A "crunchy" birthday party - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 04-16-2003, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd2 is turning five in about a month. He's having a birthday party. We allow them to have a "big" party at 5,10, and 13. Anyway, he doesn't want to have it anywhere special. Just here at home which is great! I'm totally anti goody bags so there won't be those. That's about as far as I've gotten, LOL! Any and all ideas are welcome!

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#2 of 22 Old 04-17-2003, 01:41 AM
 
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There was an awesome article in Mothering awhile back. I will try to find it. Stuff like using swaths of fabric to decorate and a wishing dish instead of a cake. You put floating candles in a shallow dish of water and have each guest throw in a penny or other small token and make a wish for the birthday child. Magic Cabin Dolls also has some neat stuff. HTH Have fun!

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#3 of 22 Old 04-17-2003, 02:28 PM
 
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My dd went to a b-day party last month and came home with a cute party favor..
They had painted little terra cotta planters and had been given a packet of flower seeds. I thought it was a darling idea.
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#4 of 22 Old 04-21-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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Maybe try a "motion" theme and have each kid bring their favorite car/boat/plane/train etc and setup your house/yard with tons of toys and let them "have at". You could make truck invites with paper cutouts. And make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting using loaf pans in into the shape of a car. And serve a fruit/veggie/cheese plate with punch on the side. We did this for our son and his older girl/boy friends last year.

Another idea I saw somewhere... bake muffin mix in ice cream cones!! Soft cheese [goat cheese, etc] topping is good.

You could also try a "bug" theme. Spider cutouts on the invites. Hang paper spirals from the ceiling/trees along with paper ladybugs. And serve -- of course -- bugs on a log!! Raisins & peanut butter on celery. If you do want to make a cake, try a caterpillar. S shaped domes frosted then add neco wafer feet, gummy worm antenae, and gum drop eyes.

Or, serve lunch and use cookie cutters to make cutouts of sandwiches. There are tons of great shapes to choose from.

Or serve pancake breakfast and make cats, dogs, snakes, smilies, etc.

OH! I JUST saw this and want to try it out next month for another party. Have a pizza party!! Make mini 6" pizzas and put a variety of toppings in bowls. Let the kids make their own!! While they cook you can send them off to play games etc.

Good Luck!! And since your son is five, a final idea might be to go to the library with him and look through books or magazines for ideas. I am sure he has an iterest that can be translated into a great casual birthday for him to remember!!

PS. My grandma sent me a recipe last week. Make meatloaf [or whatever] and instead of loaf tin use paper muffin cups. Then instead of frosting make mash potatoes. You can use food coloring to dye the potatoes. Then if you dont have a pastry gun make a cone out of wax paper and fill with potato and squeeze out in swirl to make fun design etc. This is SO much fun!! You can even use herbs for sprinkles!
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#5 of 22 Old 04-23-2003, 12:12 AM
 
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We had a pancake breakfast for ds's 5th. It was great because he woke up and an hour later his friends arrived. We didn't spend the day discussing how long until the party started. The food was pancakes, juice, fruit salad, and yogurt, so it was healthy but popular. The cake was a big stack of pancakes with candles, and when I sliced it and distributed it, the pancakes were then pre-cut for the kids to eat.

A fun activity is to take the kids and their parents on a bike hike. We've done it at the local conservation area, which has nice wide paths and no car traffic, so it was very safe and suitable even for those who still had training wheels.

A friend arranged for a visit to the fire station. It was a great party. Lunch and cake at home, then a visit to the fire station. All the guests were fire station fanatics and the firefighters really got into it. They even took the kids for a ride on the pumper truck and the birthday boy got to make the siren sing!

As for loot bags, I'm not sure... I give popcorn and parachute toys and one or two candies or some gum. I'm not brave enough to give up on them because they are expected by so many of the kids. At the firestation party, there was a colouring book about fire safety and a plastic fire helmet, both supplied by the fire station.
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#6 of 22 Old 04-23-2003, 07:27 PM
 
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DDs parties were a hit when kept basic-pizza, cake, and a pinata (fill with candy alternatives if you choose). MOst important, a large yard or park with balss etc. to play. Too much organiztion seemed to annoy the kids...lol They just wanted to play....

I madea vegan cake for DS 1st birthday, only 5 guests, noone but me and Ds touched it.
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#7 of 22 Old 04-24-2003, 12:20 AM
 
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Homemade playdough is fun, also goop (water and corn starch). I would include at least one sensory project for the kids to do outside if possible. It's perfect for 2 year olds.
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#8 of 22 Old 04-24-2003, 09:41 AM
 
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We went to a b-day party a few yrs back where the fire dept came to the house. The kids got a tour of the fire engine, tried on the boots and hats and such and got the same goodie bags they get when the do class field trips to the firehouse. Best of all, the mom told me it was free (although, she did make a donation after it was over). Most firestations jump at the chance to bring their message of firesafety to kids and as long as they don't have a call to respond to, are happy to hang with the kids and educate as much as the kids will allow.

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#9 of 22 Old 04-24-2003, 05:28 PM
 
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There was an adorable idea in some mainstream mag recently, possibly Child or Family Fun, and it was a cooking party. Invitations were written on recipe cards, and the activities included an "assemble your own lasagna" and making veggie or fruit kebabs (raw, of course, and skewered on toothpicks), and that was lunch, and then there were fun food-related games. There were also instructions on how to make a chef's hat for each kid. It was really cute, and the article included a planning calendar.

Oh, look, I just found it online:
http://familyfun.go.com/parties/even...kingparty.html
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#10 of 22 Old 04-24-2003, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I'm getting some awesome ideas here! I definately think we'll make play dough. I hadn't thought of that. It's getting so close now!!!

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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#11 of 22 Old 04-24-2003, 11:35 PM
 
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not necessarily crunchy, but the firestation thing made me think of it. a friend of mine called the fire station to see if they'd come by w/their truck (apparently some of them will do this if they don't have a call) and when they came, they not only had free hats and stickers for the b-day guests, they not only turned on the siren, let the kids ring the bell, showed them the equiptment...

they plugged that hose into a fire hydrant and shot water down her subdivision street for a good 15 minutes! it was the coolest bday party i have ever been to. so awesome! and they didn't charge a thing, just volunteered their time b/c they didn't have a call that day. of course, my friend and her hubby took pizzas and subs over to the post one night and sent all the guys home w/6 packs, but isn't that so cool of them?

(well, i guess they did do it at our (taxpayer) expense. it was a lot of water!)

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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#12 of 22 Old 05-06-2003, 04:00 AM
 
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When Nicholas turns four next month, we will be having a yoga breakfast party.


He will probably invite his playgroup (4 kids), so I will make a big yummy breakfast- pancakes, yogurt, and fruit, with organic milk. The cake will be a stack of pancakes, but I'm adding food coloring (in blue, green, and red) to make it more festive. And little beeswax candles.


After breakfast, we will have a twenty minute yoga class on the sun porch (getting my yoga teacher to do it). Since there are so few kids, and I ABHOR junky gift bag trinkets, I'm getting a little yoga mat for each kid (a friend of mine sells them, so I get a discount ).


After that, free play with the dress up box and crayons until the mommies get bored.

Crunchy enough?
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#13 of 22 Old 05-06-2003, 11:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by thejmeister
When Nicholas turns four next month, we will be having a yoga breakfast party.
Waaaahhh I wanna go!!!

Year 1 - party at the park across the street. I invite 20+ parents and kids, spend all morning preparing and cranky/cursing at my DH anytime he gets in my way. We lug everything to the park. We swear never to do THAT again.

Year 2 - have party at Gymboree. 20+ kids. Pay alotta money for it. Everybody enjoys it. Except for the teacher who did circle time (and I abhor circle time) had THE MOST ANNOYING voice on the planet. And she was screaming for kids to come over to the circle.

Year 3 - rent Under the Sea playspace. 17 kids. Alotta money. I go overboard with crappy, junky goodybag (because I feel I have to).

Year 4 - screw all that! I want it small and intimate next time, at home, under 5 kids, with a simple theme.

A pancake birthday breakfast sounds awesome.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#14 of 22 Old 05-07-2003, 11:35 PM
 
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Thanks!

The Gymboree party sounds like fun (well, minus Annoying-Voice-Lady ).

Sometimes, I feel like such a bad mom, because I don't do big parties. I think they are so overstimulating for such young kids. But I have to admit, it would be kinda fun to organize a party with a magician or a bouncy castle and all of DS's pals. I wanna be supermom!


Oh, well. Maybe when he's older.
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#15 of 22 Old 05-08-2003, 12:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by thejmeister
Sometimes, I feel like such a bad mom, because I don't do big parties.
Oh stop it! You (and all parents who are CREATIVE) are so cool! It's about making it special/memorable for the child.

I just got caught up in making everybody happy. I just wanted to invite every single person we know. But when they are under 6, perhaps not the best plan!

I think they are so overstimulating for such young kids.

That's exactly right. Well, now I know. I had to learn for myself I guess.

But I have to admit, it would be kinda fun to organize a party with a magician or a bouncy castle and all of DS's pals. I wanna be supermom!

You ARE a supermom!

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#16 of 22 Old 05-08-2003, 01:25 AM
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Inspired by Bestjob's post I called my local fire department a few weeks ago to book a tour for ds's 3rd birthday at the end of May. "All tours are temporarily cancelled due to the SARS outbreak." Boy, did I feel dumb. Gee I guess you have other things to worry about other than my darling boy's 3rd birthday?! Anyway, Toronto whupped SARS butt so I am sure they will be touring by the end of the month but if they aren't I really don't know what I will do......
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#17 of 22 Old 05-08-2003, 06:17 PM
 
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Along the lines of a pizza party, we made these really cool pita pizzas at one of my playgroups. We used the mini pitas from Trader Joes, tomato sauce (they have organic) mozzerella cheese and toppings of your choice. The kids and adults loved them! Then the kids drank milk or juice boxes while the adults sipped chai lattes (okay, well that's more L.A. than crunchy, but it was good:LOL).

A friend of mine had a gardening themed party where we all got to decorate little plastic plant pots with stickers and then planted pansies in them. This was the kids thing to take home, so no goody bags.

My mom had a banana cake with candles in it for my 5th b day because she was crunchy too, but I can't reccommend this. To this day, I am somewhat bitter that she denied me a sugary monstrosity on my bday:LOL
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#18 of 22 Old 05-08-2003, 09:50 PM
 
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TaniBani- Thanks! You have no idea how good that made me feel!

Anyway, I was just going to post some details about the party that I helped a friend plan for her five yo dd. It might give you some ideas.


This little girl absolutely ADORES butterflys, so we decided to take her and four of her friends to the butterfly house at the zoo. It's kinda like a greenhouse filled with beautiful plants and tons of butterflys.

We made these beautiful butterfly wings out of crepe (kinda like the Waldorf ones) and really cool flower crowns. Each girl got wings in her favorite color, and crowns made of matching flowers, but the b-day girl had all of the flower colors in her crown, as well as ribbons in the back.

After the girls spent about 45 minutes in the butterfly house, we went to the nearby outdoors eating area. I was already there, setting up. We had bought a tablecloth with butterflies painted on, and a Mylar butterfly balloon to tie to the back of each chair.
For lunch, we made organic pb and j on whole wheat, with the impression of a butterfly on top made from a cookie cutter. They also had a little carton of organic milk, celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing, and a cupcake with a tiny little toy butterfly perched on top.

The favors for the girls were their wings and wreaths, We spent MAYBE $150 on the entire party, and the girls are still talking about it!
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#19 of 22 Old 05-08-2003, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All of these ideas are so great! I wasn't going to do goody bags at all but decided to get those small, cloth bags from the craft store and paint each child's name on them. Inside I am putting Stretch Island Fruit leather and I'm not sure what else. We are moving one week after the party so ds wants to have it here. We decided on a Lego theme since he LOVES legos. That's about as far as I've gotten! It's only a week away so I guess I should get going, huh?

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#20 of 22 Old 05-11-2003, 01:54 AM
 
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I really love kids birthday parties.

My friend's DH (oh how I envy her) is French and LOVES to cook. He is the cook in their house. (now where is the green envy sign?)

They always have parties at a park (free!) near a playground (cause their house is too small). This year, DH set up a small kerosene grill (2 burners) and was making CREPES TO ORDER!

He pre-made homemade Crepes (one plain adult size, one buckwheat adult size, 2 small sizes for kids) and had Cheeses, turkey, ham and people could choose their filling (I would have added the following choices - Spinach, eggs, tomato and maybe some slightly sauteed mushrooms.) They also had a nice salad. (Last year he served a yummy spread - all home made - which included homemade Foccaccia bread.)

Anyway, my friend had her 2 month old dd in the Maya Wrap sling. That is her 2nd homebirth baby, so I guess this is a "granola birthday". s

CRAFT FOR KIDS - Kids would paint their own flower pots.
Luckily they got three tables near each other (one for DH to cook, one for people to sit and eat at and another for the craft set up). My friend purchased

1. Teeny clay pots for planting seeds (3 for $1 at local crafts store)
2. Paint (she provided each child with a teeny paint container. She didn't have any water for dunking. Not that it mattered much to the kids. I would have put more paint out in empty egg cartons and water in empty plastic containers for dunking.)
3. Brushes
4. Stamps Nobody used these much. First 3 were enough.

I would have left it just as is, but THEN she had a 1/4 full bag of dirt. Each child reached in the bag to fill the pots after they were painted. Then she put in seeds (in a few weeks, flowers would bloom.) She provided ZIPlock bags to protect the potted plants to take home. And that was the "goody bag." How cool is that!!!!

I think that's AWESOME! I would love to do this, but my DH would veto it because it would take work and stress us both out (they seemed perfectly calm.)

We have "money." The con for me is while it's "nice" the downside is that it's so easy to go overboard and overspend, KWIM? And I'm so sick and tired of it. :

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#21 of 22 Old 05-13-2003, 03:52 PM
 
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Made-to-order crepes? Now, THAT'S a party I could get into!
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#22 of 22 Old 05-13-2003, 04:37 PM
 
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We are trying to come up with something for dd's 1st bday at the end of June.
I'm not doing bags but am thinking of doing some sort of craft to take home. Maybe tote bags from Dharma to paint or stamp etc.

We are doing her party at a local park that has a jungle gym, pavillion that we're going to reserve, and can grill food.

Chris Mama of J, A, C and M
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