We Gave Up Big Birthday Parties: 5 Things We Do Instead
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
My oldest son’s first birthday was an elaborate affair.
I stayed up every night for a week straight constructing goodie bags and decorations and all kinds of happy little accoutrements that the kids tried to gum to death and the parents largely ignored.
It set me back a good $200, and my kid fell asleep halfway through it after exploding out the back of his diaper and crying while everyone sang.
I haven’t gone to such extremes for a kiddie party since.
Because, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Everyone knows that honey badger kids don’t care about fancy party favors or themed décor. They don’t care if their goodie bags are personalized, if their cupcake toppers are homemade, or if you hire a clown or a magician or a face painter to come make everyone at the party all sparkly.
They care about presents and friends and hugs and cupcakes. They want to open their presents and play with their friends and get cupcakes all over your dress when they hug you.
It’s not about the crazy you bring to the party, it’s about the love … and the fun, of course. It’s about making that little person feel special for a few hours on their day. You could make that happen by exhausting yourself in your craft room for weeks and blowing your entire shoe budget for the year, or you could just not do that and do something like this instead:
Making Kid Parties Happy Without Breaking the Bank:
Host a baking party. Boys and girls alike will love getting together and getting their bake on. They can have a good time, they can eat delicious goodies, and they can learn something, too! Do something easy like chocolate chip cookies, and let everyone make their own batch so they have something to take home as a party favor when they go. Create a cupcake station with sprinkles and different colored frostings and let the kids go to town on their own cupcake creations. It’s simple, cheap, and loads of fun!
Have a picnic party. Go to your child’s favorite park or find a new one with fantastic play structures. Invite his or her besties and let them have a blast playing together. Consider a park with walking trails and go on a nature scavenger hunt. Make it a potluck, and have all of the families you invite bring their favorite picnic dish to share, or grill hot dogs and hamburgers – because who doesn’t love a barbecue? Bring large blankets for the kids to sprawl out on if they want to get the full picnic experience.
Do something good together. One year, we had an Operation Christmas Child packing party for my son and his friends. Sure, he still got to open gifts for himself, but he also got to give away a lot of them, too, and all of the kids at the party had a great time going through the gifts they were donating to the kids. We spent the money we could’ve spent on a few hours at the bowling alley or the jump center on items for kids in need.
Add a little friendly competition. One of the most fun parties we’ve ever hosted was an Olympics party, where we set up a bunch of games and obstacles in the backyard and had the kids compete in them. Some of them were silly and some of them were true tests of skill, but every single one of them was fun. We took a break halfway through for cake and ice cream and then sent everyone home to their mamas all sweaty and tired. Parents actually thanked me for that day.