Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Easy Carnival Style Birthday Party

Birthdays can be a big deal. Every birthday I think about the book The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday. As a parent, balance is the great elusive art. How do I make my child feel special and loved without overwhelming them and unintentionally feeding that tendency to believe It's all about me?

With three children and both sides of the family living close by we've worked out what seems to work well for our family. We do a birthday celebration with just our family on the actual birthday. The birthday child gets to decide what they want for dinner and the kind of cake they want. My parents have been doing an "experience" birthday with each of the kids, often including an overnight at their house. (Gracie gets to go to the zoo this year.) With Eric's parents we do another family celebration. With so much birthday we have decided that a big friend party at five (and probably ten) is a good fit for our family.

Well, Gracie turned five this week.

She had eight little friends, four boys and four girls. I love this age when it isn't exclusively a girl or boy party. Gracie loves to be outside and she loves pink. We decided to have the party at my parents' house because they have a great yard with a new swing and playhouse set from Costco. I had some carnival style games (corn hole toss, tin can alley, and an orange ball toss), along with some outdoor toys (hula hoop, jump ropes, balls). I decorated with pink and orange, inspired by the great wrapping paper from the dollar bin at Target.

My sweet hubby made this corn hold toss (with five holes). I can't wait to use it for more outside parties this summer!

Also we had these fun glasses (from Target), that the kids enjoyed and made for some cute photos. But an even bigger hit were the balloons. We got the long skinny ones ($10 at Party City for over 100) that you can twist into anything. I found out I was lousy at making animals, but the kids didn't care and lined up with their requests anyway.

It was so much fun and Gracie was so tired she fell asleep on the way home in the van. She slept for two hours (she hasn't had a nap in at least two years) before she woke up and was ready for her evening festivities with just the family.

Big birthday party every five years? Yep, I think for us that is a very good idea.



  1. So cute. We do experience outing for our birthdays too. Even the adults get one :o) Our parties are family and the kids each get one. It's worked out pretty well so far. But I'm sure that will change when the boys start school.

    1. I think the experience idea is brilliant! My parents were the ones to initiate it and I kind of wish we had done that for us too. I guess it isn't too late to start :)