I don’t do young child birthday parties. I just can’t handle them. However, as my kids have gotten older, I have allowed them to hold their own birthday party. I figured once they were old enough to plan and execute their own party and I wouldn’t have to be super involved in it/entertain the kids the whole time, I could do it. As they get older, I think it is good for them to have some friends over, so it works for me. As as result, I told them 10 years old.
Butterfly was so excited to plan her own birthday. She planned it for MONTHS. She had lists, pages, agendas, schedules, friend lists, mock invitations, etc. Originally she planned “10 friends with 10 activities for her 10th birthday!” I had to limit the number of friends and advise her that scheduling 10 minutes of day dreaming probably wasn’t going to happen at her party given her list of friends. Some of them would have happily engaged in day dreaming, but the rest probably wouldn’t have. In the end, she settled on a tea party and making shrinky dink jewelry with all the girls in her co-op classes. What really happened was a tea party, fort building outside, and shrinky dink jewelry. Butterfly planned the decorations, wore her favorite dress, made tea sandwiches, and asked for spiced apple cider to pour out of the teapot she made. I also cut up fruit for the party- pineapple, strawberries, and apples.
It was so funny to listen to the girls having their tea party. They giggled and plotted. One sweet girl kept reminding the others that they were “ladies” and should practice their best manners since this was a tea party. Another little girl told them that since they were just kids they should just have fun.
After tea, the girls decided they wanted to play outside. During their tea, they dreamed up the game they would play, “Yard Kids.” Everyone created their own persona. Apparently Yard Kids is a game of house except all the kids don’t have parents and they live outside… The game actually started before the tea party when Butterfly, Pumpkin Pie, and a friend were playing together outside on a different day, but then it expanded to the whole group.
Eventually, they got cold and came inside. Then, despite the fact that there was only half an hour left of the party, they decided it was time to delve into the shrinky dinks. Moms arrived and the girls were still hard at work. Butterfly had a grand time and I think her friends did too.