Parties, Birthday Parties!

If you are like me, you struggle every year coming up with something new and exciting to have as your child's theme for their birthday party. I live on Long Island and birthday parties cost an arm and a leg, so I try to do it on a budget, at home, as much as I can. Some of my best birthday parties came from Pinterest ideas.....they were winning and definitely not Pinterest fails! If you would like you can follow me on Pinterest at Leah's Mom2Mom and check out my board "Themes for Kids' Birthday Parties" to look at some of my inspiration. The following are some themes I have done over the years with my kids. I always ask them what they want and then we put our own spin on it.

*When my son was 3 we did a Firetruck themed birthday party. Luckily for us, my husband is a volunteer firefighter so our party came complete with a real, live firetruck! The hit of the party was that the kids were able to spray the hose on the truck. We had Firetruck Fuel (red Hawaiian Punch), Flaming Fire hoses (Twizzlers) and a Firetruck cake. The kids loved everything about it, including the small Dalmatian dogs (stuffed animals from Oriental Trading) they could "adopt" and take home as their favor.

*When my son turned 6 we decided to do a "Sleep Under" themed birthday. I took the idea from my college roommate who did this for her daughter because, quite frankly, the idea was brilliant! The kids come from 5-8 pm, in their pajamas. You sugar them up and then send them on home! We made tents so the kids could watch movies in there, gave out popcorn (holy mess Batman!), served pizza and cake and called it a wrap!

*The end all, be all, party for my son was this year, his 7th birthday. We did a "Science" themed birthday party where I set up five stations in my house and the kids rotated through the science stations (I know it is the teacher in me). We told my son this was his last big birthday so he went out with a bang....he invited 30 kids to our house! When I tell you this I am not tooting my own horn.....people RAVED about this birthday! It was so simple and cute, yet held every child's attention. I hope this party inspired young minds to have more Science themed birthday parties in the future.

* Now for my daughter! I decided to do a theme I LOVED for her first birthday....the hungry caterpillar! Again, it's the teacher in me! I spent all summer crafting, collecting party supplies and creating. I still, to this day, think back on that party fondly. We had the cutest Eric Carle inspired decorations, a "Hungry Caterpillar" themed candy table that was the favor (everyone got to take home a baby food jar to store the candy in), and we had a book where everyone leave a message for my daughter. What I liked most about this theme is that it can be used for either a boy or a girl.

*Before my daughter got in to the "Princesses are my life" phase we did a Pancakes and Pajamas party for her 3rd birthday. We served, as the title implies, pancakes, bacon, cinnamon rolls and a donut birthday cake tower. We played pancake games, read pancake books and the best part....everyone wore their pajamas (we love or pajamas over here)! Each child got to make a pillow case to take home as well as got a mini cereal box favor. Once again, I took this theme from one of my son's friends and made it my own. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery!

Whatever theme you want to do for your child's birthday the best piece of advice I can give you is to know your limitations. I look at things on Pinterest that I love but I know that even on my best day I probably could not pull it off. I always work within my limitations (and abilities) and make each party specific to my childs' tastes. You can do this mamas.....plan, execute and most of all....have fun!

The following are some of the items I used for my kids' parties.

*Affiliate links