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Aspie1
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16 Sep 2010, 8:22 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
Find a party location that will allow your daughter to comfortably get away from the noise and chaos if she has to. An outdoor park works really well for that. Have a few organized games but, mostly, let the kids play in the park. Balloons, fresh fruit, milk or Danimals, water, crackers, and cake should be fine.
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Avoid anything with winners, losers, or rules that can be modified mid-game. I'd avoid the pinata, too. All those are things I've seen conflicts with, and kids in tears.

The outdoor park has an important caveat: bees! Or wasps, hornets, and other stinging insects. They act in very unpredictable ways, fly around food, and most importantly, sting. All these things can be annoying to NTs and downright frightening for aspies, which can, obviously, completely ruin the party for birthday child. Have some protective measures in place to keep the bees away, such as ultrasound noisemakers (people can't hear them, but insects can), a repellent worn by all children, or insects traps that lure them away from food. Or schedule the party during the evenings hours, when bees stop being active, just remember that it might start getting dark by then. (By the way, dusk is the best time for playing hide and seek in the woods.)

I concur with DW_a_mom: no pinatas. The stronger kids usually grab the best, if not all, candy, leaving the weaker kids in tears. It might actually be not a bad idea to have the party in the park on a rainy day (if there are no thunderstorms). Set up the food tables under a shelter, and let the kids put on swimsuits and run around in the rain. The kids might get a kick out of it, and the adults can enjoy an uncrowded park. Best part? No insects flying around.



willaful
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16 Sep 2010, 8:33 pm

My friend who has two kids on the spectrum just threw a birthday party w/a pinata - she had extra candy set aside for the kids who didn't score. The voice of experience! She also usually choose a kind where you pull ribbons instead of whacking, an excellent innovation. I still prefer to avoid them entirely and luckily my son is okay with that.


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DW_a_mom
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17 Sep 2010, 1:46 pm

willaful wrote:
My friend who has two kids on the spectrum just threw a birthday party w/a pinata - she had extra candy set aside for the kids who didn't score. The voice of experience! She also usually choose a kind where you pull ribbons instead of whacking, an excellent innovation. I still prefer to avoid them entirely and luckily my son is okay with that.


Went through all those precautions. My daughter (NT, we think) still cried.

My AS son loved whacking the thing. Did hold aside candy to even things out later.

I guess you really have to know the kids. Just ... if I had it to do over, I probably would never have had one at any of my daughter's parties, and maybe none of my son's. She always wanted it because he had alwasy had it, but all those years of thinking we solved it and still having her cry ... not worth it.

Aspie1, never thought about the bugs. My kids both love buys, lol!


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angelbear
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17 Sep 2010, 3:24 pm

So far I guess I am lucky, my son doesn't care about his party at all as long as there is cake and ice cream, he's good! LOL! The good thing is that his b-day is 4th of July, so we always sort of have a built in theme!



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19 Sep 2010, 7:01 pm

I had a 5th birthday party for my son (dx with PDD-NOS).

I kept the guest list small. I informed the parents of the invited kids that this was NOT a "drop of your kids and pick them up later" party, - that the parent(s) or adult guardian was to attend as well.

I hired my son's regular Behavioural Interventionist to assist. She was great. Not only did she help with the crafts and games (with all the kids), she cleverly incorporated social skill learning for my son. She also helped with clean up - again, incorporating language and life skills for my son.

I had a variety of food. Sandwiches, veggie and fruit trays and chinese food (rice, chicken and vegetables). I offered juice, soda or water. Coffee/tea for grownups and, of course, the cake. The variety of food meant that there was something that everyone could enjoy.

I had some simple crafts - rock painting, cutting, colouring books, and stamps.

I had a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey variation game. It was "pin the arm on the octopus" - everybody was a winner!!

I also had a little fishing game. I made some paper fish with a nickel glued on for the fishes' "eye". I put all these paper fish into a large box lined with blue paper and covered with more blue paper. I had a fishing rod with a magnet instead of a hook. The kids "fished" and retrieved a paper fish and then got a prize.

The party was pretty successful - I posted about it on wrongplanet about 4 months ago or so.



willaful
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20 Sep 2010, 7:16 pm

I just thought of a new tip:

My son asked for a "magic scratch" activity at his party. (He did this at another birthday party and really liked it.) I was debating between an assortment of different Halloween shapes and all pumpkins. I've decided on the pumpkins so I don't have to listen to a bunch of kids screaming about which shape they want or worry they'll all want the ghost and we'll run out. I'm so proud. :lol:


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willaful
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11 Oct 2010, 7:12 pm

So, I think the party went really well. Even the last minute discovery of an unsuspected GFCG kid was okay - luckily my GF friend had brought an extra cupcake.

I still just about had a nervous breakdown though. I think the real issue for me was the toddlers. Toddlers are delightful, but can be very hard to deal with en masse. I'm trying to decide now if all the little kids we know now will be old enough for me to risk another party next year or if I should just boycott until they're all in kindergarten. Only half joking.


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DW_a_mom
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12 Oct 2010, 11:31 am

I'm glad he had a great birthday!


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number5
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12 Oct 2010, 12:35 pm

I could use a little help, too. My son knows exactly what kind of party he wants - lego. The problem is that most of his friends are girls. He gravitates towards more gentle children (most often girls) because aggressiveness scares him, but he still likes typical boy stuff like superheroes and his obsession, legos. None of the girls he plays with like legos and even if they did, they're probably too young to enjoy the legos my son likes (he's 5 but plays with the 9+ sets). He doesn't care if anyone at his party likes legos or not (we've talked about it) and he won't change his mind about what kind of party he'd like. I could persuade him to have a different kind of party without much fuss, but then he'd be sad. It is his birthday afterall, but I also don't want to risk his emerging friendships by throwing a lame party by other's standards. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!



willaful
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12 Oct 2010, 1:26 pm

number5 wrote:
I could use a little help, too. My son knows exactly what kind of party he wants - lego. The problem is that most of his friends are girls. He gravitates towards more gentle children (most often girls) because aggressiveness scares him, but he still likes typical boy stuff like superheroes and his obsession, legos. None of the girls he plays with like legos and even if they did, they're probably too young to enjoy the legos my son likes (he's 5 but plays with the 9+ sets). He doesn't care if anyone at his party likes legos or not (we've talked about it) and he won't change his mind about what kind of party he'd like. I could persuade him to have a different kind of party without much fuss, but then he'd be sad. It is his birthday afterall, but I also don't want to risk his emerging friendships by throwing a lame party by other's standards. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


I think you might be able to work out a compromise that would satisfy him but make the party more friendly for the other kids. Lego stuff is particularly ubiquitous, I bet you could find or invent some activities that would work for the other kids. They sell Lego shaped candy on Amazon, I know, and all sort of unexpected things at the Lego stores. There could be a building table for him and lego related stuff around. (If the other kids aren't too young to make it dangerous for them.)

Also, I don't think you have to worry too much about five year olds finding the party lame, unless you live in one of those crazy places where everyone spends a million dollars on clowns and pony rides, etc. Most little kids are pretty happy with some crafts and sweets.


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Last edited by willaful on 12 Oct 2010, 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

willaful
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12 Oct 2010, 1:34 pm

Lego party ideas, various ages: http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/html/lego.html

Lego birthday party kit: http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.as ... 998&cn=233

Block candy: http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/candy_blox/

Just a few things I found googling, there's a ton more.


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momsparky
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12 Oct 2010, 2:33 pm

number5 wrote:
None of the girls he plays with like legos and even if they did, they're probably too young to enjoy the legos my son likes (he's 5 but plays with the 9+ sets).


9+ girls often love Harry Potter - of which there is a whole Lego world. Also, there is a relatively new series called "Lego Castle" that has stuff like horses and knights and princesses that girls could relate to. Unfortunately, none of these sets are cheap - but if you mixed in the girly-er Legos with the ones he likes, it might work itself out.

Plus, legos can be made into baking craft projects that might appeal to girls (your son can play on his own while they're doing this if he isn't into crafts) Give them slabs of cake (or twinkies) and mini marshmallows. Using a tube of frosting Stick the marshmallows on to the cake in rows with the frosting. Put "lego cakes" on a cookie rack over a pan to catch the mess. Pour glaze (mix confectioners' sugar, food color, and a little milk to the consistency you want) over until the whole thing is covered. Wait until it dries a bit and serve.



willaful
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12 Oct 2010, 4:01 pm

momsparky wrote:
Plus, legos can be made into baking craft projects that might appeal to girls (your son can play on his own while they're doing this if he isn't into crafts) Give them slabs of cake (or twinkies) and mini marshmallows. Using a tube of frosting Stick the marshmallows on to the cake in rows with the frosting. Put "lego cakes" on a cookie rack over a pan to catch the mess. Pour glaze (mix confectioners' sugar, food color, and a little milk to the consistency you want) over until the whole thing is covered. Wait until it dries a bit and serve.


Food crafts are fun - kids often play with their food more than they eat it, anyway. For the Halloween themed party, I made individual bags with chocolate skulls and eyeballs and gummi worms so they could decorate their cupcakes. It was very popular. I worried that the parents might find it too many sweets but a lot of the decor didn't even get eaten, just played with.


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DW_a_mom
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12 Oct 2010, 4:54 pm

Girls like legos. Just not at the same level as the boys. And maybe not the battle and car themes ...

I'm sure you can find a compromise.


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number5
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12 Oct 2010, 4:57 pm

I should have been more specific. He wants a lego party at the lego store - his favorite place in life. They do offer parties, but the ones we've seen have been all boys and mostly 8 and 9 year olds (we've seen several in action since we practically live there). He wants to invite mostly girls who are all 5 or 6, so not quite the Harry Potter crowd. I'm a decent baker and planned on making lego cupcakes for the kids to eat at the food court, but I just don't think young girls would have fun at a lego store party, but who knows - maybe I'm overthinking it. Thanks a bunch for the ideas anyway!