Birthday parties are something I have definitely gotten more lax about in my parenting years. Sort of, at least. I can still look back at my oldest son’s 1st birthday party and laugh at how “perfect” I wanted things to be. Granted, there weren’t tons of guests, just close family members. He was also just 1, so it wasn’t like he was going to remember any of it. We had a Winnie the Pooh theme and it was most definitely themed out to the max. From the food to the decorations to the Winnie the Pooh ice cream cake I had lovingly made, I wanted it all to be just right. As I have mentioned, I’ve relaxed my standards a bit and figured out that no one cared too much–except me. Also, we have 5 children who all have springtime birthdays, plus mine thrown in, so I have a little rule about Birthday parties now. Each kid got a family party at 1, a friends party at 5, and now another party at 10. The next one is probably at 16, but thankfully we have a few years to figure that one out. I’ve had all sorts of themes, from Elmo, John Deere, Thomas, and even a Princess Tea Party. The only party we had this year was my oldest son’s 10th birthday bash. He’s very into the outdoors, so he wanted a fishing party with some of his buddies from school and scouts. Fortunately for us, my in-laws have a dairy farm with a pond surrounded by woods, so we were able to have it there. All of our other parties have pretty much been held at our house and none were really expensive. I have a personal pet peeve about kid bashes that are just over the top and involved way more $ than I would have ever spent on a children’s birthday party. Today I just wanted to share a few of the things we did–it was simple, not overly planned, and fairly cheap to pull off.
As you can see, the boys all brought their own poles and sevral brought their own tackle boxes, bait, etc. We also had our fishing gear handy for anyone to use. One other Mom and another one of the Dads stayed to help (they are the adults in the picture).
Instead of hauling down lots of tables to the pond, we sat straw bales around for the boys to sit on.
As far as food, we had a campfire for cooking hot dogs and marshmallows. We also had simple fare to go along with: baked beans cooked in the can on the campfire, chips, watermelon, juice pouches, S’mores.
In lieu of a birthday cake, we made these S’more Bars. They were a big hit with the crew. (Check a previous posting for the recipe!)
There were literally thousands of these tiny frogs hopping everywhere. If you didn’t look closely, one might think they were some kind of insect. My liitle guys kept picking them up and calling them their “babies.” I think several of the “babies” may not have survived their handlers!
We also had a short hike through the woods before dinnertime. All in all, I think the kids had a great time (the adults too). Taking the pressure off myself allowed me to just enjoy the party and being with my son and his friends. Not that it wasn’t any work or planning at all, but I didn’t expect everything to be just so. Therefore, next time you have to throw a kid bash, ease up on the details and you may find yourself (and perhaps your guests?) enjoying it more.