I’m a simple Mommy, who is just a wee bit nostalgic. Okay, I admit it. I’m very nostalgic. When I was a child, my mother and sisters planned at home birthday parties for me that included simple, traditional party games. My sister Jennifer would bake-up a sheet cake and decorate it with those packaged sugar decorations from the grocery store. My friends would come over for two hours and we would have a no-fuss, birthday blast.
Taking all of this into consideration, I just can’t bring myself to throw a Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday party. I know that someday I’ll have to drag myself into the 21st century, but for the time being our birthday parties are simple and personal. We usually invite family and friends over to enjoy an old fashioned backyard birthday party. However, the last few years MacGyver has requested to celebrate his birthday at Aunt Joyce’s river. His yearly river party has proven to be even easier than a low-key backyard party. Woo-Hoo!
Keeping it Simple:
1. evite Invitations:
- I’ve found that it’s super easy to send out evite birthday invitations. The invitations are FREE and all guests can easily RSVP, giving me a head count.
2. Let the kiddos decorate the cupcakes and make the decorations (if we have decorations).
- Our favorite recipe is our Devilishly Delicious and Easy Pumpkin muffins (FREE printable recipe). How can you beat two ingredients? Yes, only two ingredients. And with the pumpkin, they could even be considered a little healthy. Both kids and adults rave about these cupcakes.
- Since MacGyver was asking for a fish pond for our backyard, “goldfish” were our birthday theme.
- We found the idea for our goldfish cupcakes in the Disney Family Fun magazine.
The kiddos iced the cupcakes.
Then they sprinkled each with blue sugar.
I cut the circus peanuts as directed by Family Fun and MacGyver assembled them.
I confess they were a bit tricky, so we didn’t put a goldfish on every cupcake. Our cupcakes might not win “Cupcake Wars” but they were made by an eight and four-year-old with much love and excitement!
The Big Day
The Big River Party
MacGyver’s party preparation assignment was to collect “River Toys” for everyone to share.
We go to the beach and the river so much that we have plenty of buckets and toys to go around!
For party favors, each child received a fishing net for collecting “critters” at the river.
Our guest ranged from two-years-old to seventy-nine!
There were turns in the kayak for the big kids.
And kayak rides for the little ones.
Then it was time for rock climbing. Yes, this is the real deal. Not one of those fake carnival rocks.
But what goes up . . . must come down! Look, our Man of Steel can fly! Go Daddy! Go Daddy!
Time to refuel with MacGyver’s favorites: pizza and pickles.
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear MacGyver, Happy Birthday to you!
Surprise, one great big “outside of the box” birthday fish pond for you!
I don’t think MacGyver (or any of the other kiddos) missed Chuck E. Cheese one bit! Thank you for Aunt Joyce’s River!
MacGyver is currently busy writing his thank you notes. He created an original piece of artwork for his personalized thank you cards.
For more details on making personalized thank you cards with your children read: 5 Lessons Children Learn from writing Thank-You Notes