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The Hood Magazine

Birthday Parties, Birthday Parties, Birthday Parties

Apr 19, 2014 ● By Hood Magazine

Photo courtesy of Finished Vision Photography

By Nancy Fallon, Out of School Time Director, EmBe 

Knowing someone with a creative mind (friends or family members) you can plan the perfect birthday party for your child and you will make life easier on yourself. Parties can be anywhere; your home, neighborhood parks, local outdoor and indoor swimming pools, roller skating, gymnastics, art studios, hair stylists, movie theaters, hotels, camping, sledding, dance hall, restaurant, nail salon, rental gym, bowling, ice skating, horse stable, zoo, church, community center and even your back yard.

Birthday parties for children ages infant to 5 years old can be simple and fun. Children at this age are more interested in presents, family and cake. As children start school, they become more aware of what others do for birthday parties and want the same or many times it gets to be a competition. “Try not to fall into the cake; you might have to eat it too.” In other words, a child’s birthday party should never be a contest of who has the biggest party. You should demonstrate to your child by example that birthday parties can be fun, no matter who, where or when you have them.

One and two year olds birthday parties are usually spent with family and close friends. They are too young to really grasp what a birthday party should be. We may have our ideas and we may need helpful hints, but as the old saying goes, “A Party is a Party.” These birthdays are the most memorable, because it the first time for your child blows out the candles and it warms everyone’s heart. That is why it is so important to include family and friends. It’s those memories that stay with us forever.

If you have children between three and five, keep it simple and preferably no more than five guests. If possible have separate parties for grandparents and families. Children will be so busy with their friends and activities they won’t even notice what adults will be there. Grandparents love special times with their grandkids and a simple invite to your home for cake and ice cream is well worth it.

Six to eight year old children seem to think BIG! They want to invite their whole classroom, which can add up to 30 or more children. Lucky for you, many will not be able to attend.  A limit of 10 children is advised for this age and also easier on your pocket book.  This age group seems to like roller skating, ice skating, swimming and the famous Chucky Cheese. Don’t overwhelm yourself with inviting too many children, unless you can find other parents or family members to help.

When it comes to nine to 12 year old children, start thinking about the bigger picture. FRIENDS! Yes just a simple slumber party with pizza and a good movie is enough to keep this age happy. Back yard cooks out with games, bowling party, arcade adventure, and theme parks can be the ticket. This age group usually knows what they are interested in and will let you know.  For this age group you may need to set some guidelines. Make sure to tell everyone about the dos and don’ts.  A limited of 12 invites should be exactly what the doctor order for you. By giving them some space you will find they can handle it and you will also teach them responsibility. Remember at this age they want their space and though it may make you feel less needed, it’s okay!

From ages 13 to 18, teens can be a handful. Just remember you are the adult and you have the last say. Let them help plan the birthday party. Give them a budget and let them figure out what is affordable. You can always have them save up their own money to help with their birthday party.  At this age, teens want to have parties with music and lots of food.  These parties are great if you have the space. You can always check with your church or local gyms that may be able to accommodate your needs.  Never be afraid to ask any local organizations, all they can say is no. We all want the best for our children, but teaching them along the way never hurts.

Best Birthday Ever

May this birthday be your best birthday ever,
full of light and laughter,
a fireworks explosion of joy.
May this birthday live in your memory forever,
creating happiness and satisfaction
whenever you remember it.
Happy, happy birthday!

By Joanna Fuchs