This post is several weeks overdue … our summer has been so busy, it’s been hard to find time to write.
I made the mistake of doing big birthday parties when my kids were little, and I’ve been trying to scale them back ever since. This year, I told my boy that he could invite seven friends to his seventh birthday party and asked him what kind of party he wanted. After talking him down from laser tag and other elaborate or high dollar ideas, we settled on a “Clone Wars” party, which basically meant we’d have a few kids over and watch some Clone Wars episodes.
His birthday coincided with the last week of school, and I found myself crazy busy, so the effort that went into planning this party was abysmal. With all that said, the party was a great success. Here’s how it went down.
Somewhere along the way, I realized a bunch of seven year old boys may not want to just veg in front of the TV, so when friends arrived, I directed them to the backyard. Despite it being the hottest day of the year to date, the boys had a blast running around being boys.
About five minutes into the party, someone declared, “Let’s all take our shirts off!”
Apparently all you need is some green space and a soccer ball to keep boys occupied.
A beat up old playhouse also comes in handy.
I was holding my breath that it wouldn’t collapse under the load, but fortunately, it survived.
My main plan for the backyard fun was a water balloon fight. The kids had fun helping fill the balloons and were anxious to get the fight started. My tomboy daughter was quite comfortable in in the all-boy crowd.
Finally, we were ready. We lined everyone up, put the balloon bucket in the middle and explained the rules. The rules were:
“One the count of 3, run for the balloons and start throwing them!”
Three … Two … One … GO!
In hindsight, we should have added the stipulation, “No head shots.” But all in all, everyone had a blast.
Then everyone came in for snacks. I had planned to put together pretty Light Saber Fruit Kabobs, but I couldn’t bear the thought of food getting wasted if kids didn’t like certain fruits. So instead, I armed the seven year olds with empty skewers and let them build their own fruit sabers. This worked out well and the boys loved it.
The cheese stick option was good for one non-fruit lover.
Then we settled in to watch some Clone Wars.
Everyone was engaged for a few minutes, but then the more active kids got restless and headed down to our basement, which is a wonderland for active boys. Our basement is an unfinished mess but it’s perfect for kids because we have gymnastic rings mounted, balls to throw and all kinds of other junk kids love. I hate the dirty unfinished space, so my hubby had supervisory duty over that realm (thus, no pics).
Then it was time for dinner and cake. Dinner was the birthday boy’s favorite: turkey hotdogs, corn on the cob, and baked beans (in other words, NOT paleo!).
I didn’t even make a fancy cake — instead he & I drove around the night before the party looking for a pre-made ice cream cake. Pretty lame in my book, but he was thrilled and I was happy to take the easy way out.
Ice cream was enjoyed by all, especially the four year old little brother.
For favors, everyone got a thick glow-in-the-dark light stick that I found at the Dollar Spot at Target.
This was a super simple, no frills party, but everyone had a good time and I realized you don’t have to do a lot to make little boys happy. The hardest part of this party was making sure the birthday boy didn’t invite all of his friends when we had capped the party size.