It never fails: The school year’s in full swing and soon every weekend is booked with a kid birthday party. Heck, it’s only October and between my two kids, we’ve already been invited to six parties. Super fun for them, but not-so-super fun for me. While birthday parties are a great way to meet other parents, the weekends often end up revolving around them—at the expense of quality family time and me time.
I usually RSVP ‘yes’ to the invitations, only to find myself working though mundane tasks, like writing thank you notes or going through my spam folder on Gmail, while in attendance. Look up from your smartphone at the next kid party you’re at and you’ll notice that you’re not alone; it’s a sea of parents staring into their phones, counting down the minutes, making forced, intermittent chitchat with each other while our children run and scream around us. Still, we diligently show up because watching our kids have fun with their best buds makes it all worth it (sorta).
Am I crazy to believe that there can be a better way? Can’t birthday parties be fun for both kids and grownups? I believe they can be, if you just gear a few things for the grownups. Here are a few tips to make sure Mom and Dad have a blast at your child’s next bday bash:
Create a parent space: ”Be sure to have an adult-sized seating area set up that is convenient to where the kids will primarily be,” says Kenna O’Brien, owner of LA-based Miss Party Mom Event Planning. Match the number of chairs to the number of kids attending, assuming at least one parent will stay for each kid. “Providing adult-friendly food on a table in the center of the seating area will draw a crowd to the area and create a space for parents to mingle,” says O’Brien.
Offer food for the adults. ”People often forget that parents get hungry too and it is very easy to get sick of party pizza,” says Ellie Hirsch mom to three boys in Tampa, Florida and founder of the blog Mommy Masters. Offer some healthy parent-friendly snacks, like a veggie, fruit, or cheese platter. “Even if you are just sticking with pizza, order a few pies that are less kid-friendly (like a white pizza with broccoli) just for the adults,” suggests Hirsch.
Offer adult-friendly drinks. Have coffee on hand. Lots of coffee. No matter what time of day the party is. That said, booze is often also appreciated by stressed out, tired parents, whether it’s a glass of wine for an evening party or mimosas for a morning event. Just keep the offerings under control (it’s a kiddie party, not a kegger, after all) and remind driving adults that anyone can leave their car and take a taxi or an Uber home. And if alcohol isn’t your thing (or not allowed at your venue), you can still make offerings adult-friendly by providing sodas, bottled water, and seltzer—the point is to avoid having thirsty adults reach for their kid’s juice box.
Give ‘em the heads up. Be sure to include a special message on the invitation to help set the tone for your adult friendly party—and to make sure that the parents don’t just drop their kid and go, suggests Hirsch. An example might be, “A child-friendly early dinner will be served along with dinner and drinks for the adults” or “Come hungry; bagels will be served for everyone along with Bloody Mary’s for the adults.”
Avoid over-crafting. ”I’ve noticed that if there’s a party craft that gets too ‘parent involvement heavy,’ you can lose certain non-crafty parents or even worse, stress them out,” says O’Brien. If you’re dead-set on having party guests create DIY beaded kitty necklaces, O’Brien suggests considering hiring your babysitter to run this station so that the parents can just sit back and enjoy. Wait, just hire a sitter anyway; an extra pair of hands always comes in handy!
Help ‘em make a memory. An open-air photo booth is fun for everyone. “Be sure to place it in good lighting and provide a few props, like boas and hats,” says O’Brian. Or, DIY-it by setting up a boz of fun props and offering to take pics of parents with their kid on their smartphones, or set up a tripod, camera, and photo printer so that you can send guests home with a photo in hand.
Let them drop off. If you really want to make your party a hit with parents, let them drop their kids off (recommended most for kids ages 7 and over) so they can clock their own grown-up time. Even better: Host a sleepover. Yeah, a half a dozen kids sleeping at your place is a bit of a stress fest. But we’re sure that at least one of those parents will repay your generosity in the coming year. And that’s when you’ll really get to party.
Don’t underestimate this budget buy: They come in virtually every colour, so put them to work.
1. Make a Tent
Cut 60 strips of streamers about 54 inches long (for a three-color pattern, buy at least one roll per shade). Measure three equidistant points around a hula hoop and tie on three 2-foot-long pieces of fishing line. Knot them together about 18 inches from the top of the hoop, and hang it in your work area. Loop the end of a streamer around the hoop, and use double-stick tape to secure it. (Be sure to tape the loop to the paper and not the hoop so it slides.) Overlap each one slightly and alternate colors. To make the top, cut about 30 strips about 24 inches long. Tape each streamer to the outside edge of the hoop—but this time, use one strip for every two on the bottom, matching the colors if you prefer. Once you’ve attached four or five, gather and layer the ends and tape together; then secure to the center fishing line. Repeat all around the hoop. Tie a ribbon or short streamer around the top.
2. Hang a Backdrop
Place four rows of masking tape on the wall about 18 inches apart. They can be as wide as you like. Cut 20-inch-long pieces (we used 20) in each of your colors. Start at the bottom row and attach your darkest streamers with tape, slightly overlapping as you go. Cut the ends diagonally at different lengths to create fluff. Repeat for each row, then tape a strip across the top.
Make It Yours: Try yellow and black for a construction party; greens (with paper flowers) for a springy theme; or blue and white (waves!) for a beach or pool party.
3. Stripe It Up
Plan the route your streamers will take across the wall, table, or furniture and attach a piece of double-stick tape or removable glue dot at the start. Attach one end to the wall. Continue to add tape or glue dots in 1-foot intervals until you reach the destination. Repeat with additional streamers, alternating colors in your pattern.
Make It Yours: Create a racetrack with black and white; channel Harold and the Purple Crayon with purple squiggles; make a rainbow; design a treasurehunt path; or try red security beams for a spy party.
4. Tie on a Garland
Cut streamers into 12-inch strips (use at least two colors). Fold the strip in half. About an inch from the fold, twist the paper together, forming a loop at the top. You might have to tape it after twisting so that it stays in place. Thread onto rope or decorative string, alternating colors as you go. Fringe the ends using scissors.
Make It Yours: Use pink, white, and gold for your ballerina; red and white for a circus fest; pink, orange, blue, and yellow for a fun fiesta; or purple, black, teal, and silver for a rock-star bash.
These smart twists update the party classic. No helium is required, but you’ll want to use a balloon hand pump for all.
1. Pump Up a Number
Using painter’s tape, plan out the shape of the number on the wall. Blow up a collection of 5” mini dart balloons and 11” party balloons, knotting each (we used about 50). Use loops of white gaffer tape (get it on Amazon) to attach them to the wall. Layer and tuck in extra balloons on top for a fuller look.
Attach a tabletop celebration arch (available at party supply stores) to your table. You’ll need about 80 fiveinch balloons. Inflate two balloons and knot the ends together. Repeat with another pair, then twist both sets together so you create a clover. Set aside and repeat with remaining balloons. To assemble the arch, twist each clover set onto the frame. Use doublestick tape to attach additional balloons.
Make It Yours: Go with black, gray, and red for Star Wars fans; yellow and blue for Minion lovers; or green and black for little Minecrafters.
2. Make a Chain
Fill a twisting balloon (the kind you’d use for balloon animals) ¾ of the way full and knot the end. Tightly tie the remaining tail to the knot, forming the first “link”; trim off any extra. Inflate a second balloon, loop it through the first, then tie it off the same way. Repeat until you’ve reached the desired length.
Make It Yours: Link black, red, and white for a pirate party; blues and greens for an under-the-sea theme (hello, Ariel!); combine the colors of favorite superheroes; or go all-gold for a fancy dress-up soiree.
3. Create An Animal
Print and cut out our unicorn template and trace onto patterned paper. Cut out the shapes and, using double-stick tape, attach the body parts to an inflated 11” balloon. Tape a piece of fishing line to the top of the head and the tail to hang.
Make It Yours: We’ve created additional templates for dinosaurs and a cat, dog, and bird, but have fun making your own add-ons too: Roll paper into cones to create balloon ice-cream cones, or tape on streamers for jellyfish!
Hats That Party
What’s a birthday without some festive headwear? With easy add-ons, these special toppers become mini costumes!
1. Choose a Food
To Make a Pizza Hat: Cut out red “pepperoni” and green “C”-shaped “peppers” from red and green paper. Cut out mushroom shapes from gray paper. Attach to a yellow party hat with glue dots. Twist brown kraft paper and secure around the edges of the hat with hot glue to make the crust.
To Make an Ice Cream Hat: Disassemble a party hat and trace it onto a brown paper grocery bag. Cut out and place on a cooling rack. Rub the paper with brown crayon to transfer the pattern onto the paper. Turn 90 degrees and rub again to create a grid. Roll the hat into a cone shape and staple. Hot-glue the brown paper around it. Glue two rows of pom-poms around the top of the cone. Cut out a melted ice cream shape (about 3”x6”) from cardstock. Attach paper to hat base with hot glue and add washi tape sprinkles. Glue ribbon underneath the hat to tie around the head.
2. Play With Stickers
To add monster eyes to a colorful party hat, stick 1-inch white office dots on the outside and then put ½-inch black office dots on top. To add the mouth, trim white mailing labels into triangles for teeth; line the top with a black Sharpie.
Make It Yours: Use colored sale dots on white hats (sweet and simple); layer a few rows of dots in a scale or feather pattern (great for a zoo party); or create constellations with small yellow dots and black hats for an outerspace theme.
3. Attach a Tail
Print out, cut, and trace the mermaid tail template twice onto patterned paper. Attach gold rickrack to the back edge of one tail piece with glue dots. Attach a wooden skewer to the centre of the tail with glue dots or tape (be sure to leave a few inches exposed on the bottom); attach the second tail on top. Insert the skewer into the hole at the top of the party hat and secure with glue dot. Cut off excess.
Make It Yours: Try it with orange and black for Nemo or swap in a shark fin instead.
4. Make “Wigs”
Obsessed with trolls? He’ll love these “hair” hats: Trace a 3-inch lid on cardstock. Cut out the circle, then cut it in half for ears. Make a small fold, then hot-glue each ear flap to the sides of the hat. Wrap 6-inch-wide tulle around the base; secure edges with hot glue. Wrap until you have a puffy base. Cut about 10 strips of tulle slightly taller than the hat, and glue to the inside. Flip the hat over and gather the tulle at the point. Tie with fishing line.
Make It Yours: Attach Princess Leia yarn buns to each side; or glue red pom-poms on the sides for crazy clown hair.
Simple techniques can take your cakes from ho-hum to whoa!
1. Design a Checkerboard
On top of iced cupcakes, arrange Starburst Minis in lines with alternating colors. Swap in any favorite mini candy and colors. Sour Patch Kids, anyone?
2. Double Up
Pop a mini cake on top of a standard one and you’ve instantly got a head. For a robot, secure a mini cupcake to a standard-size one with a pretzel rod. Add features with your kid’s favorite small candies, snacks, and treats.
Make It Yours: Trim the cupcakes into squares and stack them up to create Lego characters. You can even make a twostory fairy house: Spread frosting on the bottom cake into a slope; place the mini one on top. Swirl on more frosting and add a cherry on the peak. Decorate it with little candies, gingerbread-style.
3. Bake a Pull-Apart Cake
You can use a template for characters and objects (there are loads online), or just freehand a form like our cloud cake. Assemble your cakes individually frosted, or unify them all with a solid layerof white icing. Top with white edible sparkles and a mini cupcake and fondant sun.
Make It Yours: Chain them together to make a snake, caterpillar, or train; create a flower bouquet; a ball of any kind; a soccer field; a sun; a favorite emoji… whatever it is, you can do it!
4. Have Fun With Fondant
With a few colors of prepared fondant and basic cookie cutters, you can create easy, graphic designs. Find a reference online, print it out, and trace it onto freezer paper to use as a template. Fondant pieces can be attached to each other with a damp fingertip.
Make It Yours: The key to a pro look when you’re starting out is to stick with simple shapes. Layer concentric circles for Captain America’s shield or combine circles and triangles to make a simple fish. For a bear, you’d use a large circle for the head and cut a smaller one in half for ears!
Want to throw your child an awesome party without breaking the bank? We’ve got you covered! Here are our best tips for sticking to a budget at your next bash.
1. Timing is everything. Plan your party from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., says Danielle Walker, author of Against All Grain: Celebrations. After lunch and before dinner is the best time to party, when guests don’t expect a full meal.
2. Stretch your planning. Start supply-hunting early; it’ll give you time to comparison shop. Plus, you’ll save yourself from running out at the last minute to buy overpriced things you’ve forgotten. “I’m on the lookout all year for party items that go on sale, usually in the dollar bin at Target, Dollar Tree, or the 99-cent store,” says Helen Holden, author of the blog Counting Candles.
3. Go digital. Send your guests a free electronic invitation; you’ll save what you’d normally spend on paper invites and postage.
4. Double up. If your kid’s birthday falls close to a buddy’s, consider a dual party. You and the other child’s parents will split the cost—and responsibilities. Just make sure each kid gets her own cake.
5. Avoid party-store traps. Don’t pay a markup for party-store items that you could find elsewhere for less. For example, chocolates may be sold five for $1 (20 cents each) at party shops, but a bag of minis from a big-box store can be half as much.
6. Tap your network. For entertainment, think about your personal connections and community resources, suggest Steve and Annette Economides, of MoneySmartFamily.com. For example, the couple once asked a friend who is a police officer to come to one of their son’s parties in uniform; likewise, their local college has bowling lanes where rounds were less than half the price of the commercial bowling alley.
7. Opt out. When kids are still little, consider skipping a traditional birthday party altogether, suggests Simple Matters author Erin Boyle. “My husband and I celebrated our daughter’s first birthday with a picnic.”
8. Make themed favours. Try a personalized craft activity; it eliminates the need for hired entertainment and takes the place of a costly goody bag. “I type ‘blank’ or ‘DIY’ on party-supply sites, to see what comes up,” says Jodi Levine, of SuperMakeIt.com, who suggests you pick something related to your theme—whether it’s plain tote bags or white umbrellas.
9. Order online. Prices aren’t always better if you shop online, but hitting the Web for your favors and decorations may help you avoid impulse purchases. Here are a few of our favorite sites for discount party supplies:
10. Make a semi-homemade cake. Karen Tack, coauthor of Cake My Day!, suggests baking an inexpensive box mix, but substituting buttermilk for the water for a firmer, less-sweet cake. Then frost the cake with a homemade buttercream, combining milk, unsalted butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar (many boxes of the sugar have the recipe).
11. Dress up humble supplies. Use what you have on hand to make plain party supplies feel special, as they typically cost half as much as decorated supplies. For example, use a hole-puncher to jazz up paper plates and napkins (punch holes around the outer edge of each plate and one corner of each napkin to create a design) and binder- and dot-stickers to decorate plain balloons. Buy a few key items to establish the theme, like a special foil balloon, and stick to affordable basics for everything else.
12. Price out the party places. Not up for hosting at your casa? It may be more cost- and time-effective to let a venue do the work.
13. Upcycle party favours. Hate goody bags? Levine suggests embracing the stuff kids bring home. “I save all the goody-bag candy that I’d rather they didn’t eat and the toys that they forget about immediately. Then I use them for piñata filler at their own parties,” she says. Bonus: The piñata acts as an activity and its fillings as favours.
14. Elevate the everyday. Take advantage of kids’ vivid imagination, suggest Steve and Annette Economides, who say one of their most successful party games was a treasure hunt for “gold” (spray-painted rocks) that the kids took home as favors.
15. Streamline the swag bag. These trinkets are usually sold in sets; divide them up for affordable party favours that are way better than your average birthday goody bag:
Bright-Colored Wooden Yo-yos
Balloon Helicopter Classroom Pack
Way to Celebrate Punch Balloons, Multi-Color
Bendable Stripe Pencil
Mr. Men 40th Anniversary Box Set
Titta Djur finger puppets
Flip-Top Crayon Keeper ($1 each) and Crayola Crayons
16. Embrace no-cost activities. Instead of hired entertainment, be prepared with a few free activities like these classic games you can play for next to nothing:
Duck, Duck, Goose
“Button, button, who’s got the button?”
17. Utilize your library. For a free activity, borrow books, videos, and DVDs from the library that correspond to your party’s theme. Storytime is an especially good way to calm preschoolers down after physically active games.
Go apple picking, and kids can harvest their own healthy goodie bag while they get fresh air and exercise. Some orchards offer bonus activities, like visits with farm animals.
2. Teddy and Me
Birthday guests make a furry friend from scratch. Kids choose, stuff, and accessorize their bear and then take it home. Check out buildabear.com for locations.
3. Crafty Idea
Paint your own pottery–mugs, bowls, plates–at a ceramics studio.
4. Five-Alarm Fire
For a donation, many fire departments offer their space and time. Young partygoers can talk with firefighters, try out equipment, and even hop aboard the truck. But beware, if the fire bell rings, the party is over!
5. Factory Tour
From crayons to jelly beans to potato chips–your kids can find out how their favorite stuff is made on a tour of a local factory, with free samples and goodie bags waiting at the end.
6. Sundae School
Your local ice-cream shop provides the ice cream and the toppings, you provide the sugar monsters. Contact a parlor in your town, or log on to benandjerrys.com for Scoop Shop locations.
7. Bowling Bonanza
Your party will have a ball bumper bowling at your nearest alley. Don’t forget to wear socks!
8. Gym Dandy
Many fitness clubs, recreation centers, and Ys offer high-energy activities such as swimming, basketball, and games.
9. Ice Is Nice
Kids can heat up on the ice with skating, games, and music. Skate rentals are often included in the per-child price, and rinks usually have an event room for gifts and birthday cake.
10. Something Fishy
Touch tanks, crafts, and specially guided kid tours are sure to be fun for everyone.
11. Young at Art
Find a museum that offers special kids’ exhibits and programs, and take the gang.
12. The Great Outdoors
Host a party at a nature center or botanical garden. The fun includes nature walks, plantings, and other projects.
13. Say Cheese!
Young chefs design a personal pie and then chow down.
14. Karate Kids
Little ones will get a kick out of a party at a martial-arts studio. They can play games and learn real karate kicks appropriate to their age.
15. Where the Wild Things Are
Head to the zoo and check out the animals by touring with a staff member, or zoo-it-yourself and host your own group viewing.
How many kids do you invite? Here’s the good news: you do not need to invite your child’s entire class. Despite what seems to be the case with every birthday party, especially with the younger set, you are not obligated to invite everyone. It can add to stress having up to 22 (or more) kids in attendance possibly with their parents. Determining the number of kids to invite first lays the groundwork for the rest of your planning including location.
2. PICK A DATE IDEALLY A MONTH IN ADVANCE
Younger kids tend to have less activities going on, but once you’re in elementary school, their weekends can become jam-packed with sports, classes, competitions, and more. Be mindful if your child’s birthday falls during the summer months or around a major holiday. If you’re having a smaller number of kids, it’s a good idea to check in with the parents first to see which date works best for most and then pin it down. Giving three weeks to a month’s notice is as far out as you want to go as you don’t want people to forget but two weeks’ notice tends to be too short for families to plan.
3. CHOOSE YOUR VENUE: HOME OR NOT?
Here’s an easy question to answer: Are you willing to have the mess of an at-home party? An outside venue usually handles set up and clean-up which may be worth it to you. However, some people think hosting at home is cheaper (which it is if you keep it simple) but if you’re planning on renting a bounce house, entertainer, etc. it can end up being the same or even more costly than an outside venue. Set a budget for what you want to spend and where you want the party to be and if the dates you desire are available at an outside venue.
4. USE A DIGITAL PLANNER
There are several sites online that provide free party invitations with an easy way of tracking RSVP’s and even seeing whether the invitation has even been viewed. You can include details like maps along with directions and information about allergies, etc. Additionally, you’ll be alerted when people reply or have a question, and it can be checked anytime day or night on your smartphone.
5. BASE EVERY DECISION ON THE THEME
Now that you’ve gotten some of the bigger things out of the way, ask your child what they’d like as a theme for their party. Maybe it’s princesses or pirates or a sports theme. When you’ve decided on a theme, everything else is an easy decision including the birthday cake, decorations, and goodie bags.
6. THINK “EASY CLEAN-UP”
Immediately purchase the decorations, plates, cups, games, a piñata, candies — everything that isn’t perishable. It’s highly recommended if you’re hosting a home party that you use disposable items including plastic or paper table cloths so when the kids are done eating cake, you can wrap up the remnants in the cloth and toss it for easy clean up. Make sure to put all of your party purchases in one single place like a plastic tub or in a closet so there’s no last minute rushing around searching for birthday candles. Fill goody bags or have party favors ready too so there’s no running around the day of the party.
7. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Don’t forget: You planned it so you deserve to enjoy it as much as your child! It helps to have at least one helper (a spouse, friend, or other family member) who can supervise a game or cut the cake while you greet the guests or prepare sandwiches. It’s time to savour all of your efforts and enjoy the party!
Craft making should not be scary or expensive, but fun and easy for the whole family to enjoy. It’s amazing what you can find in your very own backyard, and in the cupboards that hold all your wrapping paper and other odd bits. The best part is being creative, coming up with alternative tools, and spending time with your kids.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
These adorable birds will make any child’s imagination soar. We think flat shells work best for this project, but experiment with different shapes. Hang them individually, or try suspending a flock of birds from the ceiling in your kid’s bedroom using hooks or pushpins.
Pebble Owl Family
This little clan of owls is so whimsical that it’s sure to inspire your kid’s creativity. You can use acrylic paints or brush pens, which you may find easier to control on small areas. When looking for the right pebbles, try to find ones with flat bottoms so they can stand up on their own.
This project is a lovely activity to have at a spring birthday party or playdate: When it’s time to go home, everyone takes a gift bag and party favour in one! Plain fabric bags can be found at most crafts stores or online, ready to be decorated with pretty patterns. Or print the design onto a plain white T-shirt instead.
On your next trip to the seashore, look for driftwood on the sand. Add smaller pieces together, and you’ve got a sculpture! When you get home, look at each piece of wood, turning it this way and that: Start placing bits together to make a figure or an animal.
Leaf-Print Easter Eggs
We don’t know one kid who doesn’t love collecting leaves. This project will allow them to discover the amazing variety of leaf shapes that can be found in your backyard. Ferns and groups of small, delicate leaves work well. The eggs are coloured with a little food colouring—try delicate pastel colours for a charming display.
These brightly coloured letters are a great way to personalise your child’s room or create a name-plate above her bed (have her make one for her BFF while she’s at it!). They’re also a fun way to decorate a present: Wrap the box in bright tissue paper and tie on the recipient’s initial with a pretty ribbon.
Next time your family is on a nature walk, point out how many different types of grass you can spot (you’ll be surprised how many there actually are) and pick some of your favourites to use in this craft. It will look lovely on a playroom wall or porch.
A great project for your eco-avenger: Hang this pretty wind chime in the garden on your family’s fave tree or outside a window and listen to the gentle clink of shells in the breeze. If you can’t get hold of coloured raffia, tie the shells together with brightly coloured ribbon.
Do you want to occupy your kids with crafts but don’t want to be up all night steam-cleaning the carpets? Check out these easy-to-clean-up ideas that use items you probably already have at home — or easily can pick up on the cheap at your local craft store.
Pull out that overflowing button box and some thin ribbon or cord and let your kids thread together the designs of their choosing into cute button bracelets.
First, send your kids on a backyard treasure hunt to find some flat white or light-coloured stones. Then, spread out the washable markers and let them draw on their owls—or whatever animal face they choose.
Shoe Box Animals
Cover some shoe boxes with inside-out wrapping paper to create a white backdrop and then let the kiddos get to work with construction paper, pipe cleaners and googley eyes to create their own personal shoe box animal friend.
Say goodbye to winter by turning your single gloves (where did their matches disappear to?!) into adorable stuffed monsters. All you need is a little batting, buttons, felt, needle and thread for beginning sewers to get started.
Stained Glass Kites
Perfect for a team of older and younger siblings, this project turns tissue paper squares into faux stained glass. An older child (or you) can create the kite “frame” out of construction paper and clear contact paper, while little ones can fill in the mosaic. Add a ribbon or string tail with construction paper flags and hang on a window for the whole family to enjoy.
Pool Noodle Spiders
Who knew slices of pool noodles or pot scrubs could be so cute? Even tiny tots can decorate these pool noodle spiders with the sticky dots and googley eyes, and pipe cleaner legs are easy to attach with just a little help from mum or dad.
To most, blowing out candles on a cake baked with flour and sugar and eating it is a pretty ordinary birthday tradition. But in other places around the world, you’re really strange for not eating noodles, waiting for the right day to celebrate or getting bumped right on top of your head.
Everyone celebrates their birthday on the same day in Vietnam, and no one really pays attention to the actual day they were born. The big birthday celebration for all occurs on New Year’s Day, or Tet. Children commonly receive red envelopes containing money from friends and relatives on this day, which is a day of celebration for all.
Most birthday parties are barbecues in Australia. Instead of cake, they eat Fairy Bread. It’s buttered bread covered in sprinkles.
Chinese children eat long noodles for their birthday, a tradition that helps ensure long life.
Children in Denmark wake up to find their presents scattered around their bed. Parents place them there as they sleep. It’s also tradition to hang up a flag outside so everyone knows someone is having a birthday.
Birthday cake is eaten cautiously in Great Britain. Since medieval times, it has been tradition to put small trinkets inside the birthday cake. Coins, candies and little figures are still baked inside birthday cakes and that’s a clear choking hazard. If you manage to reach 100 birthdays in England, the Queen will send you a telegram to wish you a happy birthday.
Being single is never easy, but it’s a real problem in Germany. Men who turn thirty and remain single must sweep the stairs of City Hall while their friends throw trash and debris on the steps, so all the women in town know he’s a single guy.
The birthday cake in Holland is actually pancakes, which are sprinkled with powdered sugar and usually served with hot chocolate or lemonade.
Birthdays are fun for everyone else but the celebrant in Ireland. Here, it’s tradition to hold the birthday child upside-down and bump their head on the floor once for each year of life — plus one more for good luck.
Who needs cake? You’ll eat birthday pie in Russia, where a special message is scratched right into the crust.
Kids who live on the Atlantic side of Canada get ambushed on their birthdays so their noses can be greased. That means bad luck can’t stick to you, obviously. A wrapped coin is placed between layers of birthday cake, good luck for whoever finds it (unless they break a tooth to do it).
You are not allowed to have a birthday on July 8 or December 17 in North Korea because Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il died on these dates. This means that more than 100,000 North Koreans celebrate their birthdays on the wrong days.
It’s tradition to get dressed up in totally brand-new clothes every year for your birthday in Japan.
Children in India give presents to other people on their birthdays. They pass out chocolates to their classmates and visit a shrine in order to receive a blessing during the day. Instead of cake, the birthday boy or girl eats doodh pak, a sweet rice pudding.
Have you ever arranged a party and forgot to arrange the food, music, party games…, or even send out the invites? No, then that’s great. But for those of us who are less organised, then here’s a party list of things to remember and follow so that you don’t miss out on the finer details of organising a party. Never give everything away. Arrange for some surprises on the day. That way, it turns out more exciting. (more…)