Emily Wyckoff

Countdown to the birthday party – is it over yet?

My kids’ birthdays are in December, March and May, so the good news is our birthday parties are almost over for the year. The not-so-good news is that this Friday is the grand finale – my daughter’s eighth birthday party. Of course I’m half kidding. I love celebrating my children’s birthdays and seeing them have a good time with their friends and family, but I have to admit, ridiculous as it may seem, it is a stressful day. 

As proof, I was helping my daughter look through some old pictures for a school project last night and came across a number of old birthday party photos from past years. Without a doubt every picture of me shows me leaning over the birthday child with the cake or cupcakes, stressed smiling face, sweat glistening off my face. These of course are the only photos taken of me because the one time I hand over the camera is when I am serving the cake……

Another  birthday dilemma when you have multiple children is teaching the siblings to share the spotlight with the birthday girl or boy. My six year old daughter’s birthday was in March and the long day concluded with her older sister sobbing because the birthday girl got so many gifts (she had a lot of kids at her party) and her sweet birthday girl sister piling her presents on her crying sister’s bed to appease her. It was a sad scene.

That said, this Friday is the end of the season. I have run the gamut of birthday party options – parties at our house, and parties off site (skating, bounce house places, gymnastics, tea parties). My soon-to-be eight year old wanted a slumber party, for which I don’t quite think we are quite ready. I have fond memories of slumber parties – someone going home crying, trying levitation and I was the one who was dropped, up all night and coming home gray and exhausted.

So my solution was to have an “Almost Sleepover.” She invited seven friends this Friday from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and the invitation said to bring their pajamas and sleeping bags. We will have pizza, do some kind of craft (I am thinking painting pillow cases – I need to get on that – could be a mess), sleeping bag races, I wanted to do s’mores outside on our outside fire pit (but of course it is predicted to rain – indoor s’mores? fire hazard?), and a movie. That should probably take us to about 7:45. Wish me luck and send me your ideas. I’ll read them after I’m finished making 50 chocolate chip cookies on lollipop sticks for the birthday girl’s class on Thursday. Is birthday season over yet?

10 Responses to “Countdown to the birthday party – is it over yet?”

  1. Ann says:

    An almost sleepover sounds like a great idea and solution for those girls a little too young for an all-night event. I’ll have to remember that for my girls (now 4 and 1). How about having the girls make up a ghost or fun story? You could give them a starter sentence and they could go around a circle and add to the story. You could be the scribe and have a fun keepsake for you all to look back on. Good Luck (and I agree with you…as much fun as the celebrations are, they are always a little or a lot stressful)

  2. Tina Court says:

    For a craft idea…how about using a wash out colour mousse? My girls were constantly after me to let them colour their hair. When this product came out, it was like an answered prayer! We both got what we wanted…they received a cool hair colour, I still had a little control!!
    Having girls, I found making shaped birthday cakes was always a lot of fun…an easy one…a butterfly…take a round cake and cut the circle in half,,,flip the circles so the round sides are together. Add pipecleaners for antenae,and ice and decorate as you like! Enjoy
    Hope this works…enjoy your almost sleepover.

  3. Anna says:

    Makeup. All girls love makeup and all of us adults have those shadows and such that we bought that never looked as good as we though they would but we couldn’t bare to throw away – let’s face it, the uglier the color probably the more the 8 year olds will love it. Ask the other mother’s permission first (some are not so keen on the 8 yo makeup thing) then ask them to donate THEIR “unwanted” colors. You can do the makeup or let them loose on eachother. Make sure they know it’s a special occassion thing so they’re not begging to wear makeup for school and such. The girls will feel so special and grown up and you will be able to relax and let them go to work on each other. Be sure to take pictures!!

  4. Christine says:

    I like Ann’s comment.
    Have them pass around a piece of paper not being able to see what the others are writing. Each person writes a sentence and then passes it on to the next. The catch is, you keep folding the paper over so that whoever’s turn it is to write can only read the last sentence written. That way (specially if you have multiple pieces of paper going around) they have no idea what the story is about and it comes out as a garbled mess! It can be realy hilarious!

  5. Zina says:

    Hey Rach
    Ohhh my birthday is olso on may!!!!so is my firend…and I really dn’t knw wat to bring her!!she loves Jeremy Northam..but I can’t bring her that..hahaha (he would be so vute in a gift box hhhh)but I would do much effort for me cuz I like him more:)you shold host him at your show…and tell him thatI wanna his signeture on an Emma novel;)

    I really forgot why I’m writing!!!
    oh yes..a bout the birthday gift
    ummmm,I have no children..yet! ..since I’m 21 but still can give an advice cuz I have a little sister of 10 year old…and she really loooves exessories(hope it’s the right spelling..sorry but I’m not a native speaker:P)…the more it’s silver and shiney the more she’s happy…and sometimes the more it’s Hip the more she find it fashoined…. she also likes to wear high heals and purse and play with it like she’s going to a party or a wedding!!… I don’t know if it’s a fine idea to let the girls wear them..

    Hope I helped
    Good luck and Happy birthday for your doughter.

  6. dd big fan says:

    hi u should try making choco marshmellows first u take abag of marshmellowsand let the kids decorate them with hersheys syrup then microwave until very puffy.

  7. fatima docrat says:

    dear rachael
    i’m a 12 year old girl from south africa
    i luv your show and i wish i could see it live!
    i’m probably your biggest, not 2 mention youngest fan.
    your show puts a smile on my face everyday
    when i grow up i want 2 be a t.v presenter just like u
    wat should my first step be 2 archieve my dream?

  8. DCS says:

    Indoor S’Mores. Golden Grahams Cereal has a recipe for indoor s’mores. They’re lots of fun to make with the kids. Plus, they are so yummy when served still warm. To make them easier to cut make sure you let them cool just a bit before you serve.

  9. Angela says:

    What a brilliant idea, the almost sleepover! I’m not a parent, nor the legal age to be one (in fact, I’m still a teenager), but perhaps a good idea would be to make several “stations” with activities. You could set up a few tables and get your other children to help manage them. They won’t feel left out, and you won’t have to run back and forth from here to there and here and back again.

    Possible activities could be easy no-sew scarves, digging for a red bead in a huge bucket of black beads, picking goodies for a take-home treat bag, bobbing for apples (this is a great nutritional idea, but it might be messy), and making a simple recipe. Each party guest could receive a ticket with the number of the activity station she/he has to go to first when she/he walks in through the door.

    A lot of good luck to you! I remember going to a birthday party; it was really simple fun, and the parents just kicked back and talked with each other.

  10. Teresa Santalucia says:

    I love all the idea’s for the girls birthday parties, they all sound fun. I have a boy who is turning 10 and I would like to know if anyone had any ideas for something different we have done bowling, skating, movies with 5 friends he loves baseball I would appreciate any idea’s


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