May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Back to Basics: Inventive Birthday Party Ideas

It is noticeable that frequently listed on Teaneck Shuls are those searching for ideas to make their children creative birthday parties. It is with that in mind that I might offer the following suggestions!

Not exactly sure why parties have in some cases become extravaganzas! I still recall my amazement when a person posted on the subject line of the posting URGENT. What was the dire problem? The entertainment for a one-year-old’s birthday party had canceled at the last minute. My first reaction was just stick the pacifier back into his mouth. A one-year-old’s party needs entertainment? Let the baby stick his face into his birthday cake or probably more appropriately cupcake, and have a ball. That is a great “picture” moment.

However, that is not a creative suggestion. First point that I feel we need to ask ourselves is who is the party really for? If it is truly for the child then let’s put ourselves out a drop and make an old-fashioned birthday party implementing our own entertainment. I believe that birthday parties should be for the children—what would they like? Parties should take place at home. How special would it be for children to see their parents present themselves as the party planners and the party givers! No ice cream trucks, no Chuck E. Cheese’s parties, no outside entertainment. Magicians? Why?

Let’s get it together and do it ourselves as parents or brothers and sisters. Birthday cake, birthday hats, horns to blow at each other’s faces, and loot bags with candy and maybe a small trinket—crayons and a pad. Kids like those things. Whatever happened to a scavenger hunt around the house? Where is good old “pin the tail on the donkey”? There never used to be a party where the donkey wasn’t present. I think it is time to bring him back. What a great idea for a girl’s party—to make a purchase at a bead store that would allow the girls to sit around the table and make themselves necklaces or bracelets. Boys can make themselves balls out of rubber bands. Plain, simple fun organized by and run by the family. No counselors. No entertainers. No trips to the batting range. This area has so many parks. What a great way to celebrate and bring everyone to the park and have them play relay races together. Treats can be brought as well. The entire mess, if some are trying to avoid it, can be done in the park.

It cannot be that everyone can afford to make extravaganza birthday parties for their children. It has to put tremendous pressure on parents and unnecessary expectations in the minds of children as to what a party should be. It should be simple and they should be the star attraction. Everything should be directed at making the child feel special. He sits at the head of the table—he gets the first of everything and the entire day is his special one to relish. He really does not care what color the paper plates are and if they match. He could not care less if they are square, round, plastic or paper. Breakfast that day is his choice because he is the king. Waffles, pancakes, whatever his heart desires. Balloons over the walls of the house—excitement should be everywhere. A child can be made to feel regal without breaking the bank. Always remembering that the party is for the child—not the grandparents, not the aunts and uncles; other children in the family will have their turn. Make it simple but make him or her relish the amount of time that is being spent solely on him. It does not cost money to shower a person with love and attention. Enjoy the party together with your children and feel confident that you did the right thing!

By Nina Glick

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