Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Birthday Parties for Dummies

Am I the only mom out there who spends WAY too much time & effort planning a kid's birthday party? Big A is turning 4 next week (which is simply unbelievable to me) and I slept nary a wink last night due to worry about the invitations not yet going out for her party next weekend. And so, I sit here feverishly addressing invites and looking everywhere for my address list because I keep thinking of one more person that I want to invite. (And my friends wonder how I end up with 40 people at an event)

I've secured the venue, am mailing out invites today and am ready to order the cake. Now, for the REAL problem. The birthday favor for the guests. Gah!!! This is something that I hate coming up with. I even boycotted favors for the last 2 parties because I was over it. However, I really want to send the kids home from the party with something cool, so here I sit in a cold sweat, hoping that a great idea will hit me like a bolt of lightening...and soon.

So, does anyone have a great party favor idea that doesn't include ordering cheap crap from Oriental Trading Company?

13 comments:

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I'm no help. We don't do birthday parties. We just take the money we would spend on a party and spend the weekend in a hotel with a pool... makes for a much happier mommy :)

Good luck though - can't wait to see pics of what you come up with!!!

Jane said...

OK decide on ONE thing kinda in the party theme. When we had a water gun party I sent home those water bombs. I'm Queen of "No Treat Bags" so when I do send home something it is something substantial and actually turns out cheaper then all those junk filled bags!!

Rhea said...

I've gotten really worked up over parties and thrown last minute relaxed ones too. Poor Remy's birthday is just couple of weeks after Christmas, so we're worn out for his.

We've done books as party favors, big balls, etc. A one item, large thing that probably costs less than a bag full of cheap crap. lol

CrystalChick said...

We usually had somewhat big parties for our daughter but never really started that with our son. I guess his birthday being in the summer there were less available to invite? He was cool with a few kids at the bowling alley, if that. And now that he's 15 he just wants the big gift from us. LOL Yikes, this year he got an electric guitar and an amp.

As for party favors.... hmmm.... I don't know what 4 year olds are into. Depends on your budget I guess. Maybe some type of craft they can do easily, or little puzzle. Or give them a small frame and then take each persons picture at the party and mail them a copy for it.
For a food item, instead of the regular candy, maybe do a smores bag. Clear plastic candy bag filled with a square or two of chocolate, a couple graham crackers, and marshmellows and instructions for the parents to melt when they get home. No mess at your house. ;)

Don't stress. Just have FUN!

Kat said...

40 people??? For a 4 year old's party?? Are you nuts? Besides being overwhelming...the part about that that would make me nuttiest is that is a freakin' lot of presents. And thank you notes to write. Stuff to return. Or regift. Like the time someone gave my 4 year old this HUGE pack of beads to make bracelets. Besides hating crafts - are you kidding me that my four year old could deal with 1000 beads? And not ruin my vacuum??

And gift bags. Oy vey. I boycott those. But if you insist. I have no idea. I am not creative :-) What is your "theme?"

Kat said...

Oh, and we've been doing slumber parties for years. Because it limits the numbers (and the presents) and my expenses. But this year, I am so over the stay up all night stuff. And we are having a party somewhere that is not my house.

Shannon said...

I stress over it, too... and I am guilty about doing goody bags. Then I have to get stuff for boys and stuff for girls... 'cause my girls want girly-themed parties but invite boys. And what boy wants a goody bag full of Barbie lip gloss or Hannah Montana bracelets?

Anyhoo... Robin gave coloring books and a box of crayons as goodies one year. I thought that was a good idea. She bought them at the dollar store so it wasn't too expensive.

Michelle said...

I am also WAY anti gift bags because I have enough crap at my house, thank you very much.

So here's what we've done lately...

Mister Man had a train party. I made train tracks with masking tape throughout our house that went through various stops. At each stop was a puzzle piece for each child (puzzle was the favor -- each puzzle was coded with a different colored sticks so each person would find their right puzzle piece) that they had to find in the "treasure hunt train." The wooden puzzles I got at Costco with 6 for $12 or something like that, so pretty inexpensive but also much cooler than a bag of crap.

We also did a cookie decorating party where I made large sugar cookes in the shape of our theme, got cans of frosting, knives, all sorts of candies and decorations and such, and away they went. And that was the goody bag. They all really enjoyed it.

We did a chocolate party last year for Mister Man. We made "chocolate pizzas" and dipped pretzels and potato chips and dried fruit. We also made chocolates where they put candies and sprinkles and such into ice cube trays and then we put chocolate on top of that. They all LOVED that (and there was no mess somehow).

We also did stuffed animals for Little Miss. They were $8 each and was an activity and a craft.

And for Mister Man, we're making pizzas... the kids will roll out dough and cut out shapes and do fun stuff with that (going home with them). They also have chef hats that they're going to decorate. And they'll make their own pizzas to bake and eat for their snack.

Hope something helps. It's all fun!

Lula! said...

Thanks for making me feel even more like the worst mother in the world. Caroline turns 3 on the 27th...JUST LAST NIGHT I realized that we have planned nothing. Nada. Zilch. No invites, no theme, no cake, nothing.

I scrambled to put something together for the 25th. Clearly I'm losing my touch. This time last year we had her entire 2nd birthday party planned out...in early September.

Sigh...

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hate the treat bag thingy. When the kids were little, I'd sometimes try to include some sort of crafty activity (to keep the little hands busy) which included having them decorate and put their names on a plain ol' paper lunch bag. Into said bag goes the craft they made which kinda sorta went along with the party theme. Voila! Party favors done! :)

Kelly said...

I don't know about you, but I end up spending way too much money on those damn goodie bags!! Anyway, one of my friends went to Target and bought "Littlest Pet shop" toys (about $4 each). The kids absolutely loved it so did I 'cause I didn't have to sneakily throw out a bunch of candy and crappy toys!

Angela said...

I am like the least creative person in the world for this kind of thing, but it sounds like you've got some great suggestions! I know it will be awesome!

Angela said...

I am like the least creative person in the world for this kind of thing, but it sounds like you've got some great suggestions! I know it will be awesome!

 

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