As you may remember, we decided to throw our 5-year-old’s birthday party at home this year. We ended up with 13 kids, most of them 5-year-old boys, and a temperature of -5 degrees outside. Hmmm, that posed a problem since our party plan was to start outside with a super cool obstacle course my husband put together that included some 4X4’s, a slide, a hoop, 5 ski poles, some tennis balls and a large bucket. Use your imagination!! I am fairly certain my husband was more excited about it than the kids.
First lesson learned: You might be more excited than the kids about the activities planned and will have to role with the punches.
Since nobody wanted to go outside when they first arrived, we dove into pillow making…huge mistake. The energy, which exploding upon arrival, was intense. Add to that a bunch of stuffing, and we ended up with one giant fuzzball of a living room. Plus, the kids were so excited about the party that they couldn’t really focus on the project. YIKES! In the end though, the pillows were completed and the kids LOVED them! I also used the pillow craft as our goodie bag, killing two birds with one stone by creating an activity that would produce their own goodie bag! Yay for no candy and lots of cuddling! The only hiccup was the project was done in about 15 minutes. Hmmm, now what do we do???
Second lesson: Always do something to get the wiggles out before jumping into a calm activity…and always assume your house will be trashed J
Thank goodness for Papa! This is when I called upon my dad. The 72-year-old man saved the day at his 5-year-old grandson’s birthday party with magic tricks! Yes, the same magic tricks he did for my brother and I at our parties. And he had the kids sitting still, quiet and in complete awe! They were even cheering for more! He used the “have you ever seen me unscrew my finger before” trick and the “ I can rub this coin into my elbow and find it in your shoe” trick. It was beautiful!
Third lesson learned: Always have grandpa at birthday parties!
After Papa’s magically moment, the kids seem to go their separate ways. Some went outside to brave the cold and the obstacle course…to my husbands delight! Others went upstairs to play with air hockey and Beyblades. In the end, the kids played, ate cake and even opened presents without chaos. With help from my 11-year-old niece Jordan, we handed out numbers to the gift givers, and when their number was called, they got to bring their gift up to Spider (who was sitting in a chair) and stand by him while he opened it.
Fourth lesson: Your vacuum cleaner really can make any mess disappear!
Before we knew it, our two-hour extravaganza was over and the doorbell began to ring, to everyone’s joy!
Fifth lesson learned: It’s okay to celebrate when the last child is picked up. Birthday parties are quite the festive feats!
Happy party hosting!