Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Soaring into Seven

KJ started his big day with some birthday Kolaches and opening a fun present- his scooter!

But the real fun was still to come.
For his birthday party, KJ:
1 - LOVED that school was "cancelled" on his big day and wanted to have a party on Memorial day
2 - Requested that he be able to invite his entire class plus a few other of his favorites.
3 - Wanted to have icecream sundaes with "lots of topping choices"
4 - Wanted to have a contest flying paper airplanes

This seriously was the best/easiest birthday party ever.  I did stay up super late the night before (with sweet RRL) taking care of some details that didn't get started until too late (translation: I had done NOTHING for this party before 9pm on birthday eve), but the party itself was so simple.  And because it was seriously the EASIEST party, it made it the most fun EVER for the hosts.  I'd hate to keep such fun to ourselves, so momma friends take note- here's an easy recipe for birthday party success:

1) Choose a park location with a field or tennis court for your run-ways and pavilion for eating.  Call me lazy, but it is like 100000000 times easier for me to not have to clean and prepare my home for a party.  Plus, if you find the right park - it is FREE!  AND BONUS- icecream on the ground at the park = food for animals (but icecream on my floors = not so fun times cleaning up).

2) We had the icecream sundaes (technically custard sundaes) catered thanks to a genius idea from RRL.  The verdict is still out as to whether this was actually $ cheaper than buying all of the icecream, toppings, papergoods, etc ourselves.  But I can guarantee you that not having to do any food prep or cleanup, not having to keep icecream cold, making exactly zero trips to the grocery store (other than water bottles that RRL picked up), and doing zero food serving at the party = totally worth it.

3) We found an ap for our printer that would print out plane designs with instructions for non-creative types.  We also found a few simple paper-plane-making-instruction pages via google to print and tape down on the tables as decoration.

4) We took a bunch of paper, crayons, colored tape, scissors, glue sticks that we already have in our kids' craft area in a couple of plastic bins.

5) We spent like 30 minutes just letting the kids "create" as many planes as they wanted.  We asked parents to get involved, working with their kids to make and decorate the planes.  This made for some fun family time for our friends and also took all the pressure off of RRL and I to be solo-entertainers.

6) We enlisted help some AMAZING help from two of our favorite 8th graders!!  They wiped hands, helped set-up and clean-up, ran the competition, awarded prizes for the flying contestants and generally just were their fun kid-entertaining-selves!  I loved the creative awards they came up with to ensure that every kid won something (this was how we gave out party favors). Mind you, there were 20+ kids so this was no small task for these AWESOME teens.  If you ignore every single other part of this post- do not plan another party without fully implementing this strategy of enlisting younger/cooler people to help.

7) Because we invited so many friends, KJ certainly did not "need" to receive that many toys as gifts.  So we worked together to come up with a solution that fit with the theme.  His friends all brought him paper to help donate to his school.  He loved getting to take it and give it to his principal. 

as a quick aside: She said she'd never, in all her years of working in schools, seen anything like this.  It made me incredibly thankful for the church family that we are part of that cultivates giving.  We have learned so much from our teachers and leaders there as well as our friends who model for us how to turn just about anything into a lesson of giving.  We are so blessed!!

See!  Seven easy steps to fun, right?
And a huge hit with our seven-year-old!
This would make an awesome block-party or just summer family activity, too.




Tara said...

Totally copying this one! How fun and simple. Thanks for sharing:)!

Jessica said...

You are a genius. :)