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annotated_alice
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05 Sep 2010, 10:16 am

[quote="bjtao"He wants a party but when we have one, he freaks.

[/quote]

This is my sons too. They always insist on a big, elaborate birthday party, and it is always a challenge for them to handle. We are happy to give them the party, because we feel that having a super cool party helps to pave the way for some friendships with their peers (it certainly doesn't hurt). But we do have to really think about each activity, number of guests etc. carefully so that our sons don't end up in meltdown mode. We always make their bedrooms out of bounds (so that they each have a quiet place to retreat to and don't have to worry about anyone touching their things). I run interference with the other kids, so that they can slip away from the party for breaks. We also have a timeline for the party that we follow as closely as possible, so that our sons know what to expect, and we don't usually do the gift opening part in front of the other kids (it is just such a complicated social process fraught with so many emotions, in other words a "recipe for disaster"). The parties are also quite short (2-3 hours), centre around their special interests, with a variety of activities (some quiet, some stimulating) and are quite structured (my guys do not do great with other kids + free time). We have done themes from Harry Potter (my personal fav! Shared special interest with your kids FTW!) to Lego to Star Wars etc. Our budget is always small, but it is amazing how far ideas off the internet, some craftiness and ingenuity take you! This year will probably be a Nintendo themed party.

We have kids talking about our parties years later, and it certainly is cool to see how shared interests and looking forward to the BIG party have solidified a few friendships for them.

Hope your guy has a great day Willaful!



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05 Sep 2010, 5:03 pm

I have often found it frustrating that my son doesn't seem to have a clear idea what he wants, but now I'm thinking I'm lucky. :lol: And I also wonder if I've been misinterpreting his seeming lack of opinion... maybe it's not that he doesn't know what he wants but what he wants is fairly simple/low key/non-traditional/unexpected.


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CockneyRebel
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05 Sep 2010, 5:19 pm

A Super Mario themed party would be a really fun idea to play with. :)


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annotated_alice
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05 Sep 2010, 5:29 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
A Super Mario themed party would be a really fun idea to play with. :)


I know, hey? I can't wait! :)

And Willaful, you made me laugh...because yes, my guys usually have VERY specific ideas and expectations, and it is sometimes pretty challenging to make the "magic" happen, and they also sometimes have a hard time dealing with the things they thought they wanted (although they are getting better at gauging their own limits as they get older). Your guy being low key and wanting something quiet and simple can be a very, very lucky thing! 8)



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09 Sep 2010, 3:05 pm

I have the pizza place organized, which is a weight off my shoulders. It's supposed to be a private area, so hopefully not too loud.

I went browsing through a craft store today, hoping for inspiration, and realized - October birthday - Halloween theme! Easy as pie. I found lots of supplies (could not resist the skull chocolate molds :oops: :lol: - I love making candy) and anything left over can be used for Halloween.

I got a vague idea of doing some kind of fortune telling thing, but it's not at all clear in my mind how to do it. Will have to check out some party book for ideas.

Just had the thought that decorating the cupcakes can be an activity. My son always enjoys that. They can use the chocolate skulls. :D


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PunkyKat
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10 Sep 2010, 12:54 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
A Super Mario themed party would be a really fun idea to play with. :)


Yeah, I wish I could be invited to his birthday party too. Perhaps maybe you could make little cupcakes made up to look like the mushroom that makes Mario get bigger or use those little plastic coins you can find at party stores for decorations or as part of a game.


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annotated_alice
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11 Sep 2010, 9:31 pm

PunkyKat wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
A Super Mario themed party would be a really fun idea to play with. :)


Yeah, I wish I could be invited to his birthday party too. Perhaps maybe you could make little cupcakes made up to look like the mushroom that makes Mario get bigger or use those little plastic coins you can find at party stores for decorations or as part of a game.


I really like the mushroom-decorated cupcake idea! Thanks PunkyKat. :)



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12 Sep 2010, 4:08 am

annotated_alice wrote:
PunkyKat wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
A Super Mario themed party would be a really fun idea to play with. :)


Yeah, I wish I could be invited to his birthday party too. Perhaps maybe you could make little cupcakes made up to look like the mushroom that makes Mario get bigger or use those little plastic coins you can find at party stores for decorations or as part of a game.


I really like the mushroom-decorated cupcake idea! Thanks PunkyKat. :)

You're welcome.


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willaful
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14 Sep 2010, 4:48 pm

You can get mushroom candy tins too, though they're pricey.

Just now:

me: "Would you like to come with me to pick out stuff for your party?"

son: "I don't really care what my party is like, as long as it's fun and age appropriate."

He kills me!


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Pook
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16 Sep 2010, 3:30 pm

May I ask this here...My daugther's kindergtn class must invite all the children which is cool, but I do not know the little girl. Being one of the first parties I don't have a clue what to get and how much to rightfuly spend. Help :wink:



Last edited by Pook on 16 Sep 2010, 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DW_a_mom
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16 Sep 2010, 3:37 pm

Pook wrote:
May I ask this here...My daugther's kindergtn class must invite all the children which is cool, but I do not know the little girl. Being one of the first parties I don't have a clue what to get and how much to rightfuly spend. Help :wink:


Don't worry about what the standard is for how much to get and what to spend. Staying out of that little competition will leave you - and your daughter - much happier.

Spend what you are comfortable spending.

Buy in the way of food and favors what you are comfortable giving.

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. I can maybe give you some craft or game ideas if you let us know what type of theme you are interested in, or what sorts of things your daughter does well with.

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.


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willaful
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16 Sep 2010, 4:00 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:

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.


AMEN!

But I think Pook was talking about going to a party, not giving one? It's always hard to buy gifts for kids you don't know. I'd recommend looking at a craft store or office supply store, they have lots of inexpensive fun stuff that little kids like and aren't necessarily likely to already have. Or can never have too many of, like pretty colored gel pens.


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DW_a_mom
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16 Sep 2010, 4:13 pm

willaful wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:

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.


AMEN!

But I think Pook was talking about going to a party, not giving one? It's always hard to buy gifts for kids you don't know. I'd recommend looking at a craft store or office supply store, they have lots of inexpensive fun stuff that little kids like and aren't necessarily likely to already have. Or can never have too many of, like pretty colored gel pens.


OH, lol, I think you are right! That explains why the post confused me. I'll blame the fact that my life has been insane lately, if that suits anyone.

OK, how much to spend. I can only speak for my area, but it seems to have jumped a little recently from $10-$15 when my kids were younger to $20-$25 currently, but not everyone follows that and no one makes note of those who spend less. Not sure if that is because my kids are older, or just inflation. Crafts are definitely a nice gift, and there is a line of girly crafts that has theme sets anywhere from $10 to $30 each. Anytime you give a gift that is new, makes a comfortable size package, isn't from the clearance bin, and is popular; you've spent enough money. I've noticed with crafts that they may not get the oohs and aahs of a new favorite toy, but they wear really well and you'll often get told by the mom later what a great idea it was. One of my daughter's favorite gifts ever was a scrapbook set, but I think that is better held for 6-9 year olds. Barbies are really popular with 5 year olds (or were, 4 years ago), but often they get duplicates. Books are ALWAYS a nice gift, too. Another one that won't be exciting upon opening, but is likely to pass the test of time.

Get gift receipts and give them to the mom or taped to the back of the card. If the gift is wrong, no one needs to know.


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Pook
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16 Sep 2010, 4:33 pm

Oooops



Last edited by Pook on 16 Sep 2010, 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pook
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16 Sep 2010, 4:33 pm

Yes I was talking about gift giving to a little one I don't know at all. lol But thanks for the other info :wink:

This definetly gives me a place to start as I was about to pull my hair out. I thought about 20$ plus but I didn't know for sure and what I should get for that. I like the gift receit idea and there is a craft store a few minutes down the road. She just got the invite and it is coming up QUick.