Kid Party

March 3, 2009

This gal loves a party – not just attending one, but throwing one too. Actually, throwing a party gives me an absolute rush and is a total pleasure. Now, I know that a lot of you are out there are thinking “crazy lady” – but for me…it’s just what I do. In fact many people have told me that I should go into the party planning biz….but I don’t know – doing it for a friend would be one thing – doing it for an obnoxious client would be torture. You know the kind of person I mean…they order a $35 cake from you and then wonder why it isn’t a $300 seven-tier elaborate creation with mechanics and shooting sparklers. So I just do them for me – for my family- and for a few friends..check out my other posts: A Baby Shower, Kitchen Party, Valentine Party. A birthday party is always fun, but it’s those other parties I like best. Yes, other parties. For years I have thrown (beside the b-day party) a Halloween Party, an End of Summer/Back to School Party, a Winter Party, a Spring Party…woo hoo! Just say Party and I come running!And don’t tell me that your place is too small – For years and years, I lived in a duplex which is basically a glorified apartment, with 2 bedrooms, a small kitchen and a diningroom/livingroom. The average guest list? 15 kids. No breakage (of course – you really need to know who you are inviting, if possible!) My Winter Party came about when my oldest two (now teens) were about 2 and 4 years old. I didn’t want to do Christmas because they had many friends in their playgroup who did not celebrate and it resited me to December only – so I came up with a winter theme. Snowflakes and snowballs everywhere…styrofoam balls with glitter – or better yet – roll the balls in glue and Ivory Snow or cotton balls….snowy delight! I hung them in every window and doorway in the house. I had plain paper plates but fancy wintery napkins (this is how you save cash – splurge on one of two items and the whole party appears “catered/themed”. So, I went with Snowmen as my theme – so it was snowman cookies, a snowman shaped cake and balloons & streamers in blue and white (ballooons are a happy sight and just scream “celebrate”, no matter what the situation). Crazy Lady here also had (before baby 3 came along so many years later) a nasty habit of having a different seasonal tablecloth and matching valance curtains for her kitchen. Now, I don’t really sew – am known as a “straight edge sew-er”, you know, curtains, napkins and tablecloths- super cheap way to do an adult party too….cotton for $3. per yard – and it’s a customized table (this was all before Dollar Stores exisited). For an adult party you have to be careful on this point and if you’re going to “sew”, choose the material with great thought or it ends up tacky (stick to napkins in that case!). Back to the kid party… Next, you have to make a “play” on the games…. if snommen is the theme – play Pin the Carrot Nose on the Snowman….no “hot potato/musical chairs”- instead: Frozen Mitten. An all time favorite (to this day!) is Pass the Package. You wrap a tiny gift item (buy a couple of lott bag “prizes” and split them up) like a ring, then a parachuting soldier, then a rubber insect. One items is wrapped in streamer, then another sandwhiched on top, then another – until you have a big ball of streamer filled with gifties…run the music and when it stops, that child openes the next layer. If you’re anything like me – you will make a list (and not lose it, as I have done…sigh) of the items so that you can keep track of who “wins”and opens something so that there are no double winners – the kids never catch on and – hey – as long as you can keep amazing kids – you are creating the magic. Always a feature at my parties: the Activity (arts and crafts – which doubles as a loot bag as they take it home – all you need for the actual lootbag, if you are giving one out, is a few tidbits of candy…another $$ saver). One of my most popular activities to date – that Inow use in my pre-school class is the Winter Mitt/Glove (depending on age). I came up with this idea because, at 3 years of age, my kids – along with all kids I knew- resisted wearing mittens or gloves. So I thought – “Hey -what if they made the gloves themselves?” For sure they’d wear them without arguement then! I went out and purchased 17 pairs of those stretchy/one-size-fits-all gloves (always buy 2 extra – either someone spoils their creation or there is an uninvited sibling that you are coerced into allowing to stay for the party and always buy one color – no arguing then – and I like black – it looks the best, very dramatic). Then I bought some of those puff type/FABRIC paints – you have to make a bit of an investment – and you can use them again later on t-shirts etc (that’s right -there’s the t-shirt party in the spring if you so desire!). I spread my table with a plastic tablecloth (dollar store) or use a couple of garbage bags and let them paint – instructing them to go easy because too much paint and it won’t dry properly – ever – and also, you want to save paint! On your invite (and follow up with a phone call) ask parents to send their child with a garbage bag…can be a smaller white one – not necessarily the big – cut arm holes and an opening for the head…this is frabic paint so it does not wash off! The kids go on to make abstract/random squiggles in various colors and some even make designs (depends on the age). They have to dry about 24 hours – so make sur eyou put them somewehere safe to dry. My suggestion is to write their name on masking tape and insert that “tag” on the inner cuff of the glove – or lay out paper and write their names beside their work with an aroow pointing – so you don’t forget – although generally, kids never forget the ones they did – but it’s better to be on the safe side. AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE “HANDS” FACING THE RIGHT WAY” in other words -avoid the two left hands look. Once dry – these gloves are amazing – you will probably be inspired to take a photograph of them all lying out together – the color is fantastic! Parents tell me that their kids never argue about wearing mitts and gloves anymore, once they’ve made these. I know they aren’t the warmest but it’s better than nothing. This is not an expensive party – the gloves are about 66 cents ( x the number of kids) at Wal-Mart, one package of those squeeze paints is about $10 (I think you get 8 colors) and one package of themed napkins, 2 “prize pgkes” of rings etc add a few lollipops, a bag of balloons (all at the dollar store or even a W-Mart type store) and a cake mix and you’re at $25. tops….not bad for a party that they will enjoy and always remember…plus the kids are not going hoime with JUNK – the kind of junk that breaks before they’re down the sidewalk. So come on – Pick a theme (not a cartoon theme – a real theme), make up a guest list and Party!

I will feature more kid parties in the near future – complete with how tos and I’ve got some fun (not geeky!) parties for grown-ups too….Stay Tuned for a full Party Planning on a Budget Booklet!

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One Response to “Kid Party”

  1. abrastclarm Says:

    April 10th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    FANTASTIC!


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