Happy 5th of July! For most of us that means back to reality since we have bid the last holiday of the summer farewell. Well, I guess Labor Day is technically in the summer, but here we go back to school in August, so it doesn’t count.
All 3 of my kids have birthdays within 2 weeks of each other, and then my husband is a month after. Last year my niece was born just a few days before the boys, so that makes for a lot of summer birthdays. When I was considering the logistics of birthday parties this year I realized that we would be having a birthday party every weekend for a month. As much fun as that sounds like, I decided that we needed to condense things down into one party for the kids.
Our boys are twins, so they have always had to share a party. In the past we have let them each pick a theme. But adding my 15-year-old daughter into the mix proved a bit more challenging. At first I considered letting them each pick a theme, but once I started crunching numbers, I decided that wasn’t feasible. The 4th of July falls right in between their birthdays, so I chose to have a 4th of July themed party, and then let the kids choose their own cupcake flavor and cupcake decorations.
I am a twin myself, and after a lifetime of shared birthdays, I think its important that the kids have some of their own identity in the party. So even though it was a lot of work to crank out 6 dozen cupcakes with 3 different flavors, and 3 different icings, that wasn’t an element I wanted to sacrifice. We went to the party store to choose cupcakes papers, and then I printed and cut pictures of each element on my Silhouette machine, taped them to a toothpick, and used them as cupcake toppers.
I have found my Silhouette machine to be indispensable when it comes to parties! I decided last-minute that I should label the cupcakes so people knew what flavor they were choosing, as well as the drinks. I was able to hop on the Silhouette store and snag a 99¢ file, and have these cute place cards cut and glued together within minutes.
We had a great mix of friends and family at the party, and the kids had a blast! From someone who has always felt so wary of treating them like one person on their birthdays, I think combining their parties is going to become a yearly habit! It was much easier on mom and dad’s budget, plus it was easier for our friends and family to attend one party instead of three weekends in a row.
These are a few tips I would offer about throwing one birthday party for multiple kids.
- Set a budget and stick to it. Its easy to go overboard on things like food because you can reason that it’s still cheaper than throwing three separate parties. I bought way too much which ended up being wasteful.
- Consider buying cupcakes, or only choosing one flavor. I let each child choose their own cake mix and frosting flavor for cupcakes. All 3 chose something different, which means I had to make and frost 6 dozen cupcakes the night before the party. My freezer is full of uneaten cupcakes, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. In hindsight I should have made them agree on a flavor, and then frosted one batch in different colors.
- Be realistic. I avoided combining the kids’ birthday parties for a long time, out of some unfounded fear of ruining their birthdays/childhoods. I grew up poor and went without a lot, and I have never wanted my kids to feel that way. But, I am discovering that they don’t care! They just want to open presents and have some friends over, and the rest are just details that don’t really affect them.
- Be creative. Since our party fell on July 3rd, we decorated with a 4th of July theme. There are tons of fun themes you could choose that would encompass boys and girls of any age like a luau.
- Keep it simple. There is a lot of pressure for kids’ parties to be over-the-top anymore. I know parents who have rented limos and hauled kids out of state for celebrations. Thats ridiculous! There is nothing wrong with a backyard birthday party, and my kids said it was their best birthday ever.
I hope this gave you some good ideas about combining birthday parties if you have kids with birthdays close together. Do you have kids with birthdays close together? Having one birthday party for multiple kids went so well for us this year, I will be shocked if we don’t do it again next year
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