I have written about my thoughts on birthday parties before.
I am not anti-party.
I looooove a party.
But I am anti-over-the-top parties for little kids.
I am also anti-excessive party decorations and anti-cakes that take hours to make.
And I am seriously anti-goodie bags.
Numbers 3, 5, and 6 all have birthdays within 5 days of each other in June.
I don’t have the time to throw three different parties.
But I did want to let them do something fun.
So this is what I did.
We had a total of 11 kids (not including mine) come to the party.
We are fortunate to have a backyard that is conducive to an outdoor party.
Or even a couple outdoor parties happening simultaneously.
So Number 3 could play with his nine-year-old buddies, and Number 5 and 6 could play with their younger buddies in separate areas.
Now let me backtrack for a second.
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that once a week, two awesome 13-year-old girls come over and help me out with the kids.
The kids love them.
I love them.
They are polite, and mature, and creative, and responsible, and proactive, and fun, and able to redirect the kids when they start to get silly.
It is such a well-oiled machine now, that I basically just open the front door, the girls walk in, take off their shoes, and immediately find the kids.
And I have 2 hours to get stuff done.
It’s quite nice.
So last week, as I was thinking about this party, a thought occurred to me…
Why not have The Girls help out at the party?
In fact, why not have The Girls totally take care of Number 5 and 6’s portion of the party?
And then I had another thought.
The Girls could start a business.
A birthday party business.
A birthday party business where they come to your house, they plan a couple activities, they occupy the kids, and you don’t have to do any of the work.
But you also don’t have to pay three or four hundred dollars at some germ-infested, overcrowded, headache-inducing, Mommy-watch-me! Mommy-watch-me! Mommy-watch-me!, hellhole?
So I ran it by them.
They liked the idea, so I assigned them the task.
Back to yesterday’s party.
Here is what I did:
I got 2 huge party pizzas and a bag of chips ($25).
A friend of mine contributed a giant container of fruit salad ($0).
I bought three boxes of cake mix, three containers of frosting, and three gallons of ice cream($20).
I made a cooler full of lemonade (already had that) and had a pitcher of water to drink, and I used paper plates and cups that I had left over from the party we had on Memorial Day.
I made three cakes so each kid would have his/her own, and I made them in disposable pans so I wouldn’t have to clean them up.
Number 2 iced and decorated the cakes for me (with sprinkles we already had), so I didn’t even have to do that.
I forgot to take a picture of them before we cut into them, but here they are:
The kids did not care one bit that they didn’t have a princess, or a pirate, or a sports-themed cake.
Cake is cake. Especially when you’re 4.
So no one complained about a very simple cake and ice cream.
In fact, they devoured it.
Number 3 spent the party playing with his friends.
They played badminton.
They played some other game. I don’t know what it was, but they were having fun, and they were all getting along great.
While Number 3 and his boys were partying it up,
The Girls took care of the rest.
They set the younger ones up at a table and got their food.
Now I hadn’t chosen a theme or anything, but Number 4 (who wanted to help plan her sister’s party) had told The Girls the party would be Minnie Mouse themed.
So they took that, and they ran with it.
Once the kids were done eating, The Girls set up a craft.
They were totally prepared with all the supplies, and they made Minnie Mouse headbands.
So Number 7 wouldn’t wear hers and I cut one off in the picture by mistake, but they were pretty adorable.
Next, was a game of Duck, Duck Splash.
This was Number 4’s suggestion, and The Girls helped her take care of it. I didn’t do a thing.
Next was another game.
The Girls came equipped with a big Pin the Bow on the Minnie Mouse game that they made themselves.
They found a spot on their own to hang it up, and they even brought their own tape with them.
How freaking cute is that???
Finally, as a tiny favor, The Girls printed out these little paper bracelets.
The kids loved them!
The only problem I had was controlling myself from stepping on The Girls’ toes…it took me about an hour and a half to realize that I didn’t need to direct anything. They had it totally under control.
And for the first time ever, I was able to sit, and relax, and just visit with the other moms who stayed at the party.
I know they weren’t expecting any money, but I paid them each $20.
It really was a great day, and I had three birthday parties, and I spent a total of $85.
I told The Girls I would write a post to help them spread the word about their new business venture, and you know what they said?
They told me they had already created a website for it.
And that is the reason I suggested this birthday party business to them in the first place.
Because they are Not Your Average 13-Year-Olds.
If your son or daughter has a birthday coming up and you live in the Greater Danbury area, consider hiring them…Click here to check out their website. (They are still working on it, but you can contact them there).
You don’t need to break the bank, or your back, to throw a fun party for your kids.
But you could break the over-the-top standard that seems to be the norm, and throw a party that’s enjoyable not just for your kids, but for you too.
Number 1! Please keep me there!
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What a cool idea! We are all about the simple party, too. For our son with a summer birthday, we usually buy a few hundred water balloons, fill them and haul them to the park in big muck buckets. After cake and food, the kids pretty much just have a giant balloon fight and have a blast. We can just sit back and watch. Nothing for kids to take home, and all we have to do is pick up some exploded balloons. The kids are usually happy to help. Great post.