The Most Memorable Birthday Party We Threw for One of Our Kids

We have always had our kid’s birthday parties at our home. We have a large fenced in back yard so there is really no sense in having parties for our kids any where else. That being said I have always had to be really creative because our parties had to compete with my kid’s friends and cousins who had parties at places like Chuck E Cheese.

I always let my kids pick out their own cake, weather it be store bought or home made, then I would create a theme around the theme of the cake. For instance one year my daughter wanted a homemade cake with balloons on it. So the party had games using balloons, and of course the goodie bags contained balloons.

Pirate Party

One year my son chose a Pirates of the Caribbean cake so obviously the theme would be Pirates. Luckily for me Oriental Trading had several pirate items available on their web site. I just checked and they are all still there. I purchased Pirate Bandanas (12 for $9.99), pirate eye patches (12 for $4.99) and pirate hook hands (12 for $4.97) the hook hands came apart really easily though so I would not recommend them. I also purchase a treasure chest box, for $3.99. I filled the box up with various little toys and candies.

I hid the box in my house and created a treasure hunt for the kids with 12 different clues.

Each clue was found individually with the clue before it leading them to the location of the next clue. The last clue would lead them to the hiding place of the treasure chest.

Of course the kids all needed to put on their pirate garb and become pirates before they started to search for the treasure.

There was not a competition for finding the treasure chest, they all had to work as a group to decipher the clues and get to the next clue. The kids all worked really well together and it was funny watching the light bulbs go on in their heads every time they would figure one out.

The clues ranged from easy such as, “A location where food is served.” The clue was taped underneath the kitchen table. Another clue was personal to my son. “What does Ted (not his real named) do when ever he gets the chance?” A clue was taped to my son’s X-Box. I even gave a clue to one of the adults at the party and the kids had to guess which adult it was who had the clue based on clues about that person.

The treasure hunt had them going both inside and out of the house, and on the main level of my house and in the basement. It took the kids about ½ hour to get all the clues and find the treasure chest.

There was one of each toy and candy for each kid. They all got a goodie bag full of toys and candy.

Just as they filled up their goodie bags, I told the to go out in the back yard with their goodie bags. Just as they all got outside my husband ran out dressed as a pirate (he just wore a bandana and eye patch). He told the kids he was going to steel their treasure. They all ran around giggling as he chased them, of course not allowing himself to catch any of them.

Macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and pizza were all served for lunch.

Following the treasure hunt we had the Pirates of the Carribean cake, served on Pirates of the Carribean Cake Plates, with Pirates of the Carribean napkins.

All the kids had a wonderful time and I heard some of them planning treasure hunts of their own.

Several of the kids told me as they were leaving that it was the best party ever. Now that is high praise. Beat that Chuckie.

Top 3 Child Birthday Venues in Kansas City

When I was presented as a first time mom with the task of throwing my oldest son’s 3rd birthday party, I was quite disappointed in the information available for birthday party ideas and locations. The list below is the top three most affordable birthday party venues/activities in the Kansas City Northland.

Gladstone Bowl located at 300 NW 72nd Street in Gladstone, MO offers a great affordable children’s birthday party package. For $35/lane you get 5 guest per lane including shoe rental and the Galactic Bowling experience for two hours. I’ve purchased this package two years in a row for my son’s forth and fifth birthday parties. We rented two lanes and spent a total of $70. I made my son’s birthday cake, and took it to the bowling alley for the celebration. It was perfect, the two hours is just enough time to let the children bowl, eat cake, and open presents. And for less than $100 dollars we had 10 of his friends join us for all the fun!

Air Zone located at 7807 North Oak Tfwy in Kansas City, MO offers an awesome birthday event under $150. This price includes 15 guests, party supplies, party “helpers”, and 1 1/2 hours of birthday party celebration. We did this party for my son’s third birthday. What a blast! We invited all his friends, family, and church family to enjoy in the celebration. The bounce/play areas are super fun, and offer a wide variety of slides, climbing walls, and bouncy fun for every age group. The first room houses a large bounce house obstacle course with a large double slide at the end. The second room, which houses the main lobby and snack area, houses an even larger bounce house including slides, climbing walls, and a gladiator type fight “house” for all your aggression needs. Although the price is more, you also receive more with the package.

Perhaps you are looking for a more at “home” venue. So why not make your home your birthday venue! Air Jump Moonwalk Rental KC offers a huge variety of rental bounce houses, moonwalks, and kid’s entertainers for your child’s perfect birthday party. For my son’s 2nd birthday party, we rented a large castle bounce house. We rented the bounce house for a holiday, it was delivered and set up, then taken down and picked up the next day for less than $100. A great value for an at home birthday party, and we had the bounce house from noon on a Sat. until they picked it up the next day by noon.

The most important item to remember is find a birthday venue/activity that your entire family can enjoy.

Serving a Better-For-Baby Birthday Cake for Your Child’s First Party

If you are planning a first birthday party for your child, you may want to engage in the somewhat new tradition of letting your baby stuff his or her face with cake for the very first time. It’s fun for guests, not to mention the birthday boy or girl, to watch your little one taste the sweet treat for the first time and enjoy smashing the icing and cake into his hands, ears, table, and even toes. Unfortunately, if your baby has not really eaten much sugar before her first birthday, too much sugar or fat could cause an upset stomach. This would leave you with one unhappy birthday girl. Here are some tips and reasons to reduce the sugar in your baby’s first birthday cake.

First of all, it’s important that you make your child’s first birthday cake from scratch. You can get a store bought cake or use a cake mix for the cake the other guests eat, but make your baby’s cake yourself. This way you can control the ingredients. Store bought cakes and cake mixes contain trans fat which isn’t healthy for anyone, and certainly not your baby. You can reduce the size of the recipe considerably and make just one small cake, or use a cookie cutter to cut out a small piece of cake for your baby, then use the scraps for a punch bowl cake or other dessert.

When making the cake, cut the sugar in half. While this may cause the texture of the finished cake to be less than perfect, your baby will never know the difference. When making the icing for the cake, either use a full butter based icing or a specially purchased vegetable shortening that does not contain partially hydrogenated oils. You can find solid palm kernel oil, which is considerably better for you than traditional vegetable shortenings, in the health food section of major grocery stores or a health food store. Partially hydrogenated oils are very unhealthy and shouldn’t be fed to your child if at all possible. If you choose to do a full butter icing, remember that your cake will need to be refrigerated.

Finally, when assembling the cake, keep the cake small and only use a thin layer of icing. Icing is loaded with sugar and fat that your child does not need a lot of. Also, avoid using a lot of dark dyes in the icing colors. Stick to white, pastels, or just a touch of color. Some babies’ sensitive stomachs do not react well to dyes which can cause diarrhea.

If you want to serve your baby her very own cake for her first birthday party, go right ahead! Just be smart about how you prepare your cake and your baby will get the treat of her life without too much sugar or needless trans fat.

How to Become a Better Gift Giver

Are you the type of person who takes a trip to Bed Bath and Bodyworks every time someone’s birthday or a holiday rolls around? Does the staff at the Hallmark store know you by first name? Do you often find yourself gift wrapping your own appliances? If you answered yes to any of these, you should consider reading this article. Don’t be “that guy/girl” when it comes to giving gifts.

Take Notes:

The sure fire best way to become the ultimate gift giver is to pay attention. People love to talk about things they want. Maybe it’s our way of subconsciously letting others know what to get us. When someone’s birthday or a holiday is right around the corner, start making mental notes of the things they talk. It doesn’t even have to be something that they say they want. For example, you’re riding in a car with your friend and a song comes on the radio. He/she then says, “Oh my God, I love this band!” Ding, ding, ding, buy them the CD. Well, first make sure they don’t already own it, but you get the idea.

Don’t Give People Money:

Nothing says “I know absolutely nothing about you, nor could I be bothered to get you a proper gift,” like slipping someone a twenty in a card. When you give someone money as a gift it’s like your telling them, “This is how much you’re worth to me.” The only time it’s ever appropriate to give someone money, is when you plan on giving someone a ridiculous amount of money. Like, ungodly, Donald Trump money. Sure, it still may be a little thoughtless, but when people can’t count all the zeros on one hand, they won’t care. Trust me.

Know What Gifts Not to Give:

OK, there’s so many gifts that you shouldn’t give people that I’m just going to list them all first, and then elaborate. Here’s what gifts you shouldn’t give; awards, clothes, souvenirs, pets, novelties, hygiene products, and figurines. Unless you’re in fifth grade, that “#1 Dad” coffee mug isn’t going to cut it. Any type of award-gift serves no actual function and is useless to the recipient. Gifts that create work or responsibility, like pets, are a bad idea. Everyone loves a cute puppy, but not everyone wants to take care of one. In the movie Donnie Brasco, one gangster gives another gangster a pet lion as an insult. The reason it’s an insult is because he knows there is no way someone can take care of a lion. Speaking of insults, giving someone a hygiene product is a good way to do that. First of all, people buy themselves hygiene products all the time, so it’s not very special. Second of all, some people may take it the wrong way and think that you’re trying to give them a hint. Nothing says “You stink,” like a bottle of cologne or a stick of deodorant. The only exception, is if you’re buying expensive perfume for a woman; but you should still make sure it’s a kind that she likes. Buying clothes for someone is risky because they may not like them, or they may not fit. Take caution when buying clothes for someone else.

Why I Love My Clogs

It seems everywhere you go, you see a pair of clogs on someone’s feet. Some people called them clogs; some people call them crocs or holey shoes. It does not matter what t a person calls them, one thing is for sure, and they are the in shoe right now.

Most of the nursing staff where I work own at least one pair of clogs, and I have noticed that everyone who has bought a pair soon realizes the comfort and they go out and buy more pairs. I myself am the proud owner of four pair of these clogs. I wear them everywhere.

I have white, pink, light blue and purple clogs. I am looking to purchase green, orange, red and a black pair. My favorite place to get them is eBay, where I pay less then I would if I went to a department store such as Wal-Mart.

Comfort is the number one feature of these clogs. These clogs are flexible, and have grooves and nubs in the bottom, which rather massage your feet as you walk. Which is a huge plus if you are on your feet for long periods.

The clogs will also mold to your feet easily so it is important that these be not shared by anyone.

In addition, the soft flexible rubber sole of the clog is like lots of extra cushioning which helps to eliminate the problems such as hurting feet and aching legs, which are associated with long hours on your feet.

Air Holes in these clogs. Hot smelly feet are outdated with these clog’s air holes. The little air holes, which run across the top front of the shoe, provide plenty of fresh air. It also feels nice to have a cool breeze on your feet. These air holes have an added feature; you can put charms in them.

Rubber construction of these clogs helps in many ways.

I wear these clogs to work and when I give a shower to a patient; I can slip of my socks and still be in shoes, which provide a non-slip sole for safety. I slip of my socks because no one wants to walk around in wet socks all night.

The rubber construction provides more cushion then the average shoe, which is excellent when walking on concrete floors for any length of time. These clogs will help alleviate heel spurs, leg, and back discomfort from walking for any length of time.

Easy to clean clogs

They are easy to wash Soap and water is all that is needed. However you can stick some types of these clogs into the autoclave and sterilize them if need be.

My clogs are rinsed at three days a week when I give a patient a shower. The clogs will also last longer then sneakers with repeated soakings.

Stylish clogs

These clogs are not only comfortable they are stylish. They come in a rainbow of colors to suit everyone. There are so many colors that there is a perfect color to match every outfit.

You can decorate these clogs with little gems as well as charms. These charms come in many cute designs such as animals, food, medical items, and Disney characters.

How to Create a Fantastic Homemade Camp Rock Birthday Party

Disney Channel’s Camp Rock movie is hot! People of all ages enjoy this upbeat, fun movie that ends with a great message. Just like the other popular Disney Channel characters, shows and movies, Camp Rock will inspire birthday parties for children, preteens and teens. This is the third part in a 3 part series of articles where I give you tons of ideas to create a fantastic homemade Camp Rock birthday party. In Part 1, I focused on Camp Rock birthday party decorations. Part 2 was all about Camp Rock birthday party invitations and food ideas. This 3rd part will explore all the possible Camp Rock birthday party activities, games and party favors that you can plan and create.

For all the Camp Rock birthday party ideas, I used a Camp meets Rock Star theme. I also implemented as many homemade touches as possible. Anytime we use homemade touches, we are enhancing our parties so that they are more memorable, less expensive and much more unique.

Camp Rock birthday party Activity and Game ideas:

  • Karaoke: You can borrow or rent a karaoke machine and have the party guest sing Camp Rock songs as well as any camp related songs.
  • Sleeping Bag Relay: Divide your Camp Rock birthday party guests into 2 groups and set them up for a relay. Give each team a sleeping bag and have one team member lay in the sleeping bag while another drags him/her across the floor to the rest of their team in a race while switching members at the end of each line.
  • Dance Mat: Borrow or buy a commercial dance mat and set it up in your Camp Rock birthday party space. An activity like this one is more fun the more people you have ,
  • Decorate T-Shirts: No matter the age of your Camp Rock birthday party guests, everyone loves to make t-shirts. You can have “Camp Rock” ironed on the shirts before hand so the guest just decorate them, or you can let them start from scratch. Have plenty of supplies to work with like fabric paints, fabric pens, and Camp Rock inspired sponge or cookie cutter shapes like microphones or trees to use to paint their shirts.
  • Decorate Bucket Hats, Flip Flops, or Camp laundry sacks. You can use the same supplies as you would with the t-shirts and allow the Camp Rock birthday party guest to create however they would like. Fake gems and jewels add the Rock Star element nicely.
  • Mitchie Serving Relay: Since Mitchie, the Camp Rock movie’s main character, works in the dining hall, you could have a fun tray relay. Just set up a tray with various meal items like a plastic plate, utensils, a plastic cup etc. and have the players run without spilling the items before handing them off to the next person in line. Have the Camp Rock birthday party guests wear aprons for a better picture opportunity.
  • Camp Rock Pie Eating Contest:
  • Don’t Forget the Lyrics: Play a game where your Camp Rock birthday party guest have to remember and recite the lyrics to either Camp Rock movie songs or the lyrics to other favorite camp songs.
  • Camp Rock 3 legged Race
  • Camp Rock Sack Race
  • Camp Rock Star Homemade Picture Frame: Precut cardboard frames from any sturdy cardboard. Have the guests hot glue twigs to the entire cardboard surface leaving the photo window open. Set out fake jewels and gems for decorating to mesh the feel of camp with the style of rock star.
  • Tye Dye bandannas and/or t-shirts
  • Final Jam- Just like the movie ended in a contest of talent called Final Jam, your Camp Rock birthday party can too. Use your stage that you created from the ideas in my first part of How to Create a Homemade Camp Rock birthday party and allow the party guests to perform however they feel comfortable. You can go simply and just allow them to perform or you can have judges and a winner. Either way, keep it light and fun.

At the end of your Camp Rock birthday party, send all the guests home with a party favor or 2. Below is a list of some ideas for Camp Rock birthday party favors.

Camp Rock birthday party favor ideas:

  • Blow up guitars with Sharpies for all the guests to sign
  • Pre-made t-shirts with C-A-M-P R-O-C-K spelled out in gems
  • Bucket hats, flip flops, or bandannas
  • Homemade S’more packs
  • Flash lights

You could stuff many of these items in a white pillowcase and tie with rustic looking cording for a “camper going home” look.

Whatever Camp Rock birthday party ideas you decide to use, have fun with it! Good Luck.