In Support of Simple Birthday Parties

Have you ever thought back to your childhood and realized so many of your favorite, most vivid memories are brimming with simplicity? Life now can feel anything but simple, yet we often find ourselves longing for it (or for our kids to experience it).

One thing I have great memories of are my birthday parties. I grew up in a small town in Maine, so I’m not 100% sure the Home Party was so much a thing, versus it was the only option where I lived, but boy did I love my parties.

My mom always made an amazing cake (a pink castle cake stands out in my mind), my friends would come over, we’d play random games my dad would often lead, then we’d just play together until it was time for cake and presents. It was wonderful! We also often had a Peanut Hunt (think Egg Hunt but looking for peanuts in the shell still), but given allergies these days, hunting for peanuts in a backyard would probably not end well.

I’ve now thrown 15 birthday parties for my kids, and of those 15 only 2 of them have not been at our house. My triplets celebrate their day at the end of August, and my daughter in January, so we cover some very different weather between those two.

Parties don’t have to be big, expensive events, nor do they have to happen at the latest and greatest kids entertainment facility – they can happen in your home, for not a lot of money, and still be a success!

We’ve had a WipeOut themed party that required a bit more creativity behind it. We’ve had a couple indoor picnic parties in January, a bowling-themed party (but not at a bowling alley), and most recently a Mickey Mouse themed party. We’ve had parties with no real theme at all.

One thing I’ve loved most is involving my kids with the planning! Obviously if they aren’t talking yet, this is hard, but as they grow up they’ll love telling you what theme they want, and helping to pull that off (both for their own party and for siblings parties). My older boys for the last two years have wanted to provide a coat check service to guests at their little sister’s party, and also to cater (help with the snacks) for her parties. I let ‘em! It brings them joy and takes one more thing off of my plate.

Like the parties of my childhood, it’s handy to have two games in mind for when things get chaotic, but they don’t have to be complex. A simple game of 4 Corners can easily burn some time, as can coming up with a series of clues and sending the birthday kid & guests off to hunt for their goodie bags.

The rest of the time we let kids just play and enjoy being together, until it’s time for cake and presents. It’s simple, really much lower stress than you would think and can be far less costly than a structured party held elsewhere.

OK, there is one drawback to the at home party … clean up. I’m not gonna lie, that’s my least favorite, but hey, as the kids get older, that is why we have them, right? {wink}

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