I recently read this article about the rising extravagence of children's birthday parties. The idea is that the phenomenon of "expenditure cascade" causes people to feel pressure to spend more and more because everyone else is doing it.
I'll admit that I almost hosted Henry's upcoming birthday at Kiddie Acres because he would have had a blast and there's a limited time frame in which he can have a party there, but we're opting for another year of a birthday party at home. I worry that once we venture beyond our home for birthday parties, there's no turning back!
It's going to be a simple birthday party on our deck and in our backyard (weather permitting!). We'll put out Henry's bike and ring toss game. We'll also give out bubbles from the Dollar Store as a little party favor, so those can be used right away. We are also going to purchase this jungle gym for Henry for his birthday, so that will be an additional activity for the children to play on. Because this gift is so expensive, it's actually for Christmas and his birthday.
Per Henry's request, we'll be making a piñata in the shape of a giant 4 and filling it with healthy gummy bears!
For food, we'll provide mac-n-cheese (I just do pasta + shredded pepper jack + 8 ounces of sour cream + 16 ounces of cottage cheese), homemade guacamole and chips, queso from the restaurant in our neighborhood, fruit, and cheese and crackers. For the cake, I want to make the chocolate zucchini cake that my friend made for her daughter's birthday party.
In terms of guests, we won't be inviting his whole class. As much as I love the idea of being inclusive, I don't want to create a chaotic and overwhelming/overstimulating environment. His old Montessori school recommended the child's age + 1 in order to determine a developmentally appropriate number of guests.
The best part is that there will be lots of opportunities for Henry to help with the set-up!