Planning A Simple Kid’s Birthday Party that is Outside of the Box

July 21, 2011

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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).

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

10 Easy Steps to Create a Simple Backyard Pond with Your Children

A Little Birthday Math Outside of the Box: Book of the Week GIVEAWAY

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara July 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I love the cupcakes! My four year old loved looking at all the pictures! Although when he saw the one of your husband jumping, he said, “Mommy, that looks dangerous.” :)
I love MacGyver’s river party idea!

Amanda July 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Love the pics! I didn’t know Maddie got to ride in the kayak. Also, love the picture MG painted for his Thank You cards. Such talent!!

JDaniel4's Mom July 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I love your cupcakes. Thus party looks wonderful. The party location looks like such fun.

Catherine July 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Wow – what an awesome party! The kids must have loved collecting critters.

Ramona July 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I am totally with you on the home made small party at home. I have just done one for my 6 year old daughter and we keep it small. No whole class invites to a playzone which seems to be the done thing at the moment. Next year my son will be 8 and I feel I will need to take him out the house with all his mates, so something similar to your son’s party will be the perfect way to celebrate!

5ennie July 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Great ideas, but I absolutely LOVE the thank you card!! You could sell them – just fantastic!
Here from the Hop.

Sara February 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

I can not believe it! My son’s name is Macgyver too! We made the “G” a lowercase letter because my husband doesn’t want him to be called Mac. We have never seen or heard of another Macgyver! Too cool and very cute party!!

Jeannine February 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Well, MacGyver is his nickname. He earned it because he makes something out of nothing just about every day! He is always inventing, building and creating! So technically you still have the only Macgyver.

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