Kid Birthday Party Ideas for Mum & Dad

What about ideas in general. Does any of this sound familiar:

“What price an idea?”, the wise woman once said.

“An idea , an idea , my kingdom for an Idea”.

“What idea through yonder window breaks”.

We may be playing with the classics, but the sentiments echo loudly: one little idea is worth gold.

Sitting back after the event is when the value of one brilliant idea comes to fruition. One small spark of inspiration, a dash of creativity and look what you’ve got: smiles all round and a heap of great memories.

How does that happen? Where do they come from these birthday ideas?

They are all around in the media, online, in families retelling their stories, old men reliving the “glory days”, playgrounds all around the globe and anywhere people gather to just be with each other. A careful eye and note pad will go a long way to gathering the best birthday idea for you.

The trick is to have pleanty to begin with! Before you can even get ideas you have to put aside time to let your brain know that you are in idea-generation mode.

A word of caution: Beware of the voice of negativity that will scream down from a height and attempt to pooh-pooh the whole affair. These people may come from unexpected places, family, friends even the bathroom mirror! Learning to live with these “ideas” about your ideas is not easy. Recognize them for what they are, little annoying flies sent to distract us, and power on. The following thought path might help you realize when you are moving through some negativity. Each step is part of the process. Traveling through them is all that’s needed. Some will plod and others will fly.

Child Birthday Party Idea - The early Years 1-5

A child birthday party idea. What joy. Watching a child experiencing their first birthday is the stuff that melts hearts. A party where all are involved can be a wonderful time. Candles, cakes, costumes are only the beginning. Here is a chance to set a precedent. Maybe a family tradition, or even opportunity for a gathering for reasons other than the child’s birthday. Saying thanks to all those that have been part of the child’s life!

The chances for disappointment from the parents is also there.Be careful. The planets may collide. Here we have those who have had birthdays — who know how birthdays should be — up against those who really have NO EXPECTATION whatsoever.

In fact, for this age group its quite tricky to get the mix right. In all ways they are developing ever so quickly and the whole focus on them is at its highest (perhaps in their whole life) — me, Me, MEEEE!! Added to this is the pressure created by family, money spent, doing too much, poor planning and burnt martyr syndrome: where a well meaning and most likely over controlling relative works themselves into exhaustion making everything perfect.

But what about the kids?
The younger the child the more overwhelming it can be — for both parents and the child. Hey, they’ve never had one before. It can be a bit daunting. Picture the 1yr old taken away from Mum shoved in front of a burning piece of food with a hoard of people — many they don’t know — screaming a song at the top of their lungs. A recipe for tears. Or how about the savvy 4 yr old, worldly wise, has been to other parties and knows what she wants, and can tear the wrapping of a Bratz Doll in 5 seconds flat.

Cool Stuff - The Middle Years 6-10

Or maybe it’s…big kid birthday party idea + busy parents + growing up child = ????

This set of ages throws up its own challenges when it comes to celebrating a birthday party. Different but no less difficult. If the young child experiencing their first birthday is the stuff that melts hearts — for the older kids its a way of strengthening social connection, belonging to a “pre-peer” peer group and gathering in presents.

The overriding concern for this bunch is that they are no long a “child”, they are now out in the world at school working it all out. A time where everything is possible and nothing MUST get in the way. The influences that were present with the young child [link] are now transformed into a new batch of parental woes and wonders. No less rewarding but new ground to cover.

What about the parents?
No, not the other kids parent’s or carers, YOUR kids’ parents…er… YOU!
Barreling headlong into the worlds best kid birthday party idea for 9 year olds had my Father speechless as I sulked through the day. For my ninth birthday he had a VW Kombi tray-top spray painted with “Happy Birthday Neal” in stand out colours one of which was pink. My twenty school buddies piled in and had a ball at the forest park we visited, but I spent the day alone sobbing from all the attention driving through the city gave me.

How such a loving gesture could be twisted must have really hurt dear ol’ Dad. He assumed it would be cool. My lasting memories of the that time are of two regrets: one for not saying “Thanks” and two, for not having a picture to show my daughter.

Something to think about
When looking for a winning bigger kid birthday party idea here are a few things to ponder..
Parents involved not pedestrian: sets an example and strengthens family bonds BUT know when enough is enough and Dad is no longer required. Lock for eye rolls and sighs.

Etiquette: keep on top of who’s who in the zoo. Friendships wane and former strangers are now best friends. Tricky when inviting kids whose party you’ve been to but have now fallen out with your darling.

Cool-o-mo-meter Make sure your is well tuned during this time.

Milestones Remembered- how, who and when

Timing: Big picture look at what’s going on around your part of the world and what’s current )those Nemo Party’s were a hit in 2004 keep it fresh. Look around for piggy back opportunities: “hey kids, there’s a cool dinosaur show on at the library they have a party room and we can make dinosaur droppings!” Great kid birthday party idea that one !

Party Like... Whatever! - Teenage Years 11-18

A teen birthday party idea, is for some the stuff of nightmares. Our clients / guests are people like you who have often stepped in it before realizing its too late. The last thing a family with teenagers needs is more tension and drama. It’s a real good time to share responsibility and perhaps encourage them to assist with the planning set up and delivery. They will be learning a fabulous life skill and It will look great on their resume as things they have done. It shows initiative and maturity– after all isn’t that what they have been saying all along? That they have grown up! Let them do it.

Of course, there is a difference between what they are able to handle during the years in this age block but having them involved for THEM and their buddies is a massive achievement.

Once the birthday idea is agreed on get them invloved. Small steps at first. It can start with things like choosing music or food. Help with the birthday theme may be a bit tricky but they can have a go. The wonder of going out for dinner at a fancy restaurant may be grown up and the lure of an overnight camp-out to go kangaroo chasing at dawn in the rainforest might be one way to kick off that love of photography.

With teens it’s more about an experience than a standard birthday party idea. That means the sky is the limit as far as ideas go. Look around, share the load, be incredibly clever and resourceful and tap into new life experiences that will be recalled in years to come as part of my glorious teenage years. A cool teen birthday party idea can do that for you.

Hormones might ague against this.

Add with the teen party experience the elements of mystery, suspense and drama [LINK] and you have a force that can harness the unbridled enthusiasm of the teenage years. Something as simple as a PJ night to watch teen daughter’s favorite TV show /DVD. Simple but great teen birthday idea.

Concepts to embrace
Cool – they are, YOU are not. But you are the holder of the gold ($) and therefore you make the rules.

Choice: their choice vs resentment

Where is the focus: it can get out of hand. Not a good birthday idea.

What do you get out of it: You , the family and the teen must all win.

Negotiation as an option: Forego a party for a special trip / item etc

Cost contribution if they put in XYZ you’ll match it /double it. Work with them.

Hype and its associated faces. These can be part of the teen birthday party idea, they can also summon dissaster.

Gift selection: Branding and style have made it difficult for parents.

Extravagance vs style: Cost without cool is not what’s needed. The reverse is true.

Research your teen: As there tastes develop the stuff they share with you may not always be forthcoming. Probe discreetly

Expectation minefield: Step carefully.

Peer Pressure: can be seen in things like gate crashing, alcohol misuse, drugs, sex, loud music etc and that’s from the kids. Adults exert their own kind of pressure at times too, don’t they Mr. and Mrs. Jones.?

Share the supervisory load: pot luck dinner, bring a plate

A word on Family attending: think about it first. How extended is the family? How well do people get on? Can we have a dinner at one time and the party experience at another.

Who to thank By thinking through a few of these things can reduce stress, and make for an enjoyable, memorable time for everyone. Once you choose the best kids birthday party idea for your celebration get stuck into the planning quickly.

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