My daughter just turned six last month, and I decided to go all out for her birthday. My husband and I rented a moon bounce for our backyard and hired a clown. We got some Mario Brothers party supplies and bought some extra controllers for our Wii, so all the kids could play their favorite video games when they got tired from jumping on the moon bounce.
The party was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t any more fun than far simpler birthday parties we’ve thrown. In fact, it was a little more stressful. Two kids bumped heads on the moon bounce and ended up crying. The clown scared one of the children, and that child hid in my daughter’s bedroom until the clown was done performing. Some of the children fought over taking turns to play video games.
I think my husband and I both realized this year that we’d prefer to keep things simple and spend less money for future birthday parties. In our experience, there are only a few essential things you need to make a birthday party a success. Here’s what they are:
1. A place for the kids to run around outside – Video games are good, but sunshine is better. Kids can play tag or Simon Says for hours, and they’ll love every moment of it.
2. An arts and crafts project – Schools have cut funding for the arts dramatically. My daughter only gets to go to art class once a week at her school. Kids really love to express themselves creativity and use their hands to make things. A group of kids is usually delighted by something as simple as making things out of Play-Doh.
3. A camera – Kids absolutely love to have their pictures taken with their friends and family members.
4. Parents – The birthday boy or girl obviously benefits from having his or her parents involved in the party. The parents of other children at the party are also a helpful addition. The more adults, the better. Adults can help keep the kids busy, safe, and entertained.
5. A homemade cake – Store-bought cakes don’t taste as good and often contain way more sugar than homemade cakes. Every child’s birthday party benefits from a cake baked from scratch, with love.