A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: The 6 Biggest Problems with Kid's Birthday Problems and How to Fix Them

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31 July 2013

The 6 Biggest Problems with Kid's Birthday Problems and How to Fix Them

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When you have three kids, you start to realize that you will be hosting an awful lot of birthday parties.  After getting a few under my belt, I realize that there are some basic "problems" that show up whenever kids and party combine.  No matter what the "theme" of the party is, there are some ways to solve the problems.  Join me today as I take you step-by-step through the 7 biggest problems with kid's parties and how we avoided them at our Star Wars party!


PROBLEM: Kids Wandering Around Aimlessly 

1st on the TO-DO list for kid parties is to have some sort of sit down craft that can take 2 minutes of 10, depending on when kiddos arrive.  If they are early they can make it intricate -- if they are late, they can still do the craft.  This way, nobody misses out on any fun games and such and everybody is occupied from second one inside the door.  For the Star Wars party, I had two basic crafts:



1.  Popsicle Light Sabre Holders (Idea Found HERE)
2. Gift Wrap Roll "Light Sabres" (see photos below)

Both required minimal supplies:


Foam Sheets (for popsicle holders)
Gift Wrap in Bright Green (on clearance, keep wrapped and use for gift wrap later)
Yellow Duct Tape (Grey would work too!)
Pipe Cleaners in Various Colors
Wrapping Ribbon in Silver, Black, Yellow, White

PROBLEM: GRUMPY KIDS

Once the crafting is over, it is time to EAT!  No use having grumpy, hungry kids wanting to eat, right?


We had a VERY basic meal consisting of Yoda Soda and hot dogs (with Carbonite mustard) that can be rounded out with fresh veggies and fruit.  There are a million recipes online for "Yoda Soda", but mine is very simply:

- 1 Part Lemonade
- 1 Part Ginger Ale (so it gets foamy!)
-  Tiny bit of green and blue food coloring

Basically, any foaming blue/green soda/liquid will work and impress the kiddos to no end :)

To make the carbonite mustard, simply add a little green gel food coloring to an almost empty bottle of mustard, add 1 Tablespoon of water (to get things loosened up!) and SHAKE!  Add tiny bits of water to get the mustard off the edges of the bottle, but don't add too much or you will have REALLY runny mustard.

PROBLEM: Kids Piled in the Kitchen Waiting for Food

One of my absolute pet peeves is a bunch of kiddos (typically MINE) in the kitchen when I am rushing around trying to get a meal on the table.  I love having them in there to bake or do projects, but when I am on a timeline and hustling around with boiling water and hot pans -- kids in the kitchen are a no-go.  What to do?

BUST OUT HANS SOLO!



I originally saw this idea at Lemon Squeezy Home and it is a brilliant one!  Talk about an easy activity that takes up boatloads of time!  You basically print out a photo of Hans, laminate him (or put several layers of packaging tape over him), then cover him with dyed water.  Easy yes?  


A couple minor changes I made were:

  • Using gel coloring for a stronger color.  Regular food coloring works, but these Wilton Gels work better.
  • Adding a scoop of vanilla pudding for a more opaque looks and "cracks" (aren't they cool?)
  • Gluing  laminated Hans to the bottom of the pan -- pulls right off when you are done and he doesn't float



The best part about the project?  It took the kids FOREVER to free him from his icy Carbonite with good old dinner forks.  
By the time they were done, the food was ready and there were no kitchen disasters.

PROBLEM: Party Supplies Cost an ARM and a LEG

PROBLEM 2:  Crafting Your Own Party Games Takes Forever

I hear you -- on both counts.  So here is the solution for at least ONE basic party supply -- the pinata.  My son asked for one in the store and I was about to just buy one, but there was NOTHING remotely Star Wars, so I started thinking and came up with a VERY basic "asteroid" pinata.  Basically, I took small balloons, filled them with as much candy as possible and wrapped the whole shebang in tinfoil.  Quick - Easy - Cheap and they LOVED it.


Note the smaller "asteroids" all over the ground...the extra balloons with candy were all around the yard as were small packages of candy wrapped in tinfoil.  The kids popped the balloons with their light sabres (some we had already and some they made in the craft -- see above)


Another VERY simple game was to see how long they could keep a balloon in the air with their light sabres.  
This didn't last long, as popping them is MUCH more fun.


PROBLEM:  It Starts to Rain

I always try to plan at least 1 or 2 games that can be done indoors OR out and it turns out this time we needed them!  
It started raining (downpouring) right after the asteroid pinata, so we came indoors to knock out storm troopers.

Side Note:  When we asked T who he wanted to come to the party, he said "Boys".  
When we asked about the girls he knew his response was:  "OK, they can be the storm troopers".  Nice, eh?



Again, Lemon Squeezy Home was the inspiration for the storm trooper game, but I substituted styrofoam balls ("stars" that I had on hand from a previous craft project), while she used Nerf guns.

PROBLEM:  Too Many Birthdays -- TOO MUCH CAKE!

I know, i know, this is rarely a problem, but sometimes you just get SICK of cake if you have been to a lot of weddings, birthdays, etc.  The solution?  Something else sweet!   Pies work -- so do crumbles or ice cream cakes.  In this case, we went with a brownie cake and it was QUITE good if I do say so myself!



I went with our oldest son to a discount grocery store and we allowed ourselves to be "inspired" by whatever they had that screamed "STAR WARS" to us.  I started out with some Halloween Brownies (brownie mix and the orange frosting -- 2 boxes -- 50 cents), added a box of graham cracker, chocolate coated stars, mini marshmallows and some silver sprinkles.  We have lots of the latter 3 left over and the cake was actually an unanticipated mixture of smores and brownie -- YUM.


2 COMMENTS:

Jennifer Gordon Monday, March 03, 2014  

When you put pudding in the 'carbonite' was it pudding mix or prepared pudding? Thank you! LOVE YOUR IDEAS!

Amy Renea Monday, March 03, 2014  

I put a scoop of already prepared pudding in, but a little powered mix would do the job too with the water!

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