Monday, July 9, 2018

Children's Parties - The Greatest Show on Earth

Exclusive soft play hire, trampoline park, princess parties, pamper parties, hiring a cinema screen. These were just some of the results that came up when I searched '3 year old party ideas'

Our youngest turns three at the end of the month and has already been telling me all about this party that she's having but when you drill down into the basics of it what do we have parties for?? To spend time with loved ones on a special day, to mark the occasion? It seems that all of that has been long forgotten when planning children's parties. 

I know very few of us want the mess in our own homes or to be solely responsible for entertaining hoards of children but are we losing the plot?
Everything has become bigger and better with parents trying to outdo each other to host the fanciest, most memorable party. Long gone are the days of jelly and ice cream, musical statues and paper chains and the sad reality is that unfortunately the children don't remember most of it.




I have to admit though that we are not completely innocent. Back in January 2013 I stumbled across a company whilst looking at hen party ideas for a friend(how the hell can a hen party idea be suitable for a 4 year olds party I hear you gasp but read on) and as a result we spent a VERY pretty penny on hiring a double decker bus that had been converted into a mobile soft play unit complete with top deck to bottom deck slide for little boys 4th birthday but the cost doesn't end there. There were party bags, food, drink and prizes for games. The reality was that the money we spent on one party that year could have actually paid for a short break for the whole family?



Having parties like these are all well and good but then the kids think "ooh, if we did that last year, what are we going to do this year" and right there in that moment is when a children's birthday party becomes 'The Greatest Show on Earth'
There and then we realised that we had lost our tiny minds and that we MUST have been under mind control and wouldn't make that mistake again. We've since let the kids take a few friends to the cinema, paid for the older ones to go out for a meal with friends, taken some friends bowling and this year? We have settled on a teddy bears picnic themed picnic in the park. Jelly and sandwiches, pass the parcel and bubble machines;a simple afternoon in the park with some of our nearest and dearest. 




What we have to remember when planning these things is that the children won't remember how fancy the venue was or if you upgraded to the most expensive package. What they will remember is who was there to share their big day with them and how special they were made to feel.

Do you throw 'traditional' kids parties or do you go all out?

Emma xoxo


16 comments:

  1. My twins are only 2, so we haven’t had many parties yet, but we spent way too much on their first birthday party, which was just silly. We had a little party at home for their second birthday and it was much nicer and much less stressful!

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    1. I think the bigger the party the more stressful and let’s face it, parenting is stressful enough. Birthdays are supposed to be stress free, happy and memorable occasions.

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  2. Kids parties have become totally crazy haven't they? I am still trying to keep it as picnic in the park - managed to get away with it for the last two years but now my daughter is five not sure how long I can keep that going for!

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    1. It’s when they go to school and start getting invited to all these elaborate parties that the random requests begin

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  3. Teddy bear picnic sounds like an amazing party! My son will be one at the end of the month but as he won’t remenber any of it we are just going to have close family round for a birthday tea.

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    1. Now that to me sounds like a perfect birthday celebration. A special day spent with special people

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  4. Our son is 4 and we've only ever had a family party at home for him. I think big parties are a waste of money. We have friends who did 1st birthday parties for their kids costing at least £1000 each and it was ridiculous, for something they'll never remember. Much better to save it until they're older and do cinema etc with friends which they'll enjoy just as much!

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    1. I still can't believe how much we spent on our little boys 4th birthday, 5 years later and I'm still annoyed with myself.

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  5. It is true what you have pointed out here. I agree that the cozier kids parties are, the better they will enjoy it. I wish we did something like this for my Baby's first birthday xx

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    1. I definitely think cozier parties are more personal.

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  6. We've always stuck to traditional parties. A couple of hours in our church hall, starting with cake and cocoa (I never got this tradition for handing out cake at the end - much nicer to sit down together to eat it AND it takes up time!) Then some traditional party games, with favourites such as pass the parcel, musical statues, and pin the tail on whatever. If there's some time at the end they just have a good run around the hall, bashing each other with balloons.

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    1. I LOVE pass the parcel. I usually 'help' the youngest at the party just so I can get involved! lol

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  7. I'm a dance teacher and run parties for children, both from their home and the dance studio. Some parents love to have the control completely taken away and some prefer to keep an eye out and have a word here and there. It's crazy!

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    1. This is why I try and keep it simple now for the younger one because entertaining hoards of children in July when it's usually warm will drive me insane!

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  8. I totally hear what you are saying, I have taken my four year to some parties that must have cost a fortune! We did a soft play party for his fourth birthday but every other year we’ve just had family around for party games and food. You are so right that they won’t really remember. The details of their parties when they get older but there will come a sort of expectation for a big expensive party if you do something big every year xx

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  9. Parties have turned it to such a massive affair nowadays haven't they?! Traditional all the way for me :)

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