A couple of weeks ago Frog had her 6th birthday party. Unlike the previous two years there wasn’t a huge amount of planning with this one. I didn’t even look at Pinterest, for example. The invitations were hastily made one Sunday afternoon and my mum sorted out the cake. It might have been the lowest key party in terms of prep, but I’m pretty sure it’s the most successful one we’ve ever done.
Rather than hiring a hall we decided to risk the British weather and organised a party at our local beach. We asked parents to drop their kids off at our house and then me, my mum and the NLM drove in convoy in our three cars with a small group of girls and plenty of beach games and food. There were eleven kids in total (nine six year olds and a couple of little sisters – some of the children met us there) and this proved to be the ideal number. There were enough children to do a few organised games but it was a small enough number to verge on the right side of total chaos.
The day before the party I headed to my local bargain store for multi-packs of crisps, biscuits and sweets. On the morning of the party I made a few different types of sandwiches and wraps, packed up some raisins, cut up some fruit and chucked the lot in a big hamper.
We were lucky with the weather. Rain was forecast but it held off and we had bright sunshine in between patches of cloud. It was even warm enough for the girls to get into their cozzies and have a paddle (although most of them ended up soaking wet as they inevitably splashed each other!).
The games were impromptu. We did “Make the Mermaid” and the girls divided themselves into teams, drawing a mermaid in the sand and decorating their creations with seaweed and shells. There was a relay race involving pebbles and a bucket, and my mum (former Drama teacher – handy) organised a game based on some imaginative role play. In between the games the girls broke off into little groups and built sandcastles, paddled in the sea or took turns burying each other in the sand.
After a picnic on the beach we headed home for birthday cake and to hand out the party bags. Rather than fill up a load of little bags with plastic tat we bought some large pencil cases which we repurposed as wash bags. These we filled with a little bottle of bubble bath, a homemade scrunchie (thanks Mum!) and a piece of cake. The girls loved their presents and, again, it was a much simpler way of doing things – especially as we got the wash bags for 89p each from the bargain store!
It couldn’t have been more different to Frog’s party last year – a disco in the village hall that took a good month of planning and plenty of last-minute stress. That party was also a whole lot more expensive too. I’m not saying we won’t do a big party like that again, but this year’s offering was so easy, cheap and stress-free it proved to me that sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Remind me of that come October when I start fretting about Baby Girl’s second birthday.