Birthday at The Park

Susan - posted on 08/16/2013 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Sorry for long post
I'm going to try to give my almost 6 (where has the time gone) daughter a birthday at the local park around 10 am to 12ish....the theme will be Hello Kitty, but there will be boys there, how do I keep it from being too girly?
Also with it being at the park do I need games? We are on a budget so how major are the party favors now a days. And lastly, we tried to have a birthday party for her last year and even though almost all the adults (friends or family members) showed up only one child actually showed up, besides her brother. If it happens again this year and just family shows up should I just scrap the decorations and stuff and just have a day at the park or what? She doesn't get to be around other kids that much because of a list of stuff I won't bore ya'll with so kids actually being there would mean more than any gifts....

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Denise - posted on 09/02/2013

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Hi Susan. The party ideas you have sound awesome. Hello Kitty theme is great. Get a couple of balloons to tie it all together. Pinwheels and bubbles are perfect favors. We attend tons of parties and those bags filled with dozens of tiny things just get trashed. Having a few games planned will help her make friends (even new ones at the park who will surely come over and want to play when they see your decor and bouncy house and games). I would plan on 4 or 5 games where everyone is included and none loses. A fun one is getting EVERYONE (adults included) to play a version of musical chairs with 3 hula hoops. When the music stops, everyone must run inside of one. After each round one hoop is taken away. Watching everyone in your party crouse into one hoop is hilarious.

Enna - posted on 08/16/2013

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When my daughter turned 4 (and our friend's baby turned 1) we had a back-to-back birthday party at a picnic shelter with a play ground. It was in October, so we had more of a fall theme going on. For the baby's party there weren't any games or anything. Obviously for a first birthday the baby provides most of the entertainment.
For my daughter's party we had games. We played a pumpkin bowling game(big mess, but fun). We had little pumpkins for the kids to color faces on. And I bought mini rubber ducks and a duck pond(tiny pool) and the kids got to pull ducks out of the "pond". They got to keep their ducks and their pumpkins as party favors. We had Princess and the Frog plates, napkins, and cupcakes. We didn't go crazy with the theme, and the boys did not care if their cupcake had a princess ring on it. They just left them on the table (after they licked all the icing off.) I don't think you need any elaborate games, but you may want to think up some easy games in case they need entertaining. They should be OK with duck-duck-goose and freeze tag. I wouldn't worry too much about the theme with the boys, but getting some solid colored stuff is a good idea if you are worried about it. I'm not sure where you live, but most of my game planning was in case it rained that day.
The biggest thing I've found about getting kids to come to birthday parties is getting the word out soon enough. The sooner I get a birthday party on the calendar the more likely we'll go to the party. Also, around here 10-12 on Saturday is inconvenient because that's when the kids play soccer, do dance classes, or gymnastics. Unless we're feeding them, we've started doing everything around 1 or 2 on Saturday.
I wouldn't scrap the decorations and stuff if the kids don't show up. I assume she knows about the party. I think it would just upset her more. Just get the adults to tell her how cool the decorations are.

Chet - posted on 08/16/2013

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Party favours really depend on your area and the kind of parents you're dealing with. I have seen parents spend as much as $5 to $10 per child. Because it's back to school time, you can get boxes of crayons for $0.25 or $0.50 right now, and boxes of markers for $0.50 to $1.00 at places like Target and Walmart. You could put together a nice little take home with some bubbles, a box of crayons, a healthy home made snack like popcorn, and some stickers for well under $1.00 per kid. Another thing I've done for take homes is to buy a set of books and break them up... or to buy a bunch of books and let each kid choose the book they want. Also, if kids don't show, bubbles, crayons, healthy snacks and books are things that you can probably use or give to a kid some other time.

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Toni - posted on 11/15/2013

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I love the idea of a Hello Kitty party for a 6-yr-old... I think that you might want to expand it a little to make the boys more comfy with it, though. The rest of the world of Sanrio is less gender-specific, and I'm sure the boys would love some of the characters... Dogs, cats, frogs, penguins, and a bunch of others that are all adorable. Badtz-Maru has always been my favorite. :)
Check out www.sanrio.com for pics and info.

My own personal advice for the party is don't take on too much by yourself. Accept help from all who offer, and make sure you're having fun, too. Tired and crabby is no way to end the day when you want to be focused on your birthday girl.

I hope it's a great one!

Toni

Stephanie - posted on 08/29/2013

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Hi, Susan!

I understand all of your thoughts and concerns. Don't stress too much. Your daughter is turning 6, after all. At this young age having an extra large kid crowd isn't too important. A few kiddos with water balloons was the party we attended last weekend for a brand new homeschool pal and all three of our kids while driving home were saying "that was the best party ever." They each had a brown bag party bag with a few bits of plastic junk & candy they got from a homemade pinata. The 99c store or Party City has lots of cheap plastic toys boys love & jewelry girls flip over! My son loved the $1 mini stuffed animals from Ikea. Costco has the bulk candy bags year round (not just for Halloween) so it's possible to fill a decorated cereal box on the cheap. 😉

On a side note, I'm homeschooling with the virtual public school K12.com and we have made LOTS of friends with their social events & community days... It's tuition free and available in nearly each state... If you're not already familiar with them, they enroll new students daily. I can't say enough good things about their curriculum & their advanced social network.

Have a great party!!!! 🎂🍧😘

Margarita - posted on 08/24/2013

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You can try the dollar store, or your local wal-mart/target. I don't think you have Wegman's that far down, or I'd recommend them as a lot of the stuff is going on clearance as the summer season starts to end. Sorry you're having trouble getting her in an inclusion program. Does your local library have any programs? Some will have story time and arts/crafts as well as some clubs for building with Legos, etc. it would give her some social time with other kids and exposure to other adults as well. You can also take her to the park in the mornings in between lessons (a perk of making up the schedule yourself). It's rough with so many places doing half-day kindergarten. The things that used to be the conrnerstone of k, like socializing and and listening skills, etc, are all falling by the wayside since they now have to use what little time they have teaching them reading and writing. I know ours doesn't have gym or music because there is simply isn't time. Actually considering doing some extended care just so she can have recess! Good luck, and glad the party is coming together.

Susan - posted on 08/24/2013

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I got three confirmed and the other 2 just depends if the mom is off that day...she sometimes has to work on Saturday mornings...Then of course her big brother and little cousin are coming...right now that is plenty for her...Does anyone know where to get inexpensive drink dispensers? Plastic is fine...I somehow only have one gallon pitcher...(use to have a LOT more than that) And I was thinking about serving homemade strawberry lemonade, sweet tea, and little water bottles...that should be enough for everyone to find something they like (adults and kids alike).

The party is the 7th of Sept, but I'm homeschooling her right now because I'm having issues with the school not wanting to mainstream her at all...me and the special ed teacher was both trying to tell the higher ups that she could do regular classroom they just have to work with her because it is hard for her to sit still all day long (she is kindergarten age) and basically the person we were talking to just dismiss us and said that the special ed class would be good for her. I know what you are about to say that we need to fight for her but we have been fighting for her brother to get an one-on-one aide for 3 years now and they still won't do it. And the reason her brother is not home schooled is because he is super hard to test and he is at the age to be tested if in home school...My daughter does have issues with communicating, but she does talk, just getting her to write is the problem, she doesn't like to color. But we are working on her typing skills and with everyone texting now a days....

Margarita - posted on 08/23/2013

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Is the party after the school year starts? If so, that should help with attendance. I know I try really hard to get my daughter to friends' parties right now (she's in preschool, so the numbers are still low) and hopefully that will bring some friends in. If all her classmates are special needs, you can ask the teacher for advice in case some of the kids need extra coaxing to play, but are hopefully game anyway. Alas, some parents may be a little reticent to bring kids who are particularly shy to a party unless they've had a chance to really get to know the other kids. Then again, perhaps the parents will also try extra hard to bring them so they can start making more friends. Be aware that some kids with sensory issues will be extremely picky about what they eat, so don't be offended if some of them eat little or nothing. Chances are they will still have fun.

Good luck :)

Jessekia Lyndell - posted on 08/23/2013

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Well if I were you I would just take her out somewhere nice and find something that she would like an enjoy.

Chet - posted on 08/16/2013

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You are such a great mom. You've clearly put a huge amount of thought into putting this party together for your daughter. Really, the stuff you've got planned sounds awesome. I'm sure her birthday will be great. I don't think you need the popcorn. For decorations there are lots of super cute Hello Kitty balloons that I'm sure would catch your daughter's eye.

http://www.bargainballoons.ca/10Browse.a...

I order from this place a lot for birthday parties, and can usually get the balloons filled at the dollar store for $0.50 each. Often we've had the helium balloons be part of the take home.

Susan - posted on 08/16/2013

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Well, she is autistic and doesn't communicate very well. but every time we are in a store that has Hello Kitty products she spots them in about 30 seconds and says "Hello Kitty!". That is one reason I would want to put out a lot of decorations for her. I I'm making ALL the decorations so it will be cheaper...already started with the centerpieces..black, dark pink (it IS hello kitty) and silver are the colors I am using...should have mentioned that earlier...We live in Arkansas which is the reason I want to do it in the morning before it gets hot. We also have a small bounce house that Nana got for the kids that we are going to bring that fits about 3 to 4 at a time. And lastly I got pin wheels....(couldn't get straight silver or black so got blue) to go in the centerpieces that will be something the kids can take home (the pin wheels not the centerpieces, do you think that and a bubble wand would be enough?).
Besides cupcakes and ice cream we are serving hot dogs, fruit kabobs, and kinda like a chex mix thing with pretzels and stuff in it. (Since it is around lunch time) Nana has a popcorn air popper...should I borrow that too or would it be too much like the chex mix stuff? And would that be enough food? Sorry.....my husband says I worry too much...they are just kids....but I never had a party, party (just cake with the immediate family) and I kinda missed that when I was a kid, and I got few invites to b-day parties (I know *sob* right? :P ) but I guess I'm kinda hoping that I put on an awesome enough party the kids will show up for my daughter so that she can play with them??? Is that bad?

Chet - posted on 08/16/2013

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Lastly, little kids don't usually care too much about decorations anyway. Even if lots of kids do come, I wouldn't put a lot into that stuff. A few balloons is probably fine unless your daughter specifically asks for decorations.

Chet - posted on 08/16/2013

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The parties in the park that I've been to, and that I've seen at the park when we were there, did not have games. The kids just played on the playground. I don't think you need games. That said, it wouldn't hurt to bring some bubbles, sand toys or toy trucks, crayons and paper, in case kids need help finding something to do.

Chet - posted on 08/16/2013

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There are some Hello Kitty things that are not overly girlie... Kiss has done some products in conjunction with Hello Kitty that are black and edgy (and to be honest, kind of weird). I've also seen stuff with Hello Kitty as a pirate, and things that are simple with just the nose, eyes and whiskers and that are not crazy pink and girlish. Now, that said, I have never seen a kid refuse a piece of cake because it was on a Spiderman plate and she preferred Barbie! If you want to do themed party supplies you could just mix Hello Kitty stuff with some coordinating solids - get one package of Hello Kitty plates and one package of solid black plates. Really, I find that when the cups, plates, napkins, tablecloth, spoons and decor are all covered in licensed characters it can be a little overwhelming! And that stuff is really expensive.

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