Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kids' Birthday Parties -- the Agony and the Defeat

My friend Dawn wrote an article for Greenbelt Patch: Birthday Bash Burdens that got me thinking.  I hope you'll read her whole article, because she touches on the core issues that parents must face including
  • treat bags (My thought -- can we just call for a nationwide moratorium on them??)
  • gifts (mostly when/if to open them)
  • guest lists
Kyle's birthday is coming up.  It's less than 6 weeks away, and once again, I feel as if I've fallen behind.  The main problem is that his birthday is always Memorial Day weekend, and we used to meet my in-laws that weekend, so I had to figure out when to have it, and scheduled it around baseball and soccer and the rest of Spring busyness.

His birthday is on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, but I think that I'm going to bite the bullet and have the party that evening.  We have a nice big backyard with lots of seating and our awesome pool, so I'm thinking "Pool Party."  We had a few when Amanda was younger and we lived here before, and it's usually fun. The entertainment is built in, and I don't have to worry so much about limiting the guest list (unless it rains -- I think I'll have to build in a rain date).

At our neighborhood Easter Egg hunt, there was a balloon artist there, and I got their card. I'm not sure how much they would charge, but it would be fun to have them come by for an hour to give the kids a fun take-home balloon.  They were pretty creative and very FAST.

So agony? or defeat?  Generally a little of both.

Basically, I love having birthday parties for my kids, but I'm usually pretty laid back about it.  I've planned all of their parties, but my post about Kyle's party last year sums it up: Happy Birthday - Slacker Mom Style, and I was also pretty proud of the Group Party we had at the park the year before.

This post is beginning to feel like a brain dump, but I do hope you'll go back and read Dawn's article, and then I welcome you to dump your thoughts about birthday parties right here.  What do you love about them? What do you hate about them?


morninglight mama said...

Awwww, you're awesome. Thank you so much for the linky love. It does seem to be such a big thought-process for something that's over in a couple hours. :)

I LOVE the pool party idea. So much simple fun. Add a couple pizzas and you've got the party of the year!

Thanks again!

Anne@LittleSproutBooks said...

Excellent timing as I'm beginning to consider plans for my soon to be 5yo son's big day. I'm with you on the goodie bags for sure, and since we have a pool at home, I was hoping for (another) relaxed backyard party like we've had for him before. But, as he is getting more vocal about HIS opinions, I'm being forced to consider one of the "establishment" parties Dawn mentioned... eek!

Nancy said...

Having a mid-summer birthday child, we've always had pool parties, either in our own backyard or at the community pool in our neighborhood. The pool and some pizza has always been a big hit. The one year we had iffy weather, I hired a face painter, but it ended up being a gorgeous day anyway. This year, he'll be 8, and we're getting away from the big parties. He can invite 2-3 friends to sleep over, and we'll also take the kids to see Cars 2, and I'm hoping to do it at the drive-in.

I also have the late-fall birthday child, so we have done the "establishment" parties - Pump It Up-type places. I like that they take care of everything, one place even had someone who wrote down the gifts so I didn't have to worry about it.

Martha said...

I just planned my youngest 11th. Lucky for me he wants 2 friends to spend the night and I threw in going to the movies to make it special.

The daughter has her birthday planned months in advance. She always wants it all. Her birthday is the day after Kyle's, she is super social, and it's her 16th so we are still in negotiations over it.

My middle son's birthday is in July which is major vacation time. He is content for a great family outing for his day.

Whatever you do will be fabulous and everyone will have a ton of fun!