Students: please welcome guest blogger/substitute teacher Lisa M.
When I was a kid we didn’t have themed birthday parties, we just had–well, birthday parties. The birthday was the theme. These days there are pre-packaged party themes for everything from cartoon characters to movies. If this all seems like a little much to you, here are a couple of ideas for putting a birthday party together that are a little old-fashioned, but proven fun.
Incorporate party games from pioneer days or even the 1950’s into the birthday party for a few guaranteed ways to entertain. Parents and kids had it down right back then and to be honest, I don’t think anything has come along and reinvented the birthday party to a point of greatness since the cake appeared. When the whole point of the birthday party is to make the child feel special, is it really necessary to feature a lot of crazy decorations and gimmicks? Here are a few throwback ideas to try the next time you have a birthday party to plan.
- The good old-fashioned slumber party is a tried and true crowd pleaser. Not only are kids better at entertaining themselves when they’re in a smaller group, but the treat of a slumber party is about just being around each other. Set up a pizza and soda station, locate every available pillow and blanket in the house and find both a suitable movie and board or card game for everyone to enjoy. A small, intimate group is best for these types of gatherings. Your main job here will be to play damage control, kids have the tendency to want to play pranks on each other at slumber parties, but all you have to do is make your presence known every now and again and they’ll be too afraid to try any funny business. (The Damsel’s note: slumber parties can be great, harmless fun. But she recognizes many moms aren’t ok with them because of dangerous situations that have arisen. She knows you will use your best judgement and not permit your child to sleep over any place you aren’t perfectly comfortable with. On the flip side, don’t be offended if you decide to hold one and a guest or two can’t make it because of a family rule of “no sleep-overs.” This isn’t directed at you personally. )
- Craft and activities parties are also a lot of fun, especially if you’re looking for a way to entertain a larger group and don’t want anyone to feel left out. Pick up small ceramic items, paint and brushes at a local crafts store or t-shirts and paints and set up a craft station. Popsicle sticks, glue, paint, magnets and glitter are pretty much a terrific combination. This way everybody can engage in the same activity at the same time together. Kids can take their craft home as their party favor.
- If you do want to have a theme, like pioneer days, you should mention on the invitation what kind of dress is appropriate and set up a few backyard games like flour sack and three-legged races, egg-toss and tug-o-war. Goodie bags with old-fashioned candy like lemon drops and other hard candies and small bags of marbles would be theme appropriate.
- A few of the 1950’s style party games are duck-duck-goose, hide-and-seek, Simon says, and an egg relay. Goodie bags could have jacks, silly putty and taffy candy.
It really doesn’t take too much to make a kid happy for their birthday. All that matters is that they feel special on their special day. They just have to be surrounded by their friends and family and cake!
Lisa is a guest blogger, who writes about Mario birthday party supplies, birthday cake decorations and entertainment.