Sunday, October 24, 2010
I have had quite a few people emailing me asking how the party went for Charley...he turns 6, officially, tomorrow! You are asking for details, so I will let you know how our first official KID birthday went.
In the past we have done family parties with relatives, not our entire family...just a few randoms who could come. We also did a little surprise party for Charley with his playgroup when he turned 4. But this one was the first one where we let him do the inviting. He got to pick the friends without mama and daddy thinking about our family friends. We decided long ago that we would do what other friends do and say that he could have 6 friends since he was turning 6 (however, we did count the neighbor sisters as one).
We also decided last year that we would do kid birthday parties every other year. So last year we celebrated as a family and he loved it. I don't doubt he will be excited about next years family birthday. I am so glad we waited til this year to do a kid birthday party because I really enjoyed just having the kids and not trying to entertain the parents too! I could focus on the kid fun to be had and just deal with a kid menu :).
I was late getting our invites out. I am a spur of the moment kind of person. Once he had settled on his guest list and we noticed that more than half of the kids were girls...I felt the need to guide him in his party theme. When I suggested Lego's...just plain Lego's...and gave him some of my ideas...we were on our way. I got my ideas on the Internet and out of my own little head.
Here was the invite..and I have to say that being the spur of the moment mom that I am when it comes to this kind of stuff worked to my advantage. I composed the invite online, emailed it to the office supply store in our town and had 12 copies, I made extras for family, printed in color...for only 7 bucks! WOO HOO!
I had things pretty much scheduled down to the 10-15 minute interval. There was no time for chaos or running wild. Ed was smart and about an hour before the party said that one of us should be in charge, and that should be me, and that I should just tell him what to do. Instead of both of us trying to run the show. So he mainly got the lunch ready (which he did an amazing job at) and checked in on me and made sure I had everything I needed at all times.
When the kids arrived we swept them down to the depths of our basement...some of you who know us might be cringing...but don't worry...we had the half of the basement that we had cleared out long ago all cleaned up and decorated and it was a perfect space for the group to run, dance, and play. When they got downstairs we had the Lego table set up and lunch bags out with their names on the bags. They sat and decorated the bags (for their prizes) and chatted. The group was very diverse...which worked to my advantage. Most of the kids didn't know each other at all so they were all a little shy.
Once bags were decorated and standing off to the side we circled up and I did the teacher thing...made them do introductions. They all told their name and how they knew Charley. It was really cute! Then I had them get into two random teams and we did our first of a few relays:
1. Spoon Relay: Using a spoon, carry a Lego across the basement and put it in your teams bucket and race back and pass off the spoon. Each player had to go a number of times! There was lots of cheering. They loved it! We did this one twice.
2. Then they ran the tongs relay...they had to grab a Lego with cooking tongs, carry it to their bucket, and drop it in. The kids liked this one too!
3. Lego grab: Then I split them up into teams of two and sprinkled duplo Lego's all over the floor. They had to take turns with their teammate running out, grabbing a lego, and bringing it back to their bucket. THEY LOVED THIS ONE!
4. Then we did the Lego drop...they knelt on chairs and each had 6 Lego's to drop into jars. This one went over okay.
All of them got to pick a piece of Halloween candy after each race! Very exciting!
Ed popped down periodically to check in and I think he was in awe, as was I, that the kids were all cheering and though they were loud it was the right kind of noise. So fun!
He told me that the pizzas were finishing up. So I circled them up and we played a few rounds of bingo. I had Charley stack 12 duplo blocks together so I could easily hand out the playing pieces. I made the cards with stickers that I had on hand. I wasn't sure how this would go over but they loved it and would have kept playing but Ed announced lunch was ready.
We had hoped to have the whole party outside but there was a little rain earlier in the day so we used the basement for the kick off of the party. But by lunch it was nice out so we had them eat outside...a parents dream! Juice boxes, pizza, finger jello cut into Lego sized pieces (red, blue, and yellow), and apple slices.
Ed had the pizza cut into small squares and the kids just reached out and filled their plates. They were so hungry for lunch that they all chowed down but the conversation that started up was so darling. They all shared about their last birthday parties. I thought it was so cute how some went bowling, some had family gatherings, some had sleepovers, etc. It was cute how they showed excitement for each one.
After eating they watched Charley open his presents.
Halloween strobe skull flashlights in them, we circled up to play "Lego, Lego, Who has the Lego?" (otherwise known as Doggy Doggy Where's your bone?)
The kids had all played this before so I ran through the directions quick and we began playing ( One person hides their eyes and sits in the middle of the circle. You sit in a tight circle and secretly pass a Lego behind your back and the leader says stop the person with the Lego holds it slyly behind their back. Everyone tries to look guilty to make it hard for the guesser. The guesser has 3 guesses to see if they can figure out who is holding the Lego.) The kids enjoyed it. Everyone got a turn and by the time we were finishing up the last persons turn parents were pulling up!
The whole thing went super fast and super slick. Ed was amazed that we had no out of control or moments when we were thinking "when is this going to be over". It never got too loud. Toys weren't touched. Everyone looked to be having a good time. The volume was all cheering and laughter!
I can see how an at home birthday party can maybe be more stressful. The entire time leading up to the party you fear that the house is going to get wrecked, they aren't going to be entertained, they won't like the activities planned, you won't have enough planned, the kids won't get along...etc. Where at a bowling alley or gymnastics center you know they will be entertained. But I am glad we stuck to the good old fashioned birthday party. And I think all the kids had a great time.