Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Will's Belated 5th Birthday Party

My firstborn son celebrated his 5th birthday at the end of May, the day we left on vacation to be exact. Due to our vacation and other factors beyond my control we put off hosting his party until June. Last year we celebrated with a huge party - 7 young guests and their parents. This year I felt the need to keep the party a little more low key. Not to mention, 5 of those invited guests were girls!

Will has really been into pirates this year. Thanks in part to seeing the Veggie Tales movie back in January. With a pirate theme and a noticeable lack of interest in playing with girls, this party seemed like a good one to switch to BOYS ONLY (plus little sisters). We invited 2 boys (plus a little sister, a little brother, and parents) but only 1 could attend.

After hosting 3 parties for Will I've learned a lot. First, limit your planned activities. Will's party is always outside and the kids just want to play. Forcing them to do activities is torture for them - which means NOT much fun for me either.

Next, plan your Thank You bags for your guests to be a part of the activities. Leave the dime store junk and candy at the store. As a recipient of these bags I'd rather have 2 things my kids will play with than a bag full of junk I'll throw away when I get home.

For example. I made treasure maps and hid our Thank You bags in the backyard. After our guest, Micah, and his little sister, Mia, arrived I led the kids on a treasure hunt for the bags. They found bandannas, eye patches, swords, hats and "Gold" (coin shaped gum) in the bags. All things that they might play with again in the future but nothing that cost me a small fortune to buy.

Once we found the "Treasure" we sat at a table to decorate them and a plain foam sheet for a pirate flag. Two activities. That's it. And we were hard pressed to get those done.

I found pirate kits at Michael's craft store that included 4 of each thing (not the bandanna) for $4. The pirate flags are foam "paper" decorated with special markers and foam stickers.

Amy helped Ben with his flag. Doesn't he look like one scary pirate? = )
Aargh! Matey!
Once finished with the flags the kids played.
The dad's started cooking burgers and hot dogs when when we started decorating the flags. Keep the food simple is another tip. Hamburger, hot dogs, buns with fixin's, potato chips, lemonade, cake and ice cream is all the food we had. With more guests I opt for Domino's Pizza so we don't have to wait forever for food to be cooked.
Micah thinks something's funny.
Having everything outside also cut down on clean up and decorations.
Will is really tickled about something!
Ellie enjoyed the cake!
Micah is flying into the Jumpolene! Andy threw cannon balls
(balls we had laying around) at the boys. They thought this was great fun!
More climbing.
By the end of the party my boys had removed their shirts. "I'm hot, Momma!"
Some how they managed to add Bob the Builder elements to the party.
Daddy rigged up the sail early in the morning. Everyone enjoyed showers BEFORE supper!!


Alicia said...

Very fun! Great party idea! I am also going for easy shmeezy! We are delaying T's party because we were out of town the weekend before it, and 4th of July is the weekend after. Plus, his closest buddy will be out of town this weekend.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Looks like fun.

Thanks for the party tips.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

How fun!! Love the pictures. Looks like it was a big hit.

Mike, Dawn & Emily Rose said...

What fun! Looks like everyone enjoyed themselves.

And as always we can count on you to give very practical Mom tips! I would expect nothing less, ya know. ; )


Anonymous said...


May I just say that I absolutely love the new look of your blog. When I check in on you guys I can now read it very easily. We really need a new computer monitor because the color is off on the one we have. I think Todd got it in 1991 so I guess it has served it's time!! :) Anyway, it is so much easier to read your blog now. I had to guess at some things before because of the color of the font. I still can't see all the pictures, but your descriptions help me get the basic idea. :) We DO have "new monitor" on the list of things to buy soon...but which should come first when the stuffing is coming out of the couch??? :)

Happy Birthday to Will!!!! Does that just floor you that he's already five??? Unreal!!!

Fun party ideas! We've only done family parties up to this point, but I'm kicking around the idea of including some friends for Caleb's 6th in October.

Happy 4th! :) Christie in NC

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