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Birthdays

Plastic Free Party – perfect for the young eco-warrior

A plastic free party is not exactly a new or revolutionary concept. Thanks to young activists such as Greta Thunberg and Isra Hirsi. As well as government initiatives, like Italy’s new law regarding climate change education. We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly aware of how human consumption impacts our environment. More of us are making conscious choices on a daily basis. So when my youngest son told me that he didn’t want any balloons at his upcoming birthday party, I panicked.

I envisioned the geology party scene from The Big Bang Theory

A Party without Balloons

A birthday party without balloons did not seem like a birthday party at all to me. In fact, the Pintrest Parent in me cringed at the idea of a balloon free party, boring came to mind. However, I enjoy a challenge and his balloon free party idea soon became a plastic free party idea

I took the standard birthday party supply list and raided the cupboards to see what we had already. Hello colourful Ikea plastic cups, plates, cutlery & bowls for children. Anything that needed to be bought specifically, was bought with the avoidance of single use plastics in mind.

DIY

B decided that he wanted to make his own decorations. Armed with string, a star hole puncher and various bits of coloured card. He and W made rainbow bunting to adorn the stairs (pictured below). I made a photo area with a photo booth sheet I got from Postbox Party nearly 6 years ago for W’s first birthday! I also hung up a felt ‘Happy Birthday’ banner from Flying Tiger and decorated the table with newspaper, flowers and dinosaur/animal toys.

B helped organise the activities (nature crowns, paper airplane making & air drying clay fossils). He decided the party menu, including very specific drinks requests (strawberry or carrot juice options anybody?). He also chose most of the playlist and I will definitely be hiring him for my 30th!

The Result

The party was a success. Everybody had a great time, the children were very unsure about the drink choices but all ended up asking for more and exclaiming his delicious they were! I very much promote independence, free play etc which worked well. When it was time to eat the kids helped themselves to as much pizza and salad as they wanted. I tried to take as many photos as possible and used the photo area as an opportunity for the kids to be photographed with any of their ‘creations’.

If you want to throw a plastic free party as well, I highly recommend checking out the Party Kit Network UK, go see if you can hire a party kit locally. You’re also probably wondering about party bags, but that’s a blog post for another day…

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Categories
Birthdays

Birthday Party Ideas for Under 5’s

We love Birthday Parties in our family! The boys have had birthday parties for their 1st, 3rd & 5th birthdays. We will be taking a break with a focus on birthday experiences until W’s 10th birthday (which is just over 3 years away)! So this week is our last big ‘birthday week’ for a while. In this blog, I am sharing some my favourite birthday party themes that we have done so far.

Book Themed Party

A book themed party is pretty simple, pick your child’s favourite book and plan a party around it.

Gruffalo themed birthday party

The Gruffalo/The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Both these books feature a lot of food references, which is great. A buffet for a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party can easily be created from every food item mentioned in the book. A Gruffalo themed party does require a little more creativity eg. scrambled snake = a popcorn & jelly snakes mix.

Don’t forget to plan some fun party games, get a themed cake and maybe include a circle time style reading of the book. These book themed parties are for a 1st or 2nd birthday celebration.

Soft Play Party

Generic soft play photo, courtesy of Google

Now who doesn’t love a soft play party? Hand over a load of cash to your local leisure centre. The kids are entertained for a bit before the lunchboxes filled with pizza/hot dogs, chocolate and a lonely tangerine arrive to fuel them for some more energetic bouncing. Somebody is always sick, someone might pee themselves in the ball pit and if you’re really lucky, somebody ends up crying.

Top Tips:

  • Don’t forget to bring your own decorations, folding picnic tables tend to look a bit bare without a party appropriate tablecloth or two.
  • It costs money, so set up a Whatsapp group. Don’t forget to send threatening text messages like ‘if you don’t RSVP by this date, your child will not have food or a party bag!’
  • Practice candle blowing with your child beforehand, or you’ll end with their Nursery friends ‘helping’ aka spitting, all over a cake you spent £200 on.

Joint Birthday Party

This is probably the best idea – find a child (or relative) who has a birthday close to your child’s. Suggest a joint birthday party. Benefits include: shared costs, shared stress, shared joy.

W’s 5th Birthday Party was a joint celebration with a classmate of his, let’s call him G. We hired the outdoor classroom of our local city farm, G’s mum was amazing and was able to get some silent disco gear. A close friend lent us her artistic skills for some festival style face painting and I provided colourful, fizzy science activities.

The result was literally: a silent disco festival on a farm. It was pretty ‘cool’ and by far my favourite party to have ever hosted.

B rocking his ‘festival look’