Save your sanity and stay out of the Poor House by considering these eight party options.
Published: October 30, 2019
By: Kerrie McLoughlin
It seems like kids’ birthday parties are getting more and more out-of-hand, with parents trying to top each other to win some non-existent “Most Elaborate Party” award!
It can be difficult — if not impossible — to keep up with the intricate, expensive and often highly structured parties that are thrown by our child’s friends and classmates.
Whether your child is in school, home-schooled or not yet even in preschool, the politics of birthday parties affect everyone. Save your sanity and stay out of the Poor House
by considering these eight options.
- Realize that you don’t have to invite the whole world to an expensive gathering. One of my favorite parties growing up consisted of about five friends at an ice cream parlor. You could save up for something special and a little more costly every few years, like taking five friends to an amusement park. If you’re having the party in your spacious backyard, by all means invite your child’s entire class. But …
- If you have a small home or apartment, you might invite guests to a park shelter that you reserve in advance. Bonus: You don’t have to clean your home before or
after the party!
- Of course, some of the kids in your child’s class may have their feelings hurt if they aren’t invited, but we all have to get used to rejection sometime, right? The unspoken rule in most classrooms is that kids shouldn’t talk about upcoming birthday parties so those who were not invited won’t get their feelings hurt. Don’t make your child feel like she has
to invite kids to her party just because she attended their party. Either set a limit on the number of invitees or have your child really think about who her friends are and who she would want at her party.
- When my son turned 8 this year, we let him have three friends sleep over the night before his at-home birthday party. We had invited close family members and a handful more of his friends to the party. This way, he got to play with his pals while his grandparents got to watch him open gifts and have a blast. And if you have tweens, pizza and a movie at home, followed by a sleepover, is a great bet.
- Instead of spending mega bucks on a specialty cake, bake cupcakes yourself and let the guests decorate their own with colored frostings, sprinkles, gumdrops and other candies.
- To take up some time and get some kid energy out on the cheap, consider a piñata. Otherwise, kids don’t need every minute of the day scheduled for them — running wild is what they are best at, especially at a birthday party!
- If you’re tired of your kid receiving so many gifts that you can’t even find a place to put them all, with your child’s permission, of course, consider asking guests to bring canned goods for a local food bank instead of gifts. Or you could have guests bring a book from home they don’t read much anymore, and do a book swap.
- Take your child on a special Birthday Date and talk about the day she was born. Write a letter to her every year letting her know how she’s grown as a person and what you love about her.
Bottom line: I’m willing to bet that your child would much rather have your time than an extravagant, stressful party where you felt like 30 kids and their parents had to be invited. The most important thing is to make your child feel special on his special day.