Sometimes I think my kids have a better social life than me! They don’t think so, constantly asking, ‘Who are we seeing today?’ ‘What should we do today?’ ‘Where are we going today?’ Yes, even on a school day, God forbid if I answer, ‘No-one,’ ‘Nothing,’ ‘Nowhere!’ At the ages of 7 and 5 years old they can do a very good impression of Kevin and Perry!
Many weekends, like most parents, are taken up with kids parties and sometimes, let’s be honest, it can get a bit endless. So you can imagine my own excitement when we attended a child’s party that involved the help of parents. This might sound hideous to some parents, but I’ll be honest, I’m not one of those parents who enjoys soft plays or lots of children running around playing ‘tig’ and bashing into each other! Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to catch up with other parents, but half the time that’s impossible when your child is stuck up high in some kind of contraption of ropes and tubes, or you’ve got to keep an eye on them as you try to ensure they don’t get belly flopped to the ground!
I digress a little, but I once took along Gabriella, and my goddaughter Eva, to a soft play party. Can you imagine my horror when Eva came down a slide, (when I say slide, it was the smallest slide ever, infact it was more like a small slope!) and collided with a boy’s head. Her lip came up four times bigger than it should be. I had to take her home mid-party. What a disaster, and although I knew there was nothing I could have done about it, I felt so guilty that it was under my watch! My friends were lovely about it, but still, I felt so awful!
Hopefully you can understand my caution. Not that I’m neurotic or anything …
Anyway, when we were invited to a Woodland Party, I thought this sounds like my type of thing! A party in the fresh air, building dens and making fires! Yes, I probably should have had boys!!! I didn’t actually tell my hubby about the party because I wanted to take Gabriella 🙂 . So we attended this party last Sunday … and it was awesome! So different. Little Joe had definitely picked a winner – for boys and girls!
It started with a little hunt, leading us to a camp in the middle of the forest. The company Acorn Antics were hosting the party & the leader Cathy was lovely. The parents got involved, helping the kids making dens, fire lighting, making little elves from sticks … it was all safe and controlled. The kids then had pizza and hot dogs which were heated on the fire. The kids were allowed to heat their own marshmallows on the fire (obviously supervised). It was such a refreshing idea. It was great to watch the kids and parents working together. Gabriella usually hates being cold, but she absolutely loved it. She couldn’t wait to tell Daddy, who was a little gutted he’d missed out. 🙁
Since this party, Gabriella has been obessed with her own birthday, constantly asking me what can she do for her birthday, although it’s not until November!
But it did get me thinking about parties. It’s nice to do something different for parties. I’m not saying be bigger, better and spending lots of money, as there are ways to have a unique party but not spend a fortune. So I had a bit of a research for us, to see what ideas are out there. Although, admittedly, there doesn’t seem to be much, maybe some of these ideas will help you to expand on your own:
Hire a princess / or pirate party – PAGE2STAGE is an awesome company that have lookalike princesses. But they do so much more. Just tell them what you want and they’ll do their best to give your child the best party ever! Both my girls have attended parties hosted by these guys, a ‘One Direction Party’ & a ‘Pirate and Princess Party’. My girls absolutely loved both. I definitely recommend these guys.
Gymmanstics Party – Hire your local gymnastics venue OR set-up your own obstacle course in the back garden.
Sports Day Party – Set out some fun races in the garden, even get the parents involved by holding a ‘child & parent race’, or ‘mum’s race’ etc.
Craft Party – Help the children to make something in particular: a photoframe, a necklace etc. Something they can take home and keep. There are plenty of ideas on the internet, have a look at what would be suitable for your child’s party.
Baking Party – Let the children make their own cakes to take home.
A Cinema Party – We’ve attended a cinema party before, it was lovely. If it’s something you think you can’t really afford, or don’t want to spend so much, why not choose one of your child’s favourite films and host a movie party at home. Lots of cushions, popcorn and sweets, they’ll be in their element.
Tresure Hunt – You could design your own in a local park or in your own home/garden.
Christmas Party in the Summer – Kids love Christmas, why let them wait a whole year, get Santa to visit in the middle of the year!
Picnic Party – Hold a picnic party in the park. Play some old games, such as, rounders, swing ball etc.
Pet, Animal, Zoo or Farm Party – A great way to keep the kids entertained. Check to see if you have any local farms or zoos that interact with the kids, this would be a great educational party too. Some pet shops hold parties for children, this allows them to hold rabbits, guinea pigs or, for the more daring, snakes.
Skating Party – This obviously depends on age. But even the smaller ones can have a penguin to hold onto.
Science / Chemistry Party – Make something that involves powders and chemicals, such as, candles, soap, bath bombs or perfume. Usually better for older children, and would definitely need an adult to take control and lead.
Beach Party – If you’re lucky enough to have the weather, this is a great idea. Kids love the beach. And they’d love it even more when they get chips and ice-cream!
Flying Kites Party – If you have the space, and the time, let the children make their own kites – then go flying them.
Pamper Party – This is becoming a very popular idea: nails painted, hair styled and girls made to feel like a princess.
Build a Bear Party: We’ve attended 2 of these in the last few years. Both my girls loved them. Plus, they got something to cuddle when they came home.
These are only a few ideas, it’s also nice to go back to basics, a few games at home: pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs and my all-time favourite – pass the parcel. 🙂
Or do what we did last year, book a few days away instead of a party – Centre Parcs was awesome, you can read about our trip here.
Although, I’m not sure I’m going to get away with that this year! Gabriella really is on a mission!
Whatever you decide to do, just have fun! 🙂
I don’t think you should feel bad about Eva bumping her lip on a boy’s head. Children will always get hurt whilst playing. It’s part of growing up and learning to get up after being knocked down. But, I can fully sympathise with you on feeling guilty about it at the time.
You have some excellent ideas on parties here. I particularly loved the Zoo Bus. Awesome. That would be fun for us adults as well. Kids have all the best fun, which is why I enjoy my kids’ parties so much.
Thanks for this post. Lightened up my Sunday.
Aw thanks Alex.
Adult Zoo buses sound like a fantastic idea! lol! I must admit although I’m not a huge fan of the soft plays (only because they make the rope ways, tube ways etc. too small for adult size backsides!!) However, I love bouncy castles 🙂 This would be a fab adult party too! lol!
But thank you for your kind words. Pleased you like the ideas. My niece attended a ‘hot tub party’ last week … she’s only 10 years old. So there’s a new one too!
Hope you have an awesome day.