Do you dread receiving invites for kids’ birthday parties? And then do you dread going to these parties? Young children have the attention span of a spoon. And slightly older kids are too cool to be entertained by the usual shenanigans that kept our generation entertained. And don’t even get me started on how bored the mummies and papas are at these do’s. Putting up a (fake) smile to be sociable, just because your kid is friends with that kid. Then comes the dilemma when your kid’s birthday arrives – how can I not be that boring party thrower mom? How can I throw the best birthday party ever and be the COOL MOM?
Well, I racked my brains on this one when it came to babyT’s birthday party and I think I did a fairly ok job of making the kids happy. That meant mommies and papas were happy. I was on my way to winning my cool mom badge & T-shirt. Excited by the prospect of birthday parties winning me invisible laurels in my own and other kid’s eyes I thought of 5 ways to throw the best birthday party.
Let the playground be your party
Kids love slides, swings, ball pits, bouncy castles and ride on’s. Older kids love air hockey, table foosball or even basketball. Now put these fun elements into your party. Such a win and totally doable.
For babyT’s 2nd birthday party we asked our hall decorator to arrange a slide, trampoline and a see-saw. All the kids did not leave that section. The accompanying parents got to relish the exquisite lunch menu we had on offer.
Further research also pointed me to a cool Mumbai based company called Chandamama World which provides kids play zones and toys on rent for parties or playdates. Here is one such party we were invited to where Chandamama World had set up the play zone.
When I heard about this unique company, my eyes almost popped out in excitement – what could be cooler than creating your own play area. You may be having your kid’s birthday party in your home’s living room or garden or in a hall that you’ve rented – making a unique play area would be the coolest thing ever. I mean some of the set-ups they’ve put up are just spellbinding. Looky here…
The party that allows kids to stay up, way past bed-time
Kids love nothing more than that one cheat day where they get to frolic around in their pyjamas and jump around the bed and basically not be asked to fall ASLEEP. So, plan some slumber parties.
This is great for a small set of close friends of the kids. Invite them to dinner and then some pillow fights, storytelling and camping in the teepee under fairy lights as they dream of make-believe lands and fairies and superheroes.
This may require some real guts on your part to manage a bunch of squealy, giggly, whispering kids, but the smile on their faces will make it all worthwhile
Eat all the junk you want parties
What’s a kids party where they cannot eat naughty cheat meals? Food that you plan for the party can make all the difference to your cool mom quotient. Enter burgers – fries – cool looking drinks. Sounds like my idea of the best birthday party.
But wait before you write me off as that bad mom who gives kids really unhealthy stuff… let me assure you my intentions are far from it. Here’s my version of the burger – Veggie patties with lots of greens and beets and some dal, grilled or baked. Tomatoes, lettuce leaves & cucumbers to tower in a whole wheat bun. Swap store-bought tomato sauce for some homemade tomato salsa. Kids win, mom wins more.
Fries? How about waving a magic wand and making them turn into sweet potato bakes instead. They taste super yummy and kids love them because they are on the sweeter side.
And how about a smoothie station where you let kids pick their own combination of fruits and nuts/ granola and then whizz this up in a blender to make a custom-made smoothie. I would even go one step ahead and say make it a soya or almond milk smoothie for that added protein punch & to keep kids with allergies happy. (BabyT himself has a dairy allergy & I am more sensitive to serving allergy free stuff to children now.)
Warning – this may take some fair bit of patience and elbow grease on your part. But I am sure one of your mom friends would love the idea of lending a hand and helping out.
Make your own pizza party
Have a bunch of lil chefs around? Indulge them and let them make their own party food.
Make (or buy) whole wheat pizza base. Layout a range of fun, colourful and healthy toppings. Make sure you have loads of grated cheese too.
Let the kids pick a base, slather on some homemade tomato sauce and then add toppings are per their liking. Then let an adult take over.
Grill this for a few minutes on a hot pan (tava) on the gas with a cover, and you have pizza in minutes. The hot pan makes the base warm and crispy while the cover on top melts the cheese onto the toppings.
Make sure toppings like broccoli florets and baby corn have been partially cooked (steamed) beforehand.
If you want to really hike your cool mom score you could even serve these pizzas in a cardboard box which you made at home. Move over Dominoes, this mommy just won the pizza war.
Messy arty parties
My kid is happiest when he is left with a pot of paints and paper and brushes, sponges and other painting paraphernalia. It is the only activity which truly engages him and keeps him busy for more than 5 minutes.
Throw an art party… set up a room where you can tape large sheets of paper on the wall and leave a tray of paint, brushes, a small pot of fresh water and a large old but clean T-shirt which the kids can use as a bib to spare their party clothes. I know this would surely qualify as my little boy’s best birthday party.
You can also create a group art activity where all the kids paint on one large sheet of paper. Let kids sign their names or leave a hand print on the sheet. You have a lovely birthday memory painting which will also do well to adorn your little one’s room.
And most of all make sure you keep the moms (and dads) who chaperone the kids happy. It won’t be such a bad idea to hire a home beauty service to give moms some much-needed foot massages while their lil tykes clamber up and down the slides or jump around the bouncy castle. And a glass of sangria or pina colada (virgin, if you like) would go down very well too. Moms sure would give your party a vote for the best birthday party.
Tell me, what is your cool mom quotient? Are you going to steal a few ideas from here? What is your best birthday party idea?
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