Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Planning a birthday party for a 6 year old

Rosie will be six on Thursday. We've been so busy with other family events, entertaining, work, and friends, that I only sent out invitations today. We'll be having her party in our home, same as last year, and I'm taking some lessons I learned from last year's party to heart:

1. We can host 85 people in our house, but that doesn't mean we should.
2. When you have 20 kids in your house under five, you really ought to have structure and planned activites.
3. If you have art as an activity, you need to protect your floors and furniture (and use washable paints)
4. Ask for help. While you're hosting/hostessing, helpers can assist with photography (I love the pics one dad took last year!), helping kids with activites, setting up materials, or keeping track of your own kids (for example, we don't want the birthday girl or boy in tears).
5. Don't let the goody bags get out of hand. One or two items inside is really plenty. I like a mini-notepad and a couple crayons.

This year I'm planning to have a theme (November's all about themes, eh?): Art Party! Rosie fancies herself an artist, and there are plenty of six-year-old friendly activities to set up for art. Here's a few I'm thinking will work.

I'll set up 4 or 5 stations for fingerpainting, chalkboard, clay or playdoh, watercolor (Rosie's favorite!) and then down in the basement, silhouettes! I'm totally excited about this last one! We'll move the screen out of the way and tack paper up on the wall, then I (or a helper) can trace the outline of the child's shadow & then we'll let them fill in the shape. Oh, and cupcake decorating, natch. With prizes for creativity!

If you all have some ideas, post them in the comments. I'd really appreciate your input.

UPDATE: For those of you who are looking for very cheap things to put in goody bags, I just found these $0.60 books of stickers on sale at Dover! There are several other books for the same price; poking around their site is worth it.


  1. Um, where are we going to move the screen TO?

    Why don't we just move the sofa around and use that blank wall?

  2. You are brave. I've scaled kids' birthday parties back. Way back. We now have one party for both kids (their bdays are 3 weeks apart). This year their party was at a park. I ordered pizza, brought soda & beer and had a cake made. For goody bags I gave a tiny lego toy, I could afford that since I kept everything else low key. And in my case, since I was having 2 parties at the same time it was cost effective!

    But back to you :) I love the idea of an artist party. Maybe they can make cards leave them there and Rosie can use them as thank you notes back to the artist? That way kids get their art but parents don't have to take home wet stuff. Check the Target $1 bins for cute artist stuff, I swear I just saw little packs of markers and things you could break apart. OR! maybe they could all paint a 4x6 frame and then you can take a picture of all the kids together (or Rosie with each of the party guests separately), use the picture as a postcard to write thank you notes. Then the kid can put their thank you postcard into the frame they made.

  3. Monkey, by "sofa" do you mean move the projector and leave the screen as is? Yeah, that screen is huge! There aren't too many places it could go.

    Catherine! I love your ideas! Especially the making cards ones. Brilliant, and I will totally add that to the program.

  4. No, I mean dismantle the sofa and rotate it so that you can access the wall the sofa is in front of.

  5. Yay! Happy Birthday to Rosie!

    The party sounds like big fun. And, the suggestions of cards and picture frames by catherine sounds like a real winner.

    We'll probably clump together 3 birthdays in one what with the twins and Gab all sharing January birthdays. Ugh, my stomach just turned a flip thinking about it.

  6. That picture of Rosie is SO. CUTE.

    The stickers are a great idea!


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