Birthday party stress

Julia turned 5 years old yesterday! We had a wonderful family celebration at dinner last night but of course she also is having a birthday party. For years she has been talking about having her 5 years birthday at a inflatable bouncing play place because that is what Nathan did. She had recently shifted to wanting a Build-a-Bear party. I was more than happy to shell out the big bucks because the last few years she had craft parties at our house and I would rather spend money on a party somewhere than have to clean my house and entertain little children for two hours .

You can imagine my dismay when Julia announced she wanted a party at home this year with crafts and board games. I asked her several times hoping she would change her mind but she didn’t. We went out a few weeks ago and got party supplies and invitations. The party is Saturday and the crunch is on.

I did knock one item off my list – putting away the rest of the Christmas decorations.

I thought very hard about cleaning the bathroom but decided that it will be just as messy on Saturday and I need to wait.

I still need to pull out our games and make sure they will be sufficient.

I need the dreaded party favors. I REFUSE to do gift bags and plastic stuff. If I can find one good craft that they will enjoy keeping that will be their favor. I have told Julia that it will be far more game than crafts and there may be no crafts.

I suppose I should come up with some party games for those kids who might have no interest in board games. I always hated pin the tail on the donkey and I am anything but creative so I am not going to be able to come up with anything.
I feel faint at the thought of entertaining these kids – especially with some if their moms bearing witness.


Meanwhile I am using the coping method of not doing anything, hoping that procrastination will be the best motivator and even force creativity upon me.

Wish me luck.

11 responses to “Birthday party stress

  1. OMG. I love you!!!!You are more crafty than you think.(((HUG)))

  2. Hey Susan,First, you could let them decorate a cookie or a cup cake. It takes up some time, and they get to eat their work. Sepearte frosting materials per kid, though, as there tends to be LOTS of licking of spoons and knives!Is Julia still into princesses? Each kid could decorate a pre-cut paper crown, or you could spend the money for crowns, boas, and magic wands. The kids (provided they are all girls, of course – boys could be princes or knights) all get to dress up as princesses and spend the whole party playing princess. We did something like this for Ethan’s 5th. It was a Cars theme. We bought each kid a friction car and a match box car which they got to race on two separate tracks. We raced for a while. We had cupcakes. He opened presents, and then they got to go off and play for an hour. Ethan loved it, and his friends had a good time. All they took home were the cars and the Piston Cups I made. Everyone was happy, including Matt and me.Best of luck!!

  3. I’ve put some of my most creative friends to brainstorming for you, and I’m determined that we’ll come up with a couple of low-stress, high-fun activities for you and the many 5 year olds who will descend on your home… (and we’ll do so very soon)And I love Bethany’s cupcake idea!

  4. Here is my first craft idea that doubles as a favor:If you guys have a decent or semi-decent color printer, take a group picture when everyone gets there… print out a bunch of copies… and have the kids make popsicle picture frames. You can buy cheap paint and sequins or those ridiculous foam things or something to glue on the sticks. You could even buy magnets and then all the kids could make their parents hang them on all the refrigerators of Colorado Springs… Here’s an official link from a real craft website for real instructions… my opinion is that the clear plastic cover doesn’t matter, and hot glue is not necessary.

  5. My friend Emily responded, and I thought there were a couple of possibilities worth exploring…When I read her second idea, I did have the thought that you could do a choose your own adventure type thing with the creating your own pizza, then cupcakes, then ???, but I’ll just let you read. Here’s what she had to say:”If it’s just girls, get a bunch of old dresses, hi-heels, and make-up, then let them go to town! If some of the other moms stick around, let them break out the hot rollers and curling irons. Set up a “studio” area and let them have a fashion shoot.Olivia’s (she just turned 5) party this year was very easy and fun. The girls LOVED it. It started with make-your-own pizzas.While those were in the oven, we darkened the living room, pulled all the furniture back with pillows on the floor and turned on a movie that they collectively agreed on. When the pizzas were done, they were served with a choice of beverage.”

  6. Hey Susan, steal my s’more craft idea, but instead of hot glue, use craft glue dots (I love those suckers). Plus you can do a huge s’more theme. Get some bunsen burners and make s’mores in doors. Make “emergency s’more kits” by placing two teddy grahams, a mini marshmallow, and a chocolate chip in a mini ziploc bag.Another easy marshmallow themed craft is to take a white pony bead and put it on the end of 2 inch twig and then hot glue a pin to that.If I think of anymore I’ll send them your way.xoxo

  7. I see a “make your own meal” theme here. You could have them make their own placemats with a sheet of construction paper that they decorate with stickers. You could even cover them with contact paper to make them durable enough to take home after the party. You could add in Carlee’s idea of a picture – take a picture of Julia and each kid at the party, print it out, and have them put that in the center of their placemat. Then, they make their own pizzas; play a game or open presents while the pizzas are baking; eat; decorate cupcakes; eat cupcakes; and you’ve just about got a party.I love the smore’s idea, too. I will admit to having roasted marshmallows over my stove’s burner, but I’m not sure I’d want to introduce that idea to my 5-year-old yet. A – where do you get bunsen burners to use at home???Beth

  8. Wow, this post and response is one for the archive of all human knowledge to benefit generations to come.

  9. OMG did I say bunsen? My brain was totally in science fair mode, I meant sterno burners. Bunsens would totally be over kill, but would cook those puppies quickly wouldn’t they. 😛

  10. Bunsens would be a ton of fun. My neighbor is a chemistry teacher – I’m tempted to ask her to bring one home for me to play with.I don’t think a marshmallow would stand a chance against a bunsen. However, in high school, I did make a great peanut brittle in science lab. We had to weigh out our ingredients on the lab scale and cook it over a bunsen, but I suppose that is going off on a tangent and doesn’t help Susan much.Beth

  11. Sounds like you have some great ideas and I am sure Julia will have a fabulous birthday! Good luck and post pictures. 😉

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