Like many moms, Beth B. wants her six-year-old’s upcoming birthday party to be not only fun, but memorable and meaningful. She wants to know: “Can you plan an educational and entertaining party... on a budget? “
Circle of Moms members have shared tons of terrific ideas for hosting a unique, budget-minded birthday party for your grade school-aged child. Here are five of the best, from a make-believe animal hospital to a homespun karaoke session.
1. Field Trips
You can't go wrong if you “let your child’s interests be your guide," says Laurie R. She created an “Aquarium to Go" party for a small group of her six-year-old daughter’s friends, making a trek to a nearby museum. After touring the aquarium the kids were sent home with sea-themed favors. “This party was so loved that we did it two years in a row,” enthuses Laurie. The second year she called the party “Under the Sea,” and decorated with shells.
Beth B. headed to the zoo with her daughter’s friends. The party included meeting with an animal handler who introduced the kids to several small animals. “She told them interesting facts, let them touch, pet or hold the animals, and the kids asked a ton of questions,” shares Beth. “She also gave each child a set of animal trading cards and an animal stamp, plus a free ticket to the zoo."
Tanya B. used the occasion of her 10-year-old daughter’s birthday to share a lesson in sustainability. “We went to the local organic farm and fed the animals,” she says.
2. All About Pets
When Jesse K.’s six-year-old son begged his mom for a dog, she decided to organize his birthday party around the theme of puppy adoption. She bought a bunch of plush dogs and set up stations with syringes (for pretend puppy immunizations), a thermometer, grooming brushes, and dog treats.
”Upon arrival, each child chose a pet for adoption. They chose a name and made a tag for the ribbon collar,” Jesse reports. The kids then visited different stations with their new pets for "puppy checkups." Not only did they have a great time, but "the kids learned a lot."
3. Military Training
Jennifer Y.’s son loves the military, so she turned his birthday party into a U.S. Army-themed bash, with G.I. Joes and an obstacle course. “It was like a real military training...they had to jump over a hay wall and run through tunnels.” She even recruited an enlisted serviceman, a “Real Life G.I. Joe,” to lead the exercises and have the boys “salute the flag and learn very basic things they would in the military.” The verdict? It was "a huge hit,” she says.
4. The Sound of Music
Jeannine R.’s son loves music, so for his eighth birthday party she decided to share his love of singing and playing instruments with his friends. “We did some karaoke and made microphones,” she says. "The kids said they had the best time ever.”
5. Support a Cause
Beth B. recommends another option, best for older kids: Make the party an excuse to do some good in their community or to champion a cause they are passionate about. Her suggestions are: "Clothes for Foster Kids, Care Packages for Persons Serving Our Country, Socks for the Homeless, or Helping with Local Red Cross Efforts... there are so many to choose from."
What's the best kid party you've ever thrown?
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