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A Four Year Old’s Birthday

October 19, 2009


We love celebrating birthdays around here. I am learning over the years, how to make it a special day, but still keep things as simple as possible. As I juggle our family life, homeschooling, housework and special occasions, it has become more necessary to let go of the idea of a perfectly clean house and flawlessly executed parties. I find that being a little less perfectionistic surprisingly leaves me feeling better when it’s all said and done. I enjoy being able to observe and take part in the joy my children experience on these special days. (When I’m stressed about the house and making things perfect for guests, I end up missing out on some great moments!)

That being said, I thought I would once again share some of my ideas from this year’s little boy birthday party. We settled on a camping theme, so I packed up some knapsacks filled with lunch items and tied them to some sticks from the yard. My husband took the kids on a “hike” outside and they all ended up eating their lunches in a tent in our living room. We thought about doing that outside, but weather didn’t really permit.

We played some pretty standard party games, but the kids really had fun. There was a bean bag toss. And in true frugal fashion, I crafted it from an old striped apron and a big painted coffee can. The other game was a marshmallow roasting game. We used big kitchen spoons and cotton balls and did a relay race to fill up a can with “marshmallows” by the fire. I don’t have a great picture for you, but you’ll get the idea.


The cake was also pretty standard. I did three layers of chocolate cake and used this yummy icing.

I got a couple of these ideas, including the cake, from the Family Fun website. I know I’ve recommended it before, but it’s a great starting point for planning a party. Sometimes you just need a spark of an idea and then you can add your own touches to make it unique. (I also subscribe to their magazine, and have found some really great activities for our family!)

When it was time to go home, I filled the kids’ knapsacks again with the party favors: some glowsticks, chex mix, fruit snacks, gum drops, and pocket warmers, to keep their hands warm on a cold winter day. (I got the handwarmer idea at the last minute from a great post at Crafty Crow about party favors.) They threw their sticks over their shoulders and headed home, tired and happy. (I hope!)
All in all, the birthday boy deemed it a success and although we may never top last year’s party, he really had a great time. And that was the point. Was it not?
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jodi permalink
    October 19, 2009 8:37 am

    That sounds soooo fun!

  2. GrammaMack permalink
    October 19, 2009 9:16 am

    What wonderful ideas! And how wise of you to relax a bit so you could enjoy his enjoyment!

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