We have four birthdays in our family in May and June: My husband, my 3-year-old Evie, my almost 6-year-old Vivi, and myself. When you add in Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and our anniversary the first week of July we’ve been celebrating for almost two months straight. You know who’s exhausted by the end of all that celebrating? Everyone!
So we held a Mega Birthday party last weekend and it was a pressure-free, enjoyable three hours with good friends and family. It really doesn’t take much to entertain kids. Last year for my oldest daughter’s fifth birthday we rented a bounce-house and party space. After the decorations, the cake, the rental, we were out a chunk of change. And that was just one of the four birthdays.
I blame my mom-guilt for that one since we’d just had a baby and I wanted my girl to feel celebrated since I’d been so focused on her sisters. But, you don’t need all that to have a day your family won’t forget.
Here are some things we bought to celebrate:
1. Slip n’ slide: Who doesn’t remember using a slip’n slide as a kid? Super easy to set up and the kids (5 and older) managed themselves well except for the occasional fight for the slide. The littles needed some turn-taking management, but just followed the big girls for the most part. Annie (15 months) enjoyed herself too, even if it was only to drink the water coming out of the spouts. (Amazon, $11.99)
2. Balls & Ball Pit: This ball pit comes with a playpen included, but we used with our pre-purchased Jumpolene. 200 balls was smaller than I thought it would be, but it filled our bounce house and were plenty for what we wanted. It was great for the littles to have some place to be away from the big kids. (Amazon, $27.99)
3. Parachute: This is another childhood favorite for me. I remember feeling such excitement when this was brought out during P.E. or gymnastics. It’s so easy and has so many uses. It was a great way to organize the kids and keep them busy. I’m glad we’ll have this on hand for future playdates, parties, boring afternoons etc… Each kid was delighted when we brought this out.(Amazon, $13.88)
4. Balloons: So, this was my biggest expense for the day. These were also the only decorations I paid for because my friend and I decided to just combine ALL of our leftover decorations from past parties for Mega-birthday. So, I spent nearly $50 on all these balloons. Yikes! I let Vivi and Evie get a $10.00 balloon of their choosing and then followed up with a dozen balloons and a weight. I knew they’d be more expensive at Party City, but I also knew they’d have more selection than the Dollar Store. (Party City, $1.29 +)
5. Squirt guns: I hate providing party favors. It’s just more junk to throw away in my opinion so I try to be very selective on what I send home. These water-guns were given to all the kids that came to our party and they got to take them home. I figured at the very least they’d have fun memories of our party and have a toy they could really use this summer. (Amazon, $17.95)
I’ve talked a lot about the kids and what we did to keep them occupied because that was the treat for us parents. Having them busy allowed us to catch up — just a little bit- with each other. It was nice to find a couple of cards with my name or my husband’s in the present pile. We kind of forgot that we were celebrating ourselves as well until then.
Was mega-birthday successful? Yes, I believe it was. Will we do it again? Yes, I think so. Even though we’re fighting for time against graduations, end of the year parties, baby showers and countless other summer birthdays, it was a fabulous three fun-filled hours to devote to our family.
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Photos by Jennifer Elwood, Katie Bryant, Amazon