17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Happy 5th Birthday...

Poopy strikes again. I can still feel the piece of poo on the bottom of my foot, that I stepped on...oh yes stepped on, and somehow I had a piece on the palm of my hand but because of the trauma of it all, I have forgotten how it got there. I only remember hopping on what foot to the bathroom. How she has managed to poop in every way, shape, form and place is beyond me.

But the real reason for this post has nothing to do with poop (at least I hope not). It has everything to do with the birthday party of a 5 year old. Unfortunately she turns 5 one week after the big move. I would really love to skip the birthday party and start some family rule that goes like this: "friend birthday parties only every OTHER year". BUT, it seems like 5 is one of those landmark birthdays. Plus, "everybody's doing it."

We have been invited to 4 birthday parties since school started, and they are all at a semi-public place with lots of food, decorations, favors, people, and always a live guest (princess, clown, you name it). It is always chaotic, noisy and crazy. In the suburbs I have heard of people renting moon-jumpers and having professionaly-made invitations and cakes. That seems totally overwhelming too.

I have brought up the birthday party to my daughter a few times and she tells me she wants a Power Rangers party. She doesn't even WATCH Power Rangers, doesn't have a single toy that is Power Rangers, never talks about Power Rangers, accept in this context. I just don't know what to do. I was so happy with her birthday party last year...it was a girls-only princess party, with about 6 or 8 girls.

I just need some small and simple ideas as a jumping off point for the big 5 birthday. Got any?


  • We just did a fun hawaii/luau party for Madison (turning 8!), you could easily do many of the things we did for her age group

    leis for the girls as they arrive

    I went online (just googled it), and found all the guests "hawaiian names", and made name tags, I read the name out loud and they had to try and guess who's name was who's.

    We had lots of yummy fruit to eat (fresh pineapple, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe)

    lots of hula dancing (I just gathered some hawaiian music. . .i tunes, or from lilo and stitch.) We also did the limbo

    we made flower pens (bouquet of fake flowers, cut off, tape to pens using green flower tape (Molly, almost 6 was able to do this fine, with me just starting it for her)

    We played pin the coconut on the coconut tree (Matt just drew a coconut tree on poster board, or google a picture and copy it), then I cut out shapes of coconuts for the girls to use.

    We did coconut bowling (this was a hit), I couldn't find a coconut so we used a grapefruit and half filled water bottles.

    We also painted little flowers on their thumbs (no time to do ALL the nails!)

    Another game we thought of but didn't have time for was "I'm going to Hawaii. . .where you name something you would take with you, then the next person has to name that and something else. . .etc."

    Good luck! I know what you mean about considering the every other year thing. . .after 2 1/2 hours with 10 7/8 year olds I was seriously considering it! And in just two weeks I get to do it with 5/6 year olds!!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/28/2007 05:33:00 PM  

  • Kage,
    I know if it were my daughter (she's fairly stubborn)- I would try to avoid the whole conversation for a week or so (if you have the time) and give her some time to let that idea fade.
    In the mean time I might brainstorm some other ideas and then run them by her, and most likely there are other things she could find fun as themes too.

    We have had barbie (3) , princesses (4), and then a non themed family only at what my sister calls "up-chuck-E-chesse" (5).

    I do love making the invitations myself(cuz that's fun for me) , have ordered a cake every time (cuz I am not as good at that)-
    But my main advice would be to gage the extent to go based on her previous b-days.

    I realized after 2 big parties that my daughter doesn't really enjoy the big groups. It kinda stressed her out- so we went smaller for her 5th and she was happy as a lark.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/29/2007 05:15:00 AM  

  • I have boys, but have thought it would be fun to do a general super heroes theme that way you could include everyone from your favorite power ranger to supergirl. I also thought it would be fun to do a treasure hunt party, but thats because I just saw pirate kits in the dollar bins at Target. Good Luck! I am sure anything you do will be great.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 1/29/2007 08:12:00 AM  

  • Family Fun magazine's website, as well as parents.com has some great ideas for easy birthday parties - invites, cakes, games - everything. You pick a theme and copy all the ideas! Don't feel like you have to do something enormous because everyone else is doing it. The kids don't know the difference and probably won't remember in a month!
    posted by Anonymous Julie P at 1/29/2007 08:15:00 AM  

  • Princess has been invited to parties just like the ones you are talking about. But we just did a small one at our house for her fourth and I think the kids enjoyed it at least as much as the ones at the play centers or the ones with the clowns. I know that the parents enjoyed it more because they were told they didn't have to stay. Who doesn't enjoy two hours of freedom on a saturday morning?

    Maybe you could have a dance party? I know Pukey loves to dance. You could pump up the music, get a tiny disco ball, make dance costumes out of sparkly $1 fabrics from 30th Ave, do crazy sparkle make-up, play a dance freeze game, eat pizza and a funfetti cake. There's my idea.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/29/2007 09:40:00 AM  

  • I did a fashion party for my daughter's 6th. Everyone was asked to wear their favorite outfit or dress up. We had a fashion show with me taking pictures. They also got to decorate their own mini bundt cakes. Some fake rings and things for the girls, it was lots of fun and not too expensive. I also sent them home with a picture of them on the cat walk as a thank you. Good luck!
    posted by Blogger Heather at 1/29/2007 09:44:00 AM  

  • My mom took a refrigerator box, cut it up and decorated it to look like a circus wagon and did a circus theme for my sister's birthday that was a big hit. Mom dressed herself up as a ringmaster-- something I only now really appreciate the signifigance of! *lol*
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 1/29/2007 11:30:00 AM  

  • My DS is turning 6 in a couple of weeks, and we have the same sort of dilemma. I am leaning towards the pirate themed treasure hunt type of party with just 5 or 6 of his friends from school. We'll see how it goes. As far as girls go, my neice just went to a birthday party that was a "salon party." They got to go to the local salon and get their hair fixed all pretty, and have their toes done. She loved it, and still talks about it.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/29/2007 11:50:00 AM  

  • musical chairs, pin the tail on whatever, freeze tag if you have a yard, homemade cake (or order some from the grocery store if thats easier). That is a birthday party. Throw in some limbo with a broom and your gold. Parties don't need themes, the kids have fun either way. Send the kiddos home with a baggy full of bubble gum and pencils (see dollar store) and they will be thrilled.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/29/2007 12:33:00 PM  

  • A friend of Max's is having a birthday party next week, and I thought it was a cute idea. She's having a breakfast party - everyone is coming in jammies and eating pancakes, bacon, the breakfast works. I'll let you know if there are any other theme experiences, but I thought just switching the time of day was a great idea to make it different without a lot of stress.
    posted by Blogger marian at 1/29/2007 01:40:00 PM  

  • You know me, I'm all about the home-made party at home with a manageable amount of kids. I really liked this website for ideas-


    If you could come up with a cool cake idea of another theme then maybe you can sway her away from power rangers.

    My Mom did the friend party every-other-year too. I wouldn't mind adopting it either. Just haven't yet. My mom-in-law thinks it's cruel. I think it's totally reasonable. Family parties can be the best. Don't do a big party just cuz other people are. DD is young--she'll be fine!

    The biggest issue is that you are moving and that is stressful. Do what's best for your sanity.

    Maybe a "5's" party with the family. Have 5 of everything--I don't know, but I bet with some thought that could be fun. Wish my kids were all out of my hair so I could help more. I'm going to try to pull off a space party in 2 days! That's all for now--best of luck.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 1/29/2007 03:10:00 PM  

  • You are such a creative person there is NO WAY her party isn't going to be awesome. I, too, like the at-home parties (maybe it just makes me nostalgic for my own childhood). I love the hawaiian idea, and the dance party. Oh, and Katie's idea for a 5's Party. I remember doing that for my DH's 30th (30 of everything). Cool idea.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 1/29/2007 07:42:00 PM  

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