Birthday Parties Simplified

Real Moms, Genius Ideas

birthday boy

Kaysh Shinn

"We held my daughter's fourth birthday at a strawberry farm. We ate strawberry cake, then all the kids picked berries," says Diane Wenzel, of Cleveland. (In the fall, you could go to an apple orchard or pumpkin field.)

"One mom I know puts cards that thank guests for coming in favor bags. It takes some of the guilt away if, later, you never mail all of the individual thank-you cards," says Laurene Chavez, our art director.

"We had a charity party for each of my three kids' first birthday. Guests donated to charity in lieu of gifts. At 1, they don't need anything that Grammy hasn't already bought them! We always received a nice thank-you from the charity, which I saved in a scrapbook," says Michelle Bailey, of Davis, California.

"At my niece's party, there were two kid-size chairs for present opening. She sat in one and the gift giver in the other, and it really made the giver feel special," says Gail Mithoff, of Mission Viejo, California. (If your kid is too young to politely focus on presents -- or little guests are jealous -- save opening gifts for after the party.)

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the September 2007 issue of American Baby magazine.

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