Jude is about to turn the big 2 in a couple of weeks. The one thing I always do is hand make a Birthday invitation for the family and friends that will be coming to the party. I do it every year until my kids turn 10. I usually theme the card to something in the party or some nickname for the kid. This year I've gotten a little stuck with Jude. I think I know what I'm doing but until I have a rough draft drawn up that works I won't commit to the idea.
While I have been busy procrastinating this past month I have taken the time to look back at some of the other Birthdays we've had in this house as well as when I was growing up. My mom was incredibly creative when it came to my Birthday parties as a kid. She had all of these games we would play. And I've reused some of them during my days as a preschool teacher as well as for some of Naiya's Birthdays.
My favorite game that my mom did (and I had her do it more than once) was a Candyland game. I was reminded of it when I saw this picture on Pinterest.
Here's the link to where it was found online
What my mom did was set up a Candyland gameboard using colored construction paper. Then my friends and I were the pieces. At various points on the board were all of the special character stops (Mr. Mint, Lord Licorice, Princess Lolly, etc.), and at each of these stops was a bag with candy in it relating to the special character. My mom would run the game using the cards from Candyland and move us through the game. We each had a brown paper bag with our names on it and we would get to stop and pick up candy as we passed each of the special characters or, if my mom drew a special character card and we got advanced to that spot.
This was my hands down favorite party game. I know she did it more than once for me. It only made logical sense that I repeated it when my daughter Naiya was old enough for it. And now that she's so much older and doesn't *sniff* look like a little girl anymore, I'll include the shots I have of her playing the game.
You don't need a ton of money to put on an incredible Birthday party for a kid. I have fond memories of the ones my mom would do for me and there was nothing fru fru about them. Naiya loved this game as much as I did growing up. All of her friends had a great time too. I made up extra characters to include snacks I knew the kids would like. The games we played during the party filled up their brown paper bags which at the end became their party favors.
I think you could adapt this concept to other childhood games. Making the game life sized and putting the kids in as the playing pieces puts a whole new spin on a childhood classic and they will totally get into it. You probably will too. I know I did. Birthday's can be a lot of work but the payoff of joy in your child's sparkling eyes is priceless.