Are you dreading your child’s next birthday because of party expectations? Birthday parties have become big “events” in many circles, but when you have more than one child, or when a birthday comes during a stressful or busy time or if you’re strapped for cash, it may be hard to even think about a party, much less organize and host one.
The easier, the better.
A simple picnic in the park will suffice many times. Don’t try to handle more than two or three young children alone, but if you have help, up to a half dozen kids can have a lot of fun with a minimum of fuss.
Bring along the birthday cake, of course, some simple sandwiches and drinks, then let the kids play on the park equipment. A rousing game of keep-away or tag will keep the group together if needed. When you’re done, gather up the kids and call it a day.
Camp out in your back yard. You don’t have to make it a sleepover if you don’t want to. Just put up a tent or hang a big quilt over the clothesline or fence and send the kids into it. Inside, you will have provided snacks and instructions for a treasure hunt.
The instructions will be easy: The treasure is hidden within twenty steps but not on the side where you are. You will have hidden some simple and inexpensive “treasures” like you would Easter eggs. Wrap it up with a “campfire” and a few songs or stories.
A themed birthday party can be expensive, but you can hold down the expense if you keep the branded merchandise to a minimum. For instance, if it’s a favorite sports team, use just the colors to decorate and only a few small actual franchised items. The effect will be the same, but the price and the stress will be much less.
A park is good for older boys’ birthday parties, too. Give them a football or introduce them to the tennis court, then just about all you have to do is lay out plenty of snacks and drinks.
For older girls, a sleepover is perfect, of course. You don’t have to make a fuss about it. Pizza and soft drinks will do for food. Give them some fancy hair things, some fun nail art and leave them alone.
The worst part will be the all night noise, no matter how you plan it, so have it over a weekend or whenever you don’t have to get up early!
Again, for older kids and teens, you can always send them to the skating rink or an appropriate movie, then provide snacks and some time to just “hang out” after you pick them up.
Keeping a birthday party low key sometimes makes it more memorable than an expensive, complicated one.
The whole idea is for kids to get together with their friends to celebrate. When too much overshadows that, a birthday party is just another party.