According to a recent poll commissioned by Minute Maid, 7 out of 10 Canadians believe kids’ birthday parties have hit new levels of excess. So in the spirit of getting back to basics, we’ve been thinking about original and fun ways to really bring some meaning (and fun, of course) to our kids’ birthday parties. Here are some ways to bring some new life to birthday celebrations:
- Engage Kids’ Participation: Involve your child at the party-planning stage – from making decorations to the cake, even creating the birthday invitations. It not only gives them a sense of the work involved in throwing a birthday party, but can make them feel special as well. Know their favourite colour is pink? Try working it into the décor and food (pink balloons and pink icing cupcakes!).
- Host at Home: Your own home has all the party essentials kids really care about—a place to play, eat and have some fun! A backyard doubles as a picnic area and stage for a scavenger hunt for kids’ loot bags—making everyone a winner!
- Make Party Activities Meaningful: Research shows children taught to volunteer at a young age will be more likely to help others when they get older. Visit a native species tree planting facility to learn how they can positively impact the environment, and let them experience tree planting first hand.
- Teach a Charitable Lesson: Engage tweens with a charitable cause that matters to them. Local shelters and hospitals are always looking for donations. Let the kids add a personal note in the party invite to bring a small monetary donation, food item or even gently used book. Following the party, plan a trip with your child to drop off the donation. He or she will feel proud they did so!
- Update Traditional Party Games: Kids crave the classics—whether it’s pin the tail on the donkey (or nose on Dora), throw the bean bag or even musical chairs. Get the entire group involved with a game of baseball, soccer or break the piñata!
- Serve Kid-Approved Food: No need to get fancy with the menu. Pizza with some tasty toppings and healthy juice will keep kids full and happy. Better yet, involve them in the pizza making and encourage them to name their creations (e.g. Molly’s magnificent pepperoni). Take photos and send them home with their pizza recipe on a card.
- Get Crafty: Kids love creating their own masterpieces. Party puppets not only keep little hands busy, but can be put on display in the party room so kids can feel proud of what they’ve made. Simply save up old juice cartons and have lots of coloured paper, felt, googly eyes, sparkles and crayons on hand to let the kids design their own.
- Decorate DIY-Style: Don’t go overboard on decorations. Purchase some colourful balloons and simple craft accessories and let your child have some fun with the party décor. Buy several sheets of construction paper and have the birthday boy or girl decorate placemats for his or her guests. Just have lots of glitter glue, paint and markers on hand!
- Update the Loot Bag: Resist the urge to go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of unnecessary items for loot bags. Instead, try picking one thing that each child would actually want and wrap it up. Consider a joke book, a note book for doodling or even a design your own picture frame kit.
For more ideas and recipes, or to find out more about Minute Maid’s 60th birthday celebration in support of the Breakfast Clubs of Canada, visit www.minutemaid.ca You can play fun birthday games online and for every game you play Minute Maid will donate 60 cent to this important charity.