Friday, September 24, 2010

Kids' Birthday Parties--Friend Parties vs Family Parties

So my kids have birthdays coming up in the next couple months. Up to this point we have always had family birthday parties for them (with the exception of a few very close friends). But now my oldest has little friends her age that we do joy school and have play dates with often. She is getting invited to their birthday parties often and loves it. I think she would love to have a party with her friends for her birthday but I know that my family would want to come too (and of course we want to include them as well). I am just starting to think about how to do that. Do we have two separate parties--one for friends and one for family? That could get time consuming and more expensive as I would end up making two sets of cake, decorations, etc. Or do we just have one big party and invite both family and friends? But then what do the adults do while all the little kids are playing party games? And what would I do to include older cousins who would not enjoy games on the same level as my young kids? One friend suggested that she invites all her little girls' friends to their party for the first hour and they do all the children's games and activities and then her family comes for the last half hour to open gifts and eat cake and ice cream. That was definitely an idea that got the wheels in my head turning, but I would love to hear more!

What have you done to balance both friend and family parties for your children's birthdays?
(I would love it if you answered the italicized questions above!)
Or do you not do parties and instead have your own birthday traditions?
Please share!!

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Britta said...

My extended family has all their bithdays piled in the fall. Because of this, we seem to be celebrating a birthday every other week and its way too much. This year I decided to invite only Grandma to my daughter's party and did one for her friends instead. Emmaline had a lot of fun and the person who really cared about being at the party was able to participate (uncles never seem to enjoy the toddler's parties...)

Personally, there is some point in which you'll have to stop inviting extended family to parties and if you have to decide between friends and family, I'd say this is the year to stop. If its really important to invite all the extended family then have a nice Sunday dinner without all the extras (cake and decorations) but maybe just a bunch of balloons. Don't go extravagant. Kids who get two birthday parties expect three the next year...

If none of those solutions really appeal to you, your daughter's idea of having the adults show up later sounds like a fit.

Good luck!

Heather said...

I love the idea of having extended family over for dinner and ice cream. Then the cake and games can go with the kids. That seems like a great idea!

Delia said...

Luckily we haven't had to deal with this...and unluckily I guess.

Have you thought about having a potluck, laid back dinner with your family and then having a real party party for little kids with just her friends?...which now that I have read the comments has already been suggested. could talk to your family and have a monthly birthday party that everyone throws together and that celebrates everyone's birthday from that month?...or do it per quarter?

Jessie said...

We've always just done a dinner/simple cake and ice cream thing with our extended families, and kept the kids party separate. I just don't see the grandparents caring that much to participate in a rousing game of "pin the kiss on the frog." :)

That being said, we keep celebrations pretty simple around here--homemade decorations and cake, simple games, and inexpensive (if any) favors. Keeps things pretty reasonably priced so I feel like I can make a couple (again, simple) cakes. Good luck.

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