The Art of the Simple Birthday Party

We had a birthday party to attend today, it was early, it was Saturday.

It was my nightmare.

The venue was right in the neighbourhood.  The original plan of mini golf…… buses and trains away, was changed seeing as the weather was turing nasty later on. I was secretly pleased. Is that mean? Was I being a grouch?

I didn’t want to get up at 7am to navigate to a place I’d never been before. My adventurous spirit was still in bed sleeping where I wanted to be.

We got up in time, did the last minute gift purchase, which was actually better than the usual money in a card. 🙂 Miss Gremlin said ‘Why do we always do this last minute on the day of the party?’ I had no answer, well not one I could say out loud. I’m lazy, I don’t like birthday present shopping. It was early, I was tired 🙂

Next stop, coffee.. If I was going to be up, I needed sustenance and being late to the party was irrelevant. As it was we weren’t late… or should I say we weren’t the latest 🙂

The kids all arrived, the parents met each other and the party began.

Party time

It was funny to watch a game of ‘pass the parcel’, the kids had no idea what to do. Then they played twister, which should be renamed ‘piles of kids’ because that’s how they spent most of their time.  After that, there was a game of partner building, where you get a partner and hold hands, then with the free hands you build a tower. You have to cooperate because you only have one hand each. The team with the tallest tower after 5 minutes wins. It’s a great game teaching patience and cooperation. Well done mommy host for making it up.

Another game of lego building was played but it was a little too tough, too many kids, so they abandoned that. Although I could see that being a fun game with only 1 or 2 kids. It involved building a certain pattern with lego in a time limit. It was an ipad/iphone game called Life of George.

Then onto the food part, burgers, chips and juice, not too crazy with junk, simple and inexpensive. After they ate, the kids got free play running around on the roof deck for an hour or so until things changed and the kids started arguing.

You can always tell when a party is over and a wise host limits the time and sends everyone on their way with a goodie bag and a feeling that this was a really fun party.

The perfect scenario:

Small number of guests,

time limit

several simple games (old school is fun because they often haven’t experienced pass the parcel or musical chairs or pin the tail on the donkey)

food ( just enough without being too much)

a little free play

goodbye and thanks for coming!

I can handle a party like this and honestly for the kids it’s enough. There’s no reason to go crazy with huge expensive parties. It just stressful and expensive and hard work.

Keeping it simple makes it pleasant yet still a great time for the birthday child.

Todays event was perfect. Miss Gremlin had a blast…..and that’s what counts right?

How do you do parties? Are you an every year party family? Or do you pick milestone years, 5,10,13,16 etc.
Do you do the huge themed party? The bowling alley or skating rink? Or are you a simple laid back parent. I know which I prefer….. to throw and attend 🙂

Comments 2

  1. Googled “the simple birthday party” (in quotes) and came across your blog. This is exactly what more folks need to do. Curious to know what was in the goodie bags – always looking for inspiration. Was it the usual bag of candy & plastic junk? (as if kids need candy after cake – I assume there was cake!). I like the idea of a simple menu, simple games, and a few kids. Although I worry about not inviting the whole class. Birthday parties are indeed nightmares – esp if you have to throw one and are on a budget!

    1. Post

      Hi! And thanks for stopping by.
      I asked my daughter what was in the goodie bag because honestly I didn’t look. :). She told me a little bit of candy and one of those wooden toy painting kits that you can probably get at the dollar store.
      As for inviting the whole class, I would opt for cupcakes and a happy birthday at school and then you can invite just a few friends.

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