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Birthday parties for three year olds

November 12, 2010

V is turning 3 the start of December. She’s one of those 3 year old’s I mentioned in a previous post. The other 2 are her BFFs who just happen to have their birthdays 6 days before and 2 weeks after hers. Both moms have thrown a wrench in my birthday party planning (and let’s face it, they are clearly better organized than I (me? I? whatever)). While I’ve been figuring out how I can tuck all the excess crap away and make the floors look like they haven’t been trampled by a herd of elephants disguised as Huskies, they were out booking party locations like Starr Gymnastics and A Gym Tale…and now I’m conflicted.

I mean, what the hell? I was hoping to go low key until she was at least 6. I didn’t think I’d have to hire clowns and circus animals for another couple of years after that. So am I misreading this? Is it possible that they both are in a similar situation and don’t want basic strangers to see their disaster zones? Or maybe they feel their homes are too small for 10 children hyped up on sugar? Or I am I late for hopping on the birthday party extravaganza bandwagon already? Is having some playtime and crafts with cupcakes thrown in too low rent for the under 4 set? Because if it is, I’m fairly sure I’m screwed for finding a location for the beginning of December.

What did you do for your pre-schooler’s birthday? Or what are you planning?

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2010 9:45 am

    I’m pretty lucky that only one of our friends have had outlandish parties for their kids. I’m going to say yes to you question though. The one year we held dd9’s 5th party at the bowling alley it was because my house was a wreck and it was too small for all those kids. It was under $100 for all 8 kids, we brought the cake. My neighbor held her daughters at the local ice cream shop. Cheap, and easy, minimal clean up. The gym places are pricey. We did dd6’s 5th birthday at the park, NO clean up 🙂 and no need for planned entertainment.

    • neeroc permalink*
      November 12, 2010 11:24 am

      Oh, I cannot WAIT for bowling parties! Three might be a bit crazy young, but I’ll have to tuck that one away. *g*

  2. November 12, 2010 9:55 am

    We did parties at home for Z. until the last one (5) and having it at the grocery store made cleanup quite lovely. But probably we’ll be doing one at home for S. for his 4th. His 3rd was very low key with his sister, parents, aunt & cousin.

    • neeroc permalink*
      November 12, 2010 11:25 am

      THE GROCERY STORE! Brilliant, I’d forgotten about those rooms. Thanks Nat.

  3. November 12, 2010 10:10 am

    A house full of screaming 3 (insert age) -year-old boys for a few hours seemed like too much for our house, dogs, sanity. So we often went out somewhere. They could run, scream, be crazy. I didn’t have to clean both before and after. The dogs didn’t get crazy. And I didn’t need meds. Once they were older, we had parties where they sat around the Wii, XBox, … and I just kept a steady supply of pizza coming. We did Starr Gymnastics several times. The kids had fun and were bagged by the end of it. Getting this crowd to sit quietly and do a craft was never going to be a solution that worked. Well maybe if the craft involved a swimming pool full of spagetti and jello and … Nope! Go with the Starr Gymnastics alternative – much easier.

    • neeroc permalink*
      November 12, 2010 11:30 am

      Haha. Now I’m picturing the pool of spaghetti and you madly popping pills. I’m starting to believe the logic to this, but damn, that’s one more thing I have to remember to organize!

  4. November 12, 2010 10:25 am

    p.s. Bowling alley was another great idea – the one on Merivale has a place where you can give the kids pizza, cake, etc. before or after. Ask to have bumpers put in the gutters. Less frustration on the kids as the ball bounces away from the gutter.

  5. Deb permalink
    November 12, 2010 11:06 am

    I too highly recommend outsourcing the bday party! For V’s 3rd (the first that wasn’t limited to family), we went to A Gym Tale. No cleaning my house before or after and no stress. V loved it and all the kids had a great time.
    A friend of mine just had a houseful of kids for her son’s 5th. She will NEVER do that again – all the stress, clean-up and making sure they are all taken care of was insane! The fact that she found a bit of little person poop on her basement carpet sealed the deal too 🙂

    • neeroc permalink*
      November 12, 2010 11:28 am

      Did you do a separate family party?

      And OMG eww, at 5! That’s like real people poop.

      • Deb permalink
        November 14, 2010 11:29 am

        We did a seperate family party on the same day. Lunch was the kiddie party at a Gym Tale and then we had a family bbq for dinner later that day. Busy day, but lots of fun.

  6. November 12, 2010 2:13 pm

    I think it depends on how many lils you are having, and when the party is – for meal planning, nap avoid etc. For Woo’s 3rd bday, we had 4 total, and just played at the house. That was fine with all the kids, they ran around and played. They didn’t seem to want any structured activities either. Gave us a chance to talk to the parents too (you know, like you 🙂

    but you could easily do crafts – ie decorate your own bday hat, or fun things like decorate cupcakes or games like bean bag toss, pin (tape!) tail on donkey …

  7. November 15, 2010 1:21 pm

    LOL! This cracks me up because I just did a post on how stressful kids party planning is. But here is my opinion, for what it’s worth: Kids are happy at home parties or out-of-home parties. It’s the parents who care. For me, I’m all about not having 10 kids squeezed into my living room and trying to entertain them without losing my sh*t! But my hubby thinks home bday parties are the cat’s meow. Personally, I’d go and book a place NOW. STET. ASAP. Go on girl, what are you waiting for! 🙂

    • neeroc permalink*
      November 16, 2010 7:21 am

      I laughed when I saw your post, it was very timely. And yes, I’m off to find a place that will do things for 3 year olds (Gymtale and Starr are where her BFFs are going)

  8. Somekindofmom permalink
    November 19, 2010 9:06 pm

    It may be too late, but I was just at a City of Ottawa community hall the other day and noticed a sign on the front door about birthday parties. THey do everything, food, cake, clean up! It was in the East end, but I’m sure the other city community centres must have them as well.

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