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How do you make that special day of your child's birth extra special? Do you have a ton of kids over with clowns and party favors? Do you have them invite only a few friends and head to the pool, batting cages, or skating rink? Or is it just a family affair?
My boys are still pretty young--just turned 6 and 4--so their parties consist of just family right now. We grill burgers, have cupcakes, and watch them tear open their presents. It's a lot of fun getting the whole family together and visiting with everyone that I'm kind of dreading the day my oldest will ask for a party with just his friends and no family. I'm thinking I got a few more years until that happens, though!
So, how do you you celebrate your kids' birthdays?
Our birthday parties vary based on my mood, the time of year and the age. First birthday's are a big one in our family - so my husband and I invited everyone we knew for each of the first birthdays. Subsequent birthdays, especially at such a young age, are usually immediate family and maybe a friend or two. My son turned three a month after my youngest was born - with a newborn I wasn't up for hosting, so we did it at a kid's gym, but those are too expensive for us to do very often.
My special touch is to make a theme cake for them from scratch. I don't always prepare the food, so I like to have at least one thing on the table that I made. And now it's become a tradition. I've done a train cake, alphabet blocks, Elmo, Batman - I really look forward to it! It's great to come up with ideas with the kids.
Mmmm....a train cake--my boys would've loved that! Actually, my 6 year old wanted a butt cake this year (he's at that age where butts are hilarious) and I even considered making one. I thought better of it when I remembered that there would be grandmothers and great-grandmothers attending the party!
I go overboard on parties, because I love them so much...my 9 year old had a sleepover with 12 friends! My 7 year old had his party at a local batting cage/fun center...we've had a 'tea party' at tea shoppe, we've rented jumpy-houses, dance studio party...like I said I love them so I like to go a teeny bit over board. So far my two year old has only had home bbq's, poor soul! ;)
My son recently turned 10. He had his classmates over (8 kids - small school!) and they were predominately boys. He wanted a BBQ - sausage on bread, lollies and chips, oh and a chocolate cake! For activities he had an archery competition (shooting target tip arrows into a large round hay bale target) and motorbike barrel races. It wasn't planned but there was also a 'war' against his sisters at the cubby house which I had to keep under some sort of control. The kids had a great time and amused themselves outside for the whole afternoon. About an hour before home time we had the cake and opened pressies. Then they went outside again. As we are quite a way out of town, the mums were invited to stay for the whole afternoon so we had a bit of party of our own - well a good old chat and munch anyway!
My twin girl's last birthday is in summer so we had it at the local pool after school one day - I took along the food and cake and supervised the children in and out of the water. Then cake and pressies and back into the water. They really enjoyed it, it only lasted a couple of hours and there was very little cleaning up to do!
I love birthdays! I am no baker, but I make all my kids and friends kid's birthday cakes. Today I made a friends 3rd birthday cake, it was a princess crown cake! We always have a party even if it is not on the exact day.
We recently decided that the oldest wouldn't have a "big all out" party anymore...we'll do simple cake & ice cream and then have him invite a few friends to do something like movies, bowling, arcade etc. The other 2 still have a few years left of their big parties but I think we'll scale them down. I do love making the cakes though...you can see some of what I've made here: http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-photos-by-mamamulla.html I try and upload them when I do them. =)
Sooner or later the boys will ask to have a party, until then I am avoiding them. I am not a party person. My oldest is already talking about a sleepover for his 6th b-day in October. Right now, we make the day special with privileges; it's their turn all day to choose movies, TV and games and they get to choose their special birthday dinner (a restaurant or a meal at home). Our close friends come over for cake or we meet for ice cream. My family lives too far away to be here. They also get to pick an activity for the family to do on a nearby weekend, as they get older they will be able to bring a friend or 2 along. DS1 has chosen to go to Great Wolf Lodge and the aquarium in the past. This year he wants to go back to the National History museum. So far DS2 only wants to go out for Teppan Yaki every year. He likes to watch the chef throw food.