  We had it at a puppet theatre and basically the only thing that we had to do were the invites and bring a cake and pizza.  The theatre put on a beautiful puppet show of Beaty and the Beast.  Part of the fun for us was organizing the little goodie bags with cool stuff.  We made our own invites and people were pretty good about RSVPing because I made it clear that there was a head count in the theatre.

 

Other than that (and I mentioned this in the cake thread in TOA), we go to upstate NY almost every year around DD's birthday as part of her birthday celebration.  We stay in a lodge that prepares all of our food and they always make a cake for DD.  The simplicity of that is great for us and it has become a family tradition.

 

Another thing:  we live in a city where most people have apartments - it is common around here to have parties at a restaurant or in a park.  I know in our own apartment we can only handle so many people and it would be difficult to have an actual party.  

 

I think it is important to do what works for you.  For us it is about building traditions for certain days.  Out of all of DD's friends, I can't think of any of them who had more than one party for friends (seems like everyone around here does it at about age four).  I've been to super low-key parties (the park parties are the best) and some over the top parties.  


"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#12 of 16 Old 07-28-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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We don't do parties at all when they are really little and then start having parties with friends at age 3 or 4. The girls started at age 3 because we had friends then. DS1 did not get a 3rd birthday party because he does not have friends yet, and he would not understand a party. He will at age 4. I used to do them at my house, no games, just play time, cake, presents, and a piñata. Now we pay $60.00 to rent the gym at the gymnastic center for 1.5 hours. The kids play and then we do cake and presents in the lobby. It is well worth it to me not to have my house trashed! I personally don't do family birthday parties despite having family around just because that what my mom did when i was literally. Parties were for friends and then a dinner for the family. I guess I've carried that over. 


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#13 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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We do parties.  Huge parties.  We had one yesterday.  It was awesome!  Now granted we have no family close by, and ds loves to plan parties.  He is turning 5 (officially on Thursday) we will do a "house celebration" on Thursday (we live in a house with 7 adults and 2 kids and those people are our chosen family, so its more like a family party).  Yesterday was his "party".  It was outer space themed, we had a blacklight room (outer space), we had a room with a projection of space images and frisbees that you could decorate with stickers, outside we had a "lunar rover" (little kid car covered in aluminum foil), rockets (one I made and one I found at a thrift store), comet toss, and planet beach balls.  We had tons of food and lots of people and it went from 11am-5:30pm (when the last people finally left, it was scheduled until 3pm).  But ds's co-op preschool often has all school parties (twice a year at least) where the families all get together, potluck, hang out etc and I sort of plan the party to be similar to that.

 

I also consider the party ds's main gift.  Now he is getting a bike (but we got it on craigslist) on Thursday. He wants to have a crazy party, that he spends months planning, and so that's what he gets.  I think that after next year it will probably change somewhat because he'll be finished at that school and so we might not have as many folks that we see all the time who want to come hang out.  It was as much a party for the grown-ups as the kids.  And it was a "no gift" party.  He got 3 or 4 things from folks but there had to be 15-20 kids there, so not too bad.  And everything he did get was really nice (hand made tunic, water colors, building toy, book w/cd).

 

However, that's *my* family.  That works for us.  Like I said above there are 9 people in our house so even dinner can be a big event!  I think that if the kid(s) are content there is no reason to do something you don't want to.

 

 

 

 

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#14 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by carriemajimuku View Post

Hi everybody I just joined. I guess because I started working for a new company working with children's entertainment. I wasn't too sure if I was cut out to work in kid's entertainment because I never even thought of it before, but my daughter and her friends kept saying stuff like "go ahead mom it will be so cool," after seeing the maji muku animal characters I was going to be working with.

 

Anyway for those of you who find kids birthday parties really very stressful. I might have something you would like to have a look at. It's a downloadable kid's birthday package package that tells you all you need to know about birthday parties and gives you most of what you need. So a lot of the stress is dealt with, because once you know how to give a good party, you can relax and just follow the instructions. Anyway, just like to see what other people are thinking about the package. we are at www.maji-mukuforest.com  Please let me hear back from you. Thanks Carrie 

Ha and you guys thought I was a troll ROTFLMAO.gif

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#15 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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We've only ever done family parties for DS (5).  We, like you, have a big family that lives close by, so grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all come to celebrate.  It ends up being pretty overwhelming for DS (last year he hid under his art table when it got too loud), so next year I'll probably just invite the grandparents. 

Of course, now that he's entered kindergarten and all of his friends are having birthday parties, I'm sure he'll start asking in the near future.  I say go with the flow.. your kids will tell you when they're ready to start having parties with friends.


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#16 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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since age 1 till age 6 i've had HUGE parties for dd in the park. its coz i live in an apt and could not really have playdates in my tiny apt. so bday party time was a thankyou to the mom's group or playgroups. the party is her present. i dont get her any. 

 

some years she has been ok without presents. some years she wanted presents. usually she doesnt play with toys so within one week of her bday i take her toys over to our local homeless school.

 

however the first two years i allowed presents because many in the family were so looking forward to bringing their new addition presents. it didnt matter what they brought. i was willing to accept all. mainly coz we did not get bombarded with presents throughout the year. plus my inlaws then always asked us what we wanted. the other family members junk i didnt mind. 


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