I have to admit, I love birthday parties. While the thought of hosting large groups of children can be daunting, I find myself embracing these moments as a chance to express my inner Martha. It’s all in the simple details.
For her 7th Birthday, Arielle chose a “Cooking Party” theme. Since our house was still backlogged from a kitchen remodel, I decided to outsource this one. While I had never seen a children’s birthday party there, I checked with the newly opened “Apron’s Cooking School” at our local Publix grocery store. Sure enough, they would host a party for 15 girls! Chef Michael was great. He met with the two of us and planned an extensive menu.
Now, even if I’m hosting a party elsewhere, I like to hand out a theme-filled goody bag. I think it pays to do a little research and come up with a few quality items rather than lots of throw-aways. I found a website with high-quality children’s aprons. (www.kng.com) The white, chef-style aprons ($2.82 each) came with great reviews and I wasn’t disappointed. I rolled each of the Aprons with a wooden spoon (3 for $1 at the Dollar Tree) and tied them with a pink satin ribbon (50 cents for 10 yards). I added a handful of cookie cutters to each bag ($6 for 101 cutters after Michael’s 40% off coupon. Finally I baked a batch of my best chocolate chip cookies (I’ll post that on another blog) and put three in each of 15 cellophane bags, again, tied with pink ribbon.
The birthday party was a success. Chef Heidi did a great job of keeping the girls occupied while teaching them basic plastic knife skills, stove safety and reasons not to touch your hair, nose or friends after you’ve washed your hands!
THE THANK YOU’S
Here’s a little shortcut trick for making thank you notes a snap. When I send out the party invitations, I print the addresses on a sheet of labels (just use Microsoft Word – labels). I make a second copy of the labels and Voila!, the thank you notes are already addressed. I make a third copy of the labels on plain paper and use it to mark off who’s coming and who’s not.
Depending on the child, I think fill-in the blank thank-you’s are just fine. Buy them at a stationary store or make your own on the computer. Better yet, have your child write out one copy of the thank you‘s with spaces for the name and the gift. Have them draw a picture for the front and make color copies. The point is to instill in children that we say thank you for gifts and to not make the process too difficult or overwhelming. I think Emily Post would agree that a less than perfect thank you is better than no thank you at all. As kids get older we can and should expect more.