Matt brought us to his last-minute Westport birthday party after meeting us the weekend before. Was he just as happy with his party?
Happy Monday! Thanks again for helping us so last-minute. I was soooo disappointed when our original clown canceled, but everything worked out great! I’m actually glad we didn’t end up with the clown! I’ve never seen balloons like this before!
You should know that Krissy still has her dolphin from Amber’s birthday [the weekend before] and her octopus has joined the dolphin in her pile of stuffed animals. WE WILL see you at our Christmas party this year!
SUMMERTIME SADNESS: How to Keep Your Kids Entertained This Summer (In Any Weather, No Technology Required)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for kids (well, besides Christmas). School’s out, the sun is shining, and they’re free from teachers and homework for a good three or so months. Everything is perfect.
Until that inevitable day when your child, sick of sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games, proclaims, “I’m bored!” So without further ado, here are some fun ideas to keep your children entertained this summer, no matter what the weather, no technology needed.
The Forecast: Sunny and Hot with a Chance of Melting
Fill up a bunch of water balloons and use them like you would a piñata. Instead of candy, your kids will be showered with refreshing water!
Walk the Plank Game
For a fun twist on simply sitting in a wading pool, lay a board across the pool and have your kids “walk the plank,” trying not to fall in (or maybe trying to fall in and cool off!)
Instead of playing limbo with a traditional meter stick, use a hose! Your kids will enjoy this simple competition and definitely cool off in the process.
The Forecast: It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
Life Size Jenga
The bigger the better, right? All you need for this is a bunch of cheap blocks of wood from a hardware store, and, if you’re feeling crafty, some bright colored paint to paint the ends of the wood. Let the fun begin!
Give your kids some old blankets, pillows, and flashlight — their imaginations should do the rest.
Tie a bunch of string across the room, obstacle course style, and have your kids try to climb through it without touching any of the string. They’ll feel like they’re starring in their own action movie!
The Forecast: Windy Enough to Get Blown Away
Blow Giant Bubbles
Kids love bubbles, so why not make GIANT bubbles? To make the bubble solution, mix 1 liter of hot water, 1 cup of soap, and a few tablespoons of glycerin. You just need straws and string to actually form the bubbles (see how here). This will provide your kids with hours of entertainment.
Fly a Kite
You don’t have to be Michael and Jane from Mary Poppins — either make your own kite out of just paper, 2 wooden sticks, and streamers, or buy one from the store. Kites are a great traditional activity to get kids outside even on a windy day.
Make Parachutes for Toys
This one’s easy. Have your kids use plastic bags and tie them to the hands of some stuffed animals. Stand from a high point, such as a deck or jungle gym at a park — but be careful! Then they can let the stuffed animals go and see how far they fly.
It’s that time of the year. No, not Christmas — your kid’s birthday! And chances are, expectations are high for some sort of birthday party or event to be held. So, you start asking your child for party ideas: who he wants to invite, what sort of theme he wants, what kind of food, what sort of entertainment, etc. No problem. Or is it?? Read below for some common problems that may occur when planning a birthday party, and how to solve them. (And be sure to make Pop Art Balloon Twisting a part of your birthday party plans!)
1. When your kid wants to invite everyone to the party…
Solution: Try to constrain the list to a specific friend group (for example, your child’s playground group or classroom friends). If someone important is left out, try arranging a play date for special outing with that friend instead, so they still get to spend some time together without creating an overwhelming or unmanageable party size.
2. When partiers get too wild…
Solution: If the birthday party is at your house, lock the doors (if possible) to rooms you want to be off-limits. However, if this isn’t an option, create a fun way to direct traffic into the rooms you do want kids in. For example, use streamers, balloons (or even caution tape if, say, your boys are into Bob the Builder) to cover doorways and guide guests into the party zone. Also try to enlist some other parents to hold down the fort with you — one mom vs. twenty kids can get out of hand pretty fast!
3. When your kid is “the shy kid”…
Solution: Give your kid a sort of pre-party pep-talk before the party. Let her know that intermingling with other kids isn’t scary, and it can actually be fun! She doesn’t have to be the loudest, or BFFs with everyone, but it shouldn’t feel like the birthday party is being forced upon her either.
4. When goodie bags feel like just a bag of junk…
Solution: instead of filling the birthday goodie bags with cheapo plastic toys that kids will most likely never use, try investing in just one quality gift that fits in well with the theme of the party, and is equal to the price of all those useless gizmos and gadgets. If your boy is having a Lego-themed party, give each kid a small set of Legos. If your girl is having a tropical themed party, maybe use tropical-print bucket hats (those are so in right now anyway) as a favor.
5. When unexpected guests show up…
4 letters: R-S-V-P. Make sure to make it very clear in your invitations that guests must RSVP to the party — you don’t want to plan for cake for 10 kids and then have 20 show up. If some children or their parents never respond, don’t assume it’s a no — contact them a few days before the party to confirm whether or not their child is coming. Another rule of thumb is err on the side of more, just in case. Though this may be more difficult if your party is in a space where you must pay a certain fee per child, try to find an accommodating venue or entertainment company (not to toot our own horn here at Pop Art or anything) that can offer group rates.
6. When one of your guests has a food allergy…
Solution: Before you even begin planning what food to serve at the party, ask your guest to mention any food allergies when they RSVP, and make sure to read all food labels accordingly. If your kid has his heart set on peanut butter cookies, but his best friend has a peanut allergy, offer to make peanut butter cookies for him another time. Your guests’ safety is just as important as having fun at the party.