Creating birthday memories for kids

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Birthday parties for kids have been around for as long as there have been kids to have parties. Back in the day, birthday parties typically meant a homemade cake from Grandma, a bucket of vanilla ice cream, a handful of colorful balloons and some festive streamers. Oh, how times have changed.

In today’s modern world, birthday parties have reached a whole new level of extravagance and imagination, thanks to creative minds and endless resources. Here are some trends and ideas that are making waves with parental party planners.

What birthday girl wouldn’t want to go camping when the act itself is a completely girlie affair? Glamping is a term coined by not-so-outdoor enthusiasts as a trendy way to enjoy nature and the act of camping. With glamping, there’s no drab canvas tent to pitch or plain-Jane sleeping bags to unroll. Parents can bring the outdoors in with the use of frilly and stylish tents or teepees, cotton-candy-colored backpacks and lanterns along with fun arts and crafts as the perfect formula for birthday celebration success. Throw in some microwave S’mores and the party is guaranteed to be a hit.

The wet and wild backyard party
Two things that always seem to go hand in hand are water and kids. Parents can create some outdoors splashy fun with a Wet and Wild Birthday Party. Begin by rounding up affordable items such as pool noodles, kiddie pools, water balloons, Slip-n-Slides and even squirt guns to create fun, safe and kid-friendly games. Then just add water and let the fun and splashing begin!

Mixing it up in the kitchen
Thanks to the success of Food Network shows such as Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-off and Chopped Junior, it’s hipper than ever for kids to be active in the kitchen. If their parents are blessed with an abundance of patience and a big kitchen, inspiring young chefs can use this gathering opportunity to exercise their culinary skills and whip up some fun b-day party treats. Party planners can create “stations” so kids can try a variety of recipes and get imaginative with pastries, desserts and even main dishes. Not only will the party-goers have a ball, everyone will enjoy eating the fruits of their labor.

Giving back while you celebrate
Could your child forgo gifts for the sake of helping someone in need? It’s a wonderful trend that is picking up steam in popularity, and it’s an excellent opportunity to teach children about empathy for others. Non-profits such as Ryan’s Well, an organization committed to supporting water, sanitation and hygiene education in developing nations, or, an initiative to help the world’s most vulnerable children, are only two of the many groups that would welcome support in the way of money or necessities. If a child would rather support animals in need, many shelters will host a party at their location and they can supply the guest list with items needed for the animals in their care in lieu of birthday gifts.

The themed party
As long as there are movies, TV shows and toys that catch the fancy of birthday boys and girls, there will be themed birthday parties. From Frozen to Minions or Minecraft to The Avengers, this type of party is alive and well. Thanks to sites such as Pinterest, parents can DIY everything for their child’s chosen theme, from party favors and games to activities that mirror the guest of honor’s character of choice. And likely your local bakery can produce a themed cake as well! Frugal moms can find a wealth of ideas on the web that are all designed to bring the birthday girl’s or boy’s hero to life.

A photo booth party
In this age of selfie mania, it’s no surprise that photo booths are considered the next big thing in birthday party fun for kids and adults alike. Parents can choose to create their own DIY photo booth with slick software such as Sparkbooth and Pocketbooth, a camera and a backdrop made from a colorful tablecloth or sheet. Kids can keep busy mugging for the camera or playing dress up with a wide variety of props, wigs, hats and clothing items. Photo booths can work with any birthday party theme and parents who don’t want to attempt the do-it-yourself option can rent a professional booth from any wedding and event-planning organization.

What’s most important for party planners to remember is that creating memories is of more significance than supplying your child with the biggest party and the most extravagant gifts. Special birthday details such as a family breakfast together or building excitement with a week-long countdown will remain stronger and fonder memories for them than what was in the treat bag or how many friends were present. Ultimately, kids want Mom and Dad to fill their love tank instead of their toy box and make their special day one they remember for years to come. HLM

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