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to think that kids' parties are so formulaic?

(37 Posts)
semi Sun 06-Dec-09 09:35:37

Face painting, balloon artist, magician, pass the parcel...all seems to stick a specific formula...anyone else out there gone a stage further and done anything different?

seeker Sun 06-Dec-09 09:40:14

They don't want different when they are little. They want boringly predictable. Save your inventiveness til they are older - you'll need it!

Ineedsomesleep Sun 06-Dec-09 09:50:09

What age is your DC?

MitchyInge Sun 06-Dec-09 09:52:59

we had a pony party last time - those who wouldn't ride were on lead reins - we did a little gymkhana with prizes and a walk-out and then everyone stuffed themselves with party food

it was great fun

RubysReturn Sun 06-Dec-09 09:56:53

surely we all just pick a permutation of things that our dc find fun and put that together - like a wedding or xmas. Traditions are part of the fun.

However, we often try different activities - crafts, skating, swimming, trampolining, so yes, the formulae may be the same, but the contents vary.

Are you looking to do something novel?

Fruitysunshine Sun 06-Dec-09 09:58:13

I had DD9's birthday party yesterday.

I have had many types of party for her in the past. I think it is the numbers that dictate how formulated it has to be, especially with such a small time scale.

Yesterday this was the formula:

The guests arrived and met up with each other in lounge and danced to mamma mia for 10 mins whilst everyone arrived. Then they all came to the kitchen and took a seat at the table where a new, blank t-shirt was waiting for each of them to be decorated. That took an hour or so, then they had their tea, then DD opened presents with her friends in the lounge, then we had the cake and then they all danced some more until they were collected by their parents.

I have to say that this year my budget has been curtailed somewhat! I usually spend around £150 in sorting DD's party. This year with all the t-shirts, fabric decorative bits and food it came to less then £50.

For all of that, the girls all left happier than any of the "booked" parties DD has had previously and DD told me last night it was the best party she ever had.

Bonsoir Sun 06-Dec-09 10:00:19

I agree, and luckily DSS2 had warned me right from the start that children are bored silly by it all.

IdrisTheDragon Sun 06-Dec-09 10:05:51

Children like a bit of formula I think.

DS was 6 a few weeks ago and really wanted to go to soft play. I really did not want to have a "soft play party". So we took 4 friends plus ds and dd to soft play for about qn hour and a half, then onto mcdonalds and then back to our house to play. Had party biscuits abd crisps etc and birthday cake and then they were picked up.

Day was from 10 until 4 but was the least stressful party I've held. Having fewer children was definitely good

gorionine Sun 06-Dec-09 10:08:55

So far my Dcs have been to :

- soft play areas parties
- bouncy castle in the back garden parties
- pamper parties
- Karate paries
- Dressing up parties
- Just a few friends at home parties which are a ferm favourite but I can say fairly that they have never so far come desapointed from any party they have been to.

I remember from reading older threads that some parents have fantastic ideas to make the parties really original and fun, simply by giving it a theme. So even if the games/content pretty much stay the same, they take another dimention in children eyes.

LunarSea Sun 06-Dec-09 10:15:35

We had a den building party at a local nature reserve for ds1's 6th birthday. Great for boys of that sort of age - and reasonable too at £80 for 20 kids for the ranger-led activity and the hire of a room for food afterwards.

JjandtheBean Sun 06-Dec-09 11:54:38

thos kinda partys are in the minority for my two, despite only being 1 and 2, theyve been to zoo partys, farms, gladiator, pool partys, gymnastics, soft play, mickey mouse appearances, cooking, craft, disco, cheerleading, basketball, bbq, forest partys. oh and the list goes on!

YohoAhoy Sun 06-Dec-09 12:03:50

We had dd's party yesterday. She's 8, and so far we've always done them at home. Previously we've done craft-type things with a small number of friends. This year she wanted a party with games. So we did all the 'regulars' - pass the parcel, Simon SAys, Musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey etc. We had 10 children and they loved it! In fact they clamoured for more which was fun but exhausting grin

A lot of the parties are in soft play places, so they were really excited to do something different.

So I guess it just depends on what parties are the norm where you are.

FaintlyMacabre Sun 06-Dec-09 12:05:48

shock at Jj- what's left for when they are 3? Do you live in an area of competitive parenting?

sarah293 Sun 06-Dec-09 12:18:13

Message withdrawn

MrFibble Sun 06-Dec-09 12:24:06

Chuck them in the garden for an hour. Make a pinata, let them whack it with sticks. Give them food. Send them home. A bit Lord of the Flies with the pinata but they love it.

To tight to pay a magician, balloon artist or whatever and knowing my offspring they would ignore them wink!

MollieO Sun 06-Dec-09 12:25:03

Ds is 5 so we've endured had two birthday parties. First one was at local leisure centre hall with huge bouncy castle and people to organise games. This year it was at the local soft play place. My idea of hell but ds insisted. I think we have been to 15 parties this year at soft play places.

Next year ds's party will be at the local scout camp - they do water fights (he's a summer birthday fortunately) and organise everything and hopefully ds will like it he doesn't have a choice.

Last year we had whole class and some whole year parties but I'm really hoping in year 1 that we don't have that.

MollieO Sun 06-Dec-09 12:25:47

Ds is 5 so we've endured had two birthday parties. First one was at local leisure centre hall with huge bouncy castle and people to organise games. This year it was at the local soft play place. My idea of hell but ds insisted. I think we have been to 15 parties this year at soft play places.

Next year ds's party will be at the local scout camp - they do water fights (he's a summer birthday fortunately) and organise everything and hopefully ds will like it he doesn't have a choice.

Last year we had whole class and some whole year parties but I'm really hoping in year 1 that we don't have that.

JjandtheBean Sun 06-Dec-09 12:34:26

Faintly

hell no, my two have normal jelly and ice cream birthdays! well dd was at the zoo but i couldnt get a hall for miles.

Its all the older children in the family! One large very wealthy family!

no way can i compete with them!

FuriousGeorge Sun 06-Dec-09 15:03:22

We have picnic parties on the local park for our two dd's.We take a load of rugs to sit on,a bag of frisbees footballs ect and food.Oh yes,a pinata too.They go on all afternoon,doesn't matter if siblings come,the last one started at 2pm and finished at 7pm.Sometimes we take a portable barbecue and wine for the parents.

We don't do organised games face painting, bouncy castles or party bags,but everyone seems to love them and has a good time.

Pikelit Sun 06-Dec-09 17:16:25

It's an awfully stereotypical analysis but long experience taught me that basically, boys attending birthday parties can happily spend 2 hours wrestling on the carpet. If this becomes boring they switch to demolishing the sofa before troughing down a table's worth of e numbers.

I didn't have girls but was assured that they could be "easier but nastier".

You can bring any number of prestidigitators, caricaturists and security guards into the birthday home but ultimately, "less" is very often "more" and is almost always better for everyone.

I learnt to keep the numbers smaller and the activities tiring. DS1, conveniently having a June birthday had parties that were just as riven describes. When living in a house with a smaller garden, we switched to informal park picnics. DS2, less conveniently for the purpose, had a December birthday and after two home parties (which left everyone in some degree of trauma or covered in allergy-related nettle rash), celebrated the event at soft-play, Pirates Deep or the David Lloyd Centre. It helped that he had a friend whose birthday was 2 days later so we put on a shared party. Children do like "formulaic" though and it's often a mistake to assume differently.

YohoAhoy Sun 06-Dec-09 17:56:42

Oh, and I seem to have inadvertently started 2 "dd birthday traditions".

1) forget to put out one or more food items so we are then eating them for days afterwards. This is the third year we will have mini sausage rolls as snacks at every opportunity. And this year I also fogot to put out crisps. Pah.

2) Putting on the Scissor Sisters "I can't decide" on for musical statues, then diving to switch songs on rembering very loud "fuck" about 2 lines in. Exact repeat of last year.

grin

nannynobnobs Sun 06-Dec-09 20:02:14

This year for dd1 we did 'make a monster', basically customising old shirts with fake blood, fake fur scraps, fabric pens, silly string, feathers, anything we could get our hands on. I did simple face painting to go with the costumes. Then they all went and behaved like hooligans in the garden till dinner was served- pizza, chips and chicken dippers.
I wouldn't go the costume making route again but they all had fun.
The year before dd1 had a pirate party with pass the parcel, a pinata, and a 'treasure chest' which was an old cardboard box full of builders sand. I raided my trinket boxes and junk drawers and seeded the box with plastic jewels, big old pennies, old random keys, cheap rings etc. They really enjoyed that one

semi Mon 07-Dec-09 10:22:05

yes, sure am....i think there's something to be said for immersing a party in a theme....allowing your imagination to transform wherever it is that you are having the party....asking the child what they want (age permitting_) and incorporating elemnets that they themselves have created...i think parents tend not to enjoy parties because they are too busy hosting. my daughters' 3rd birthday was a classic example of this. too busy sorting out pass the parcel, and worrying about who might go overboard (we had it on a moored boat) to really enjoy ourselves...point is, would people be prepared to pay for someone to take on all of that responsibility?

CMOTdibbler Mon 07-Dec-09 10:26:56

When little, all they really want to do is to run around, scream, and throw balloons, then eat stuff.

Works for me, and I certainly wouldn't pay anyone to just herd them a little

adventuredon Fri 04-Nov-16 19:42:11

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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