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Monday, November 8, 2010

Birthday Party for 4 & 5 year olds

Last week I threw my first children's birthday party. Here are some things that I learned in the process.
  • An easy theme for a November party- costumes. Everyone has them and they still fit too. Although some kids don't really like dressing up.
  • I care more about the details than the kids. As long as there are balloons, cake, ice cream and pizza, they are pretty happy.
  • 4 & 5 year olds are easy to please. I was ready to plan complicated games. My daughter wanted to play ring-around-the-rosie and duck, duck, goose.
  • Spending a lot on the venue is unnecessary (weather permitting). One of the great things about living in St George is that even though it's November, the park was a perfect location (and free too). The kids had a great time and I didn't have to stress about getting my house clean or stress about it not staying that way when a bunch of kids with a sugar high are running a muck.
  • Make a list of things you need before you leave, so your husband doesn't miss half the party because you forgot to bring candles, a lighter and a pie server.
  • The dollar store is a lifesaver for party supplies: disposable tablecloth at the dollar store: $1, same item at Partyland- $5-6, it is also a great place to get Mylar balloons, cellophane bags, some party favors, party plates, cups and napkins.
  • Robert's Craft has the best prices locally on average helium filled rubber balloons. (I did without because I didn't have anymore room in my car, but my friend said you can get a balloon bouquet there for about $3.50, whereas the bouquets at Partyland start at $12.)
  • One carton of ice cream is more than enough eight kids and their parents.
  • Little Cesar's pizza is actually not bad, if you get them when they're fresh and they haven't just been sitting in a warmer.
  • If you cut up fresh apples and place them next to the cake, some kids actually pick the apples over the cake. 
  • The games you plan generally don't go as you planned. I planned a treasure hunt with clues taped around the park. Before all the guests arrived the kids were ripping down the clues and were so excited by what they had discovered. So we had the treasure hunt first, with the treasure being the bag of party favors.
  • I really stressed about this more than was necessary. As this was my first time planning a children's party, I looked to the internet for help. The internet is not real life. Neither my friends nor their children are expecting a perfectly decorated party or me to spend the full 2 hours entertaining them.
  • Water bottles wrapped in tissue paper make great balloon weights (have to incorporate my food storage in the event some how). I learned this trick from my sister-in-law. 
  • I'm definitely not doing a friend party for my son for his b-day in a month. He didn't really seem to care about any of the party goings on. He just wanted to play on the slides.
  • It takes more than an entire bottle of red food dye to get a batch of white frosting red. How much more I don't know. I gave up, we had pink frosting.
  • Bananas slide off frosting like butter off a bald monkey.
  • When you bake a cake and it comes out of the pan in about a dozen pieces (even though I used a silicone pan and PAM) you can successfully hold it together with some Jello and a little frosting.
Here is the cake that my daughter requested that only my friend, my husband and I ate.
Here is the link to what the original is supposed to look like.


  1. That was a great post. I will have to bookmark this site so I can read more later.

  2. I was thinking a princess party for my daughter that will be 5 November 4th only problem I have a 3 yr old girl and a 1 yr old son I need to make the party appropriate for

  3. As a Mom who has planned a few parties for my son, this post is fantastic. I found myself smiling because this may be the most honest and truthful take on party planning that is out there on the internet!