Thursday, March 25, 2010

AArrrrrg its party time!

The week after Easter my little (not so baby anymore!) boy will be 5.  Nooooooooo! It has gone tooo quickly. 

I made the mistake of asking him what he wanted to do and he announced "I want a party with  lots of my friends in the garden with my trampoline and bouncy castle."

There are several issues with this:

The first is the weather, early April is very unpredictable.  The day he was born I can vividly remember the gales and the snowstorm the day after, yet in 2007 I have photos that prove it was one of the best days of that year!

The second is the trampoline has not yet been built.  We brought it last year when our garden was still a work in progress mud pit (we only seeded the grass last October!) and so we need a nice day, preferably with a few dry days before hand so the ground has chance to dry out, to make it up.  Not looking good so far!

The third is the bouncy castle is quite small and one of the seams is giving way; it is fine for my two but not too sure it will withstand twelve 3 to5 year olds!

I delayed sending out the invitations for as long as I dared in the hope I would be able to find a long term weather forecast telling me we were going to have a fantastic Easter Week, it hasn't happened but I couldn't wait any longer.  I also couldn't think of a cheap alternative. 

I was quite concerned, and I explained this to an old schoolfriend of mine.  She  laughed when I said I was worried about having twelve children in my house for a couple of hours, and she reminded me of our childhood birthday parties.

And she was right. (Thanks Susan)

When I was young our parents thought nothing of having our parties at home, in fact the concept of hosting a party at a venue wasn't even an option.   Most pubs didn't want children anywhere near them, or we were hidden in 'family rooms', and places like Wacky Warehouses just didn't exist.  I am only going back to the 1970's so not so long ago really, but my how things have changed.   Every party now seems to be a 'bowling party', 'a wacky warehouse party' a 'soft play party',  a 'mcDonalds' party or even near us one place is offering a 'cake baking party' (10 children can bake and decorate a birthday cake for just £175 - don't think that includes food either!!).

So as much as I am keeping my fingers crossed for a gorgeous day so my son can have the party he wants I now also have an alternative plan.

We will have a traditional party full of party games: 

Pin The tail on The Donkey,
Musical Statues,
Pass The Parcel
Sleeping Lions, 
Dancing and any others I can think of! 
A pinata (didn't exist in my day!!),
and set up football in the garage! 

So with food and Birthday cake hopefully that will be enough to entertain them all if it rains.  

I also have another cheat though - I think I am going to  hire a bouncy castle. Not only does it come with a raincover it means we don't have to build a trampoline and it will save our bouncy castle from getting destroyed.

So thanks to my friend Susan I am now looking forward to the party; especially the glass of wine I will have on standby for once everyone has gone home!!!



  1. Sounds perfect. They will have a ball. perfect balance between those good old parties we used to have and the commercial madness of modern parties.
    One of our best parties involved everyone getting one of those plastic plant pot bases (quite big ones) some compost. grass seeds and loads of items to make miniature gardens with. little dinosaurs. tin foil cases for ponds etc.
    all the kids from 2yrs up to 9yrs loved it.
    we had normal party games and food too.
    It was great and not very expensive.
    Hope you enjoy it
    Jo x

  2. I am a fan of at home parties, Maxi had his a week ago!

  3. Thanks Jo! I hope so!

    I love the idea of making minature gardens, sounds lovelly! Not sure I could cope doing it with 12 children though, so might just use it with my two!!

    Nicola xx

  4. ooo Madhouse, please share any tips!! Especially food ideas.....still got to think about that one!

  5. I bet the kids that come will have a much better time than they would just being sent to Mcdonalds for a 'party'.Have fun...although you might need more than one glass of wine afterwards!

  6. I am hoping you are right Tracey. And I will have a bottle on stand by lol. Thats if we get to the end of he party without starting it - would it be wrong to start this with any other mums who hang around?????

  7. I know that 'arrggghh' feeling. I'm already a bit worried about our Oldests 5th birthday and thats in October! The best party we have been to though just had one room with a bouncy castle in. The kids don't need much to have fun when they are excited and with friends. Have a great time!

  8. Sounds like he's going to have a lovely party. I am a fan of the "traditional party" having done one for Elf's 3rd with 30 kids (my biggest mistake - NEVER assume they won't ALL accept, as they do). This year we did a bouncy castle in a leisure centre, followed by an hour's party games and food, for 20 kids much better. I think as long as you have enough games not to allow fighting/itchy time in between (and you seem to have enough games) then it will be fine. They love playing all of those games.

    My best bit of advice from a work colleague? Make sure there are enough balloons for them to kick around! It worked for me. Enjoy - HM x

  9. Yes, the gardens may be harder with a lot of children. we had parents staying with children as they were all our friends too. so adults joined in too which made it really easy and we did it in the garden.
    Jo x

  10. Cute blog! Love the name! It reminds me of Mary Poppins: "Practically Perfect in Every Way!" :)

    Stopping by from the Lady Blogger's Tea Party!

  11. Kathryn - thats exactly where my 'name' came from, my little boy, whilst watching Mary Poppins, told me I was practically perfect! :)