Birthday Party

What is in a Birthday Party?

A Birthday is a day that is celebrated on the anniversary of the person's birth. Why do we celebrate and have a Party? Birthday parties first came into known existence Europe. It was thought that evil spirits were attracted to people on their birthday, so by having a party, people would bring them good wishes to keep them away.

So how do we celebrate someone's birthday? We throw a birthday party and ask the person's friends and family to celebrate with us. We decorate our "party zone" with happy colors and some times even a fun theme. Birthday party usually has games and some type of entertainment for the party goers. We fix the Birthday persons favorite meal, and have a birthday cake with candles on each for the person to blow out. Each candle is supposed to symbolize good luck for every year past, plus one for good luck. We give gifts to them in the form of something that they really want or need. And of course, most importantly we treat the person special, such as not having the birthday person do any chores on their day, or maybe taking them somewhere special.

According to studies, 95 percent of children 10 and under, had some type of celebration or a Birthday Party.

66 percent had their Birthday Party in their own home, while 12 percent held their party elsewhere.

Another study shows that even surprise parties are wonderful, a whopping 89 percent of birthday kids wanted to be in on the party planning and preparation. Getting their cooperation promotes helpfulness too. They are learning to work with the family to make things fun or better. You will find that by allowing them to take an active part in all the families party planning they will be more motivated to be helpful in other areas too. Let them give ideas about the theme, the location, who is on the guest list, and choose some of their favorite games.

Most children are computer savvy, so we let our children create their own invitations to give out. Children can fill the gift bags, blow up the balloons, hang the streamers and decorate. Our children also plan the menu and cook some of the food. We even have a special Birthday Cake Recipe that is fun and easy for kids to make themselves.

If you are letting your child plan with you, it is your part to help them keep it manageable. It's tempting to invite the entire class, but most likely you will have a better party if it is more controlled. There is an old rule of thumb that seems to work in every case I have used it. Invite the same number of guests as your child's age. However on average children's birthday parties usually include eight other children. Ever noticed that Invitations are packaged with 8 cards? We always buy that extra pack to give to the last someone we might have neglected to add, and one card (or more) to use in our scrapbook.

What is a Theme Birthday party, and are they more fun?

According to research, approximately 75 percent of kids' parties have a theme. The most popular in past years have been Disney, Barbie, Batman, Dinosaurs, Rugrats, Pokemon, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Nemo, SpongeBob, Pirates, Sports, and Princesses. Many simply use birthday printable supplies made from home, with the birthday kids favorite character, activity, or hobby.

Other great birthday party themes include having a "Retro" theme from the 50's, '60s or '70s. All ages enjoy dressing up, and kids really get a kick out of wearing our old smiley faces and tie-dyed clothes from the attic. You can find downloadable Retro music on the net for free in most cases.

You can find the most popular themes in discount, party or toy stores. They will have all the supplies needed for each theme. Many include themed games, gift bags and goodies, balloons, table settings with napkins, plates and cups, and even stickers, and gift wrap.

You have to keep party goers busy and having fun.

We suggest games. The old standby favorites might include Pin the tail on the Donkey. However if you are having a princess party, you can pin the crown on the princess. Or a sports party you could pin the football on the player, or bat in the hand, etc.

If the weather permits, have your party outside. Backyard parties are great in the summer, and opens lots of options for the day. Scavenger hunts and sack or relay races, Limbo, and pinatas , pool parties, and balloon fights, seem to be the most favorite. However, when having an outdoor party, you must have a plan B just in case of inclimate weather or the freak rain shower. You cannot play the same games inside as outside, so think it through first, before the wash out occurs.

It has been a growing trend the last ten years to have a party away from home.

In these cases you will see that most places have special rooms set up just for the party members. The most popular of these destinations include skating rinks, local theme parks, recreation centers, swimming pools, and movie theaters. Around the age of 12, my son's favorite party was (and continued for the next few years) was laser tag and the Sports Center for kids. It is a huge entertainment complex with every game you can think of, a party room, and different package deals for the party goers.

How long should your party be?

One hour is more than enough time for a toddler or pre-school party. For older children two to three hours is recommended.

For those parents who have been asked for the Sleep Over party, be ready for the challenge. 92 percent of sleep over parties are pre-teen girls, and 21 percent of boys have had one campout party. First problem to face is usually that one child which gets homesick and needs the midnight ride or call home. Try to insure that each child invited has their special "blankie" or sleeping buddy so they feel secure. It never helps to ask ahead of time if there has been the occasion that the child needed an early pickup and plan accordingly.

Regardless if there is a party or not, the true reason for the day is to make the birthday person feel special. Make sure you take some pictures to record their growth. Put a few in their photo album along with a card and some memorabilia of the day they were born. There have been a few years, one child or the other has not been able to have a Birthday Party, so on those days we make them a keepsake reminder for them. We have their favorite meal and allow them to make their own cake if they wish. We make hand made cards if the money is tight, and they seem to like those better in the long run. It shows them we care enough to make it instead of buying one.

My children have learned that after each Birthday Party, they are to sit down with me and write a Thank You card to each guest. This is Birthday Party etiquette and expected. It helps to build Social Skills in the children. I always have them include a small note about what they have done with their gift since getting it. It shows they are thankful for it and enjoy it too. At that time we try to send each child a copy of a picture they were in. Most add them to their photo albums too.

This article is about the most common Birthday Party ideas. Watch for our uncommon fun ideas in the next article, and check out the great ideas in the Birthday Party Themes Book.

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