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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just moved into a new neighborhood from out of state last week (on Halloween). My son turns 5 next week and the grandparents are coming out to celebrate. Ds said he didn't need any other kids, just the family at the party and I had a big sigh of relief as we don't know anyone. Well, yesterday, he says he really wants some kids to come to his party. I really want to do this for him because we've had a rough 2 months and we've both been feeling isolated. So I am going to go around and basically beg people I don't know to bring their kids by for a party. If someone was in my situation, I'd be more than happy to attend so I am hoping they don't mind. I am also going to tell them not to bring a gift and I will have small items wrapped (like playdough or art supplies) that can be from them. I don't want to put anyone out since we don't know them. Would you be cool with this?<br>
Also, I have no idea what to do for the party. We have a bunch of moving boxes around. Can anyone think of a fun activity maybe using those. Any fun, easy party ideas would be sooooo appreciated.<br><br>
Thanks all you brilliant creative mamas!!!
 

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I invited my sons entire AP playgroup to his birthday party (even though I don't know all of them well), and let them all know that presents were not expected or needed. I think it took a lot of pressure off them, because a lot of them are really not wealthy. So I think that's fine!<br><br>
I'm trying to think of activities.... we did outdoors stuff (pool, bubbles, etc), but now it's too cold.... hmmmmm..... I'll have to think on that one.<br><br>
Melanie
 

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My kids love painting, drawing on, and putting stickers on boxes. You could let them decorate and then play fort!
 

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I always do crafts for birthday parties!<br><br>
My DS loves anything foam bases...you know, foam stickers onto a foam door hanger...silly stuff like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shameless bump <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Hmmm... I don't know what your situation is, but you are approaching this from a "one down" sort of position, if you know what I mean. Begging, etc. This is going to be fun! A lot of parents, including me, love to go to kids birthday parties.<br><br>
Here is my idea, but it takes more money than the other because it involves an additional celebration.<br><br>
Can you delay the party with other kids for a week and make it special and fun so that the invitees will be thrilled to attend? Have a small family birthday and plan together for the party with kids a week later? That would take away from the last minute begging feeling and let you operate from a position of strength.<br><br>
We just had my daughter's birthday and hired <a href="http://www.madscience.com" target="_blank">http://www.madscience.com</a> to put on a show, and they were great, with lights, electricity, making slime, and rockets and chemistry experiments. We did a cotton candy add on because my daughter loves cotton candy. Here in Austin, it cost $185 for up to fifteen kids. We didn't get their favor bags, but they are terrific. We had a girl scientist. I have no idea if that's in your price range or considered outrageous, but the beauty of it was that it was educational and had very little work for me in terms of making it fun. My party was for mostly little girls,but the little boys there loved it, too.<br><br>
If you have a bunch of moving boxes around the house, do you mean in terms of coming up with fun things to do with moving boxes, or do you mean it is too hard to have a party at your house because of the boxes, or both? We found a great deal renting a room at a local neighborhood rec center for just fifteen dollars an hour. It had a playscape and everything we needed.<br><br>
For more frugal parties that my kids loved, we went to a delightful party where the mom made a cake that looked like a viking and had a scavenger hunt. I would have preferred to do something like that if I had a house where I could invite kids (we had to have ours at a local park). The parents served pizza and the prizes for the scavenger hunt had each child's name and every child won a prize, of course. If you order pizza, you can sometimes get great deals by ordering multiple pizzas. Check first. Here, Mr. Gattis will deliver large two topping pizzas for $5 each if you order at least five pizzas. That's a great deal if you don't have to be crunchy. At five, kids can use boxes to make houses, puppet shows, walk up windows for banks etc. I would cut the holes in advance and have paints and markers. Do warn parents in advance for messy activities so they can dress accordingly. One thing that is very important if you go the frugal route: be sure you have enough of whatever it is you are passing out for every kid, including siblings. Better to have no party favors than to pass out party favors to one child but not their sibling, or to run out of cake (I have seen both things happen, and it was pretty tragic from the kids' points of view).<br><br>
Always remember the fun of dancing and bubbles. Some great music that makes kids want to dance is a hit even at the age of five. Have a dance contest with prizes for every kid.<br><br>
All of our birthday parties have been "no presents, just your presence" except one. We don't do opening gifts at parties, just because there is so much other stuff going on there's really not time.<br><br>
Above all, have fun. I have been to tiny inexpensive birthday parties where the parents were warm and happy and those parties were great. I have also been to one birthday party where the grandmother hosted and was so uptight and scolding adult and child guests alike that everyone left early. Don't assume that people won't smoke, sadly, even in AP supercrunchy groups, so pretend someone has asthma or something to avoid this from happening to you.<br><br>
Remember -- This is going to be a great party!! You are doing these kids and their parents a favor by giving them a delightful activity to attend for a few hours. Of course, you can explain why this is so important to your kid... no harm in that. But remember how terrific and fun this is going to be and even dance around the house when you think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ladies. We are getting there! I called a few people out of our neighborhood directory who had kids within a year or so of ds1. Felt a little odd but told them our situation and 2 of 3 were receptive. The third just hasn't called back yet so there is still hope. Also, my dh's boss is bringing her 2 kids by. I don't know any of their personalities so we're just going to hope for the best!<br><br>
Inezyv- you're exactly right that I was approaching this from the wrong angle. I appreciate the honesty and felt as if I've had a moment of clarity from what you said and someone else I spoke to today. I've been extremely unhappy with this whole move and kept feeling like it just wasn't getting any better. Well, I've decided to get over it (to the best of my capabilities) and that includes getting excited about this party.<br><br>
I am still not sure what activities we'll be doing but it is now a "spy" party per ds's request.<br>
Thanks all! -one much happier mama
 

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Have a great time! I want an update, maybe pix too! A spy party sounds so fun. That's what my dd wanted before she changed her mind to science party, so I would love to hear what you do.<br><br>
Regarding the attitude thing, sorry, I didn't mean to be so blunt about it. Yuck about having an unwanted move.<br><br>
I think the guests will have a great time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, thought about it last night and this is what I came up with for the spy party.<br><br>
* Fingerprint art when arriving and my mom can help them make a badge with their fingerprint at the same time.<br>
* Spy tag (freeze tag) with cool spy moves when frozen if nice outside or hide & seek inside to practice being stealthy!<br>
* Laser beam (or laser beans-as ds calls it) limbo with prizes for everyone. That will be their "training" and is when they will receive their spy kit (goodie bag= magnifying glass, flashlights, healthy snack pack, and whatever else I can come up with that a spy might need.)<br>
* Then it's time to solve the mystery of the missing birthday cake. I will think of 3 or 4 clues for them to solve while going through a mini obstacle course around the house. This is when I can use some of those moving boxes to crawl through. This is also when I will lose my 2 y/o b/c he loves playing in the boxes and won't come out!<br>
* Throw in some free play, pizza, cake, and the back-up game of hullabaloo and that's the party.<br><br><br>
Are there any other cool ideas for spy activities anyone has? If I don't respond it's b/c we're going to a wedding down in FL and don't know what computer access we'll have.
 

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Cute! You have very creative ideas. That sounds like they will have fun, and it sounds like plenty of activities.
 

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Sounds like a blast<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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Hello mama!<br><br>
I was in a similar situation when my daughter turned four (lots of change and moving) and we shamelessly used the boxes as another mama suggested. Maybe a "spy hideout" that kids could decorate themselves with markers and stickers? (We had an "undersea submarine;" the nice thing about boxes is that they can be just about anything!)<br><br>
Best of luck and happy birthday!
 

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We were in a similar situation last year. The great thing about kids is that they do not mind playing/having a party with children they dont know, they enjoy just being around other kids! We had kids we had never met, dd had never played with, attend her party and they all had a blast!! Sounds like you have a fun party planned! As an added bonus, this is a great way to make friends for future playdates too<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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