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We've usually gotten a jumpy house and that was it for entertainment. Ds1 is turning 9, and we're having the party here, but no jumpy house. Do I need to have activities for these kids, or can the just run around and be crazy? He wants a Star Wars party so we're be making light sabers out of pool noodles, and we have a big backyard. I thought about setting up "Jedi Training" type games, but I honestly don't really feel like.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Am I going to regret 10-15 kids showing up with no directed activities? What would you suggest?
 

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I remember going to parties as a kid... cake at the dining room table, usually not even ice cream, a few gifts, running around the yard. SO much fun! I miss those days. I just posted on the simple thread, this falls in the same category. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I wouldn't worry about planned activities if it were me. And it will be next weekend when my dd turns 8, lol.
 

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Those are the parties I remember too, but things are so different now. I remember some kids getting dropped off, we ate chips and dip and cake, and then everyone went home. (My mom used to wrap quarters in wax paper and bake it into the cake - the "money cake" was a tradition in our house.)<br><br>
But it's so different now. All our family is in the area, so they all come. Plus, we homeschool, so at parties the siblings and parents usually stay at the party. (I guess because as homeschoolers the parents become friends as well as the kids, but there are definitely a lot fewer drop offs.)<br><br>
I really just want to put out a big bucket of various balls, a rope ladder up to our tree (smallish tree, but a kid or two can get up there) and let them have at it with their pool noodle light sabers. But I can't think of a birthday party we've been to recently that had no form of entertainment - a jumpy house, a magician, a character, games, etc.<br><br>
Also, I refuse to do goody bags, but we usually have something the kids leave with. We've done a cd of ds's favorite music, capes they made at the party, a baseball we wrote on . . . do you think the pool noodle light sabers are enough? My neice last year was very disappointed that the cape was her "goody bag."<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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What does your son think? It is his party... if all he wants to do is run around with a pool noodle (sounds pretty fun to me!) then go for it.<br><br>
You may want to have a few redirection ideas in mind though, in case it becomes light sabre mayhem.
 

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Except for one Harry Potter party (put on by a local place), I've never done them parties or had directed activities. DD1's 7th birthday party is tomorrow. Between her siblings, friends and cousins, I have...think it's 14 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 11, plus a couple of teenagers. They'll all be at my mom's place for 2.5 hours. I have lots of food, because we're doing lunch (food is pretty mainstream...hot dogs, chips, pretzels, veggie tray and fruit salad). Other than eating food, and doing the cake, I dont' know what they'll be doing. If past experience is any guide, they'll hunt honeybees, pester grandma to check if there are any blackberries yet (lol) and just generally run around a lot.<br><br>
I did give in to the goodie bags a long time ago. I wish I hadn't, but I just don't have the energy to turn back now. The kids look forward to them too much. But, I keep things really, really loose.
 

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Depending on the kids, you might want to be explicit about a "not in the face" rule for the lightnoodles. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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We do simple backyard parties here, and everyone seems to have a great time. Now that DS is older we've started separating his friend and family parties, so he'll choose a few friends and we'll go do an activity like mini golf, then on the weekend we'll have a family barbecue. He really likes it, and it's easy and stress-free for me.
 

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Ugh, I hate goodie bags! LOL what a waste of money! I have bringing them home too, the kids never want to part with the little dollar store bugs and such...<br>
I'm a birthday grinch <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I would find "fun" games, like tag, pin the helmet on Darth, et to use as "backup". Just in case it rains our you for what ever need to create order.
 

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For goodie bags, I've done things like hula hoops (couple of $ each) with a couple of candies. Last year I found art sets for $4 each, and gave them, they were a huge hit. It doesn't have to be a pile of crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>limabean</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15379620"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Now that DS is older we've started separating his friend and family parties, so he'll choose a few friends and we'll go do an activity like mini golf, then on the weekend we'll have a family barbecue. He really likes it, and it's easy and stress-free for me.</div>
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That's what I'm going to do next year.
 

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Can they make their own light sabers? Or decorate them? There's one activity right there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I do not get jumpy houses or magicians. Not gonna do it. I find that at parties with them the kids go in a little but mostly run around and play. I wouldn't worry about it.<br><br>
I also don't do goodie bags.<br><br>
I do put out stuff for them to play and get creative (last year I had a pool of jello!) and let them run around and be kids.
 

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I've never done an elaborate kid's birthday party. All of our parties are of the 'cake & ice cream & running around playing' variety. We generally started friend birthday parties around age 4, and my oldest is 10. This has never been a problem, and the kids always have fun.
 
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