As I think about how to celebrate my daughter’s upcoming birthday, I remembered a party we recently attended that stood out for many reasons, but mainly because it was a simple, fun-filled event at a local park. The invitation read:
“Please come to our mystery party!
How did these guys get to be five already? It’s a mystery to us!
Join us for some clever clue-sleuthing fun and games in G Park to celebrate the birthdays of E and G. Pizza and light lunch served – and cake, of course. Siblings are welcome, too.
In lieu of gifts, let’s have a book exchange. Please bring one new wrapped book. Each family will be able to take a book home.”
There are three elements I love about this party and will plan to use in one of my future birthday bashes:
- Joint Birthday Party – If your little one happens to have a friend/classmate with a similar birthdate, how nice would it be to share in the festivities (as well as the party planning and execution). A joint birthday party can teach a toddler the invaluable lesson that life is not always about me, me, me.
- Mystery Party – Although this particular party was a full-blown mystery-themed bash with clues and all, I love the idea of a real mystery party, where the theme/activities/food are all a mystery, until your guests show up. This means, one could send out the invitations a month in advance, call it a “mystery party,” and not have a thing planned until the week of. I LOVE it! This is the perfect solution for any busy parent or procrastinator at heart.
- Book Exchange – I love giving and receiving books. The way the book exchange works at a birthday party is, each guest brings a new book wrapped as a birthday gift. The books get numbered and placed into a basket as guests arrive. As the party comes to an end and guests prepare to leave, you have each child pick a number out of a hat, and he/she gets to take that numbered book home. Isn’t that the best party favor ever?
If you have any other practical and fun ideas for children’s birthday parties, please share. I always have these elaborate visions of hosting beautiful themed parties where everything is perfectly planned and executed, but let’s face it . . . who has the time?