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Kids Birthday Parties: Have They Gone Over the Top?

Whatever happened to good old fashioned birthday parties?

by Janie Kimball  |  4653 views  |  4 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Whatever happened to good old fashioned birthday parties with cake and back-yard games?

My 9-year-old daughter recently attended a birthday party that included a limousine ride to The Ritz hotel for tea, followed by manicures and pedicures at a posh shop. I think most of us were first picked up in limos for our weddings -- not a child’s birthday party. Since when did birthday parties become such extravagant affairs?

In our now “more is better” culture, parents and kids have higher and higher expectations for birthday parties. As a result, parents are feeling the financial strain and stress and kids are overloaded and over-indulged.

So how do you create an inexpensive-yet-memorable birthday party? Keep it simple. Have the party at home and invite eight friends -- not 20. Plan a fun craft that can be used as the take home party favor, eliminating the over-stuffed throw-away goody bag. Play good old-fashioned games that kids will love -- an obstacle course or sack race is great for both boys and girls of all ages. For younger kids, you can’t go wrong with "Duck Duck Goose,” and for older kids, a dress-up relay race is always fun!

There are lots of great birthday party ideas sites online including Amazing Moms and Birthday Party Ideas. For the craft, check out Michaels craft store. They have a huge selection of materials. If you are low on time but still want a fun, creative birthday party craft, check out Birthday Parties Delivered. They offer kids crafts and birthday-party packages that contain everything you need.

Remember that the birthday party is for your children. Pick something that every child can participate in and keep it simple. This will allow you, as their parents, to enjoy the festivities, hold the video camera, and simply share in the excitement of your child’s celebration! They will grow up too fast, so relish in these exciting and developing years!

About the Author

Janie is a mom of two and owner of Birthday Parties Delivered. Birthday Parties Delivered ( provides unique and personalized kids craft birthday party packages - delivered to your door! Ideal for busy moms who still want a personal touch - without all the stress. Check us out for great kids birthday party ideas.

Read more by Janie Kimball

4 comments so far...

  • Very nice article. Full of common sense.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lorena on 7th June 2008

  • I couldn't agree more with this article! Also, I have used "Birthday Parties Delivered" for birthdays in the past- they are awesome!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kirsten Hagen on 15th May 2008

  • I really think that kids have more fun when we let them be kids. I think that a ride in a limo is something for adults to have fun doing. Letting a kid just get down and play and get messy and dirty with friends...that's what birthday parties are for.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 9th May 2008

  • Let's be honest...half the time the birthday party is an excuse for the parent to have a party. How many 1 year olds know 50 people?

    My all time favorite "over the top" birthday story was one held at a major urban museum for the kindergarten child which included a professional caterer, the latest kids musical group and fabulous goody bag. After the celebration, a mom asked her son who attended the party what he liked best. The child thought for a few moments and replied: "the chocolate cake was pretty good mom."

    Professionally, I benefit from over the top birthday celebrations and firmly believe that there is a time and place for everything. Know your child, know your lifestyle and have fun.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Chief Princess Tracy Young on 3rd May 2008