Wednesday, April 6, 2011

CELEBRATE easy birthday parties at home!

We're celebrating our new look for SPRING! What do you think? Keeping with our festive attitude and dreaming of warming days, we've decided to blog today about birthday parties.  With tough economic times, it's often difficult to justify splurging for a party at a facility where you must rent a space or pay for the fun.  Parties at home can be just as fun. Kids love to entertain their friends in their own space and with some time and a sprinkle of creativity, you can re-create your play room or basement into a new exciting look.

Between the two of us, we've now planned 18 children's birthday parties (wow time flies) and attended too many to count!  We wanted to share themes and ideas for some we've planned and some we've loved attending...so here it is.... MILESTONES & MIRACLES TOP 10 BIRTHDAY BASH IDEAS:

1) Messy Party: Invite pals to come in their messy clothes. Sculpt with mud. Tie Dye Tee Shirts. Finger paint with pudding. Have water balloon fights. The messier the better on the day that kids get to do things they aren't allowed to do any other day! Treat bags or buckets can include wash clothes and body wash or the let the tee shirt they made be the treat.

2) I HEART ART: Got a budding artist in your house? Let him/her finger paint invites and turn your favorite open spot in your house into an art studio. Collect recyclables and simple supplies (google eyes, tapes, stickers, markers, glue) and set up Imagination Station - a place where kids can create whatever they dream! String a clothesline between ladders for multiple paint stations. Allow time for plenty of play-doh and tools for sculpting and have a jewelery making station.  Art supplies are numerous and can be inexpensive as well as fun.



3) Sesame Street: Can you tell me how to get... to a childhood classic? Everyone loves the Sesame gang and the ideas are plentiful for this theme. Invite friends on a Sesame themed invite sponsored by the first letter of your child's name and the age they are turning.  Elmo freeze dance and Oscar trash basketball are fun games. Decorate with Sesame wrapping paper cut into your child's name or favorite numbers or letters and fish bowls filled with little "Dorothy" goldfish crackers.

4) Fashion Show Party: Send invites that the guests can return with personal bios about themselves (favorite toy, color, food) that will be read as they strut in the dress up clothing of their choice on the runway (plastic table cloth). Kids love dressing up and taking turns being the special one walking the runway!


5) Dump Truck Day: What toddler doesn't love dump trucks? They make a fabulous cake pan too - fill with "dirt" (crumbled Oreo cake with worms) and let kids shovel out their own servings. Have dump truck races through the yard. Decorate with caution tape and cones.

6) Blessed with the ease of a summer birthday? No better place than the pool! Either a small one outside or a general water party....water balloons, water relay races in buckets, and the good old fashion sprinkler. You can make a "water" cake with a container of blue jello dropped into larger cake.  Simple outside toys like water guns or jump ropes are great treats for friends.


7) Invite your mates with a message in a bottle to your PIRATE PARTY! Search for a hidden treasure using a map you pre-make, wear your favorite pirate gear, and cut that cake with a kid-safe sword.

8) Every little one loves to care for their own doll, so let them take one home at an ADOPT A BABY PARTY! Grab some dolls that come clothed from the dollar store and undress them. Let guests go through a line and chose a doll, outfit, plastic bottle, blanket (felt works), and help them fill out an adoption certificate made on the computer while promising to love their very own baby.  Save baby food jars and let them feed their dolls and change them. Decorate with left over baby shower decor and have your baby toys (strollers, carriers, shopping carts etc) handy for a fun play date party!

9) April Showers bring Spring Flowers! Celebrate your child and mother EARTH with a party dedicated to flowers, bugs, and nature! Let them decorate a Terra cotta pot and plant seeds and water to take home. Play a "hot potato" type game passing a rubber bug. Hand each child a bucket and let them fill their own "treat bag" with treats they find in nature. Let them show and tell to their friends.

10) Fancy Nancies love fancy parties and teas! Dare to share your china? Or maybe their favorite tea set! Let adults serve them fancy sandwiches, fruits, and chocolates. Set up a dress up station with your collection of dress up clothes or your friends and let them dress for "a royal ball."  Manicures a'la Mom or Dad are always a hit.  This theme can be spun to fit a character - your favorite princess or Alice in Wonderland too!


In addition to these fun ideas...here's a few tips we've learned along the way. 

~ Don't over plan. Keep the number of children manageable. A few activities are plenty - children love to play so save time for that!
~ All kids love to sit next to the birthday child - especially during gift time. This isn't a bad thing. We want our children to be joyful givers, right? So, to keep it somewhat orderly (and keep the mob from becoming more dangerous than the pit at the last concert you went to (and I'm not talking about the Imagination Movers!)), decorate a "special friends" chair and place it next to the birthday child, allowing each guest to take a turn when their gift is opened and allowing your child the chance to thank them each individually.

~It's your kids day! Truly celebrate them by letting him/her choose the theme - whatever the interest may be. And at the end of the big day- allow yourself a piece of that cake, take a deep breath, and take a moment to celebrate another year of having the best job in the world -- being someones parent!
 Let the kids make the decorations! It makes them feel part of the big day and gives you a creative look as well!
 Move the toys out of the play room and move every table in for your tea party!

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    Welcome to our blog! As longtime friends, we recently decided to combine our professional experience (as a speech-language pathologist and physical therapist) and "Mommy Experience" to create a company dedicated to something we are both extremely passionate about - letting kids be kids! Milestones and Miracles, LLC was formed in 2010. Our mission is to empower parents in understanding the natural progression of their child's development (and not rush it along and skip stages). We develop and provide developmental products to support this learning process, bonding families through engaging, fun, and meaningful experiences! We are thrilled to share that our first product, 1 2 3 Just Play With Me is available for sale. Visit www.milestonesandmiracles.com to learn more and order a unique product for yourself & your child or as a gift! We will continue use this blog to share about topics that interest and excite us. Stay tuned!

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