« Slowing down to keep up | Main | Enlightenment when the lights go out »

January 12, 2005


Jerri Ann

We had my son's 2nd bday party yesterday. Two things that were pure blasts..we had 15 kids and 17 adults. Of those 15 kids, 10 were boys under 5.....ouch! Anyway, we did face painting and we rented a helium tank and we had about 100 balloons blown up when they got here, no chance of them fighting over *the* special one. Then, we had paper with little notes on them that said: "HI, my name is _______. I am releasing this balloon from a birthday party on Jan. 15, 2005. If you find this balloon, please email me at *&(^(&."

I created a temporary email addy with no real info just incase a balloon found a psycho. We then had the kids write their name in the blank. The ones 3 and up could do it and the others we did for them. We then put them in a balloon, one for each kid, took their picture and then let them release it outside. Even the 1 year olds enjoyed watching *their* balloon float up in the sky. I can't wait to see if get any replys.

Other than that, my son's toybox was plenty of entertainment, cake and pizza and chips and dip. This was a relatively small group compared to last year....no kidding...in my home...yikes!

Good luck!


Parties are tricky! For my son's 4th birthday, I decided that it would be the first and last time we would do it with our friends who have kids his age, cousins of the same age and a couple of his little buddies. I sort of used it as a way to return invitations we were owed. We rented the community centre and brought in pizza. My poor little guy was totally overwhelmed.

The next year, we had it at home with 5 of his friends, and they all dressed up like pirates. Ran around and screamed and had the time of their lives. Less is definitely more.

You're right though - whittling down the guest list is the toughest part - you feel so bad not inviting the kids who have had yours to THEIR party, even if they're not the closest of friends.

Have a great time!


When we celebrated Tony's fourth birthday, we had an evening party with four of his friends (ages three to 7) (three stayed to spend the night.) We had a small supper, two simple games(pin the tail and a pinata) a kids movie, and by the time it was time for bed. It was low-key and any extra time was filled by bed time.


We just had a party at home for my son's sixth. We had all kinds of plans, but they were tossed out the window when it turned out to be beautiful outside. The boys spent all their time chasing each other around the yard and playing on the playset. We didn't do goody bags, either, and I don't think they were missed.

Robin's Less is More should be your mantra.


My daughter is turning 4 at the end of this month. And I am doing the BIG party..... 18 kids!

I booked McDonalds.... $130.00 for 2.5 hrs and that includes everything. Seems like a lot, but when you do the math of goodie bags, food, entertainment, and clean-up.... well $130 does not seem so bad.

Good luck with your party.

Robin P

For a child's party, a good rule is: LESS IS MORE! Don't overwhelm them with 9 organized games, a craft and a sing-a-long. You'll be frantic trying to line them up to play and they'll be four years old and being cranky because there was too much to do and everything was chaotic and they can't handle it.

Kids LOVE making their own pizza. That is not a 3 minute project so by the time they do that and the pizza cooks, half your party is over. They eat the pizza, eat the mud cake (awesome idea!!), your son opens his presents and then...IF THERE'S TIME, they can play one game. All done!

Great idea to limit it to 8. Birthday parties are not a competition. If there are parents out there who think because they were able to pay for 25 kids to go to Gymboree, or bowling or an arcade, that they are better than you, well then, clearly they need family counseling, don't they?

Lillianna has gone to huge parties like that and they are fun. We are happy to be invited. As for her own party, we usually keep it simple. This year she had a pizza party sleep over with her friends. She loved it!
Good luck.


Don't worry about what makes people your friends, at least not at four. We have a friend who's 'little sister' is three while she is 44. (Dad had a late in life second marriage.) For the little sister's party, Mom had some ballerinas come and dance with the little girls. Sweet, huh? Except Mom sits on the board of a prestigious ballet company and these were REAL ballerinas herding three year olds. We cringe every time we think of what the other mothers in THAT playgroup will have to come up with.

And with all that competing, those kids will have to sort through a lifetime of jumbled, over-booked parties with too many things to do. I grew up without all the fancy trimmings, and I remember three as the year I learned how to whistle when I blew out the candle and it happened.

And by the way, I think mud cake served in dump trucks is awesomely cool.

If you're just being you, your little guy can just be himself, and that, from my point of view, is what earns you real friends. :]


You'll have no problem filling up two hours. Trust me on this one. And you might find it REALLY hard to play any organized games with kids that age who are super-excited to be playing on new turf.

The best advice given to me was to get the kids in one room together at the very beginning of the party and get them to decorate paper crowns. We've done this twice and it worked out great every time. We cut out the paper crowns in advance using yellow construction paper, wrote their names on each one, and put out markers and crayons and stamps and dollar-store stickers for them to decorate the crowns however they wanted.

Otherwise they just spent the entire time playing with the hostess's toys and checking out her bedroom. Between this and eating and opening gifts there wasn't much time for anything else!

Good luck with the party. Take lots of pictures. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.

DotMoms Daily

    follow me on Twitter