Due to a series of unfortunate events, this is a post about how to have an awesome, spur of the moment, indoor birthday party! Have you ever had a plan… a GREAT plan… and then had to ditch it at the last minute? Well, that’s what happened to me on the day of my oldest son’s 6th birthday party.
Cullen has a December birthday, so we usually incorporate Christmas into his theme somehow. It’s always darling, and we will continue to do that as long as he doesn’t get ‘too cool’ for mommy’s master plans. This year, we decided to have his Batman themed party at the neighborhood park. We would play and let all the little boys run and be rowdy, then eat cake and take them Christmas Caroling to the houses that backup to the lake. GREAT IDEA! Except, we had lightening storms all stinkin’ day!
PLAN B! I frantically texted all of the mommy’s and let them know that the party would be at our house due to the torrential downpour. This was something we DID NOT want to do! Rather panicked, I created several indoor and porch games that we could do at the party. I had to figure something out quick so everyone didn’t just stand around staring at each other! Or worse, the very real possibility that a group of boys might get cray cray and tear the house apart!
Long story short, the party was wildly successful! Take a look at our easy decor and ‘on-the-fly’ indoor games we played.
- Decorations! Since we were originally going to be at the park, we used our party favors, table cloth, plates, napkins, and cake as decoration. We laid it all out on the kitchen island so it all complimented each other.
- Gift Drop Off Location! As the little cuties arrived, they excitedly placed their birthday gifts around our entry way Christmas tree. It’s always nice to have a designated area for gifts.
Sidenote, this was one of our 3 full size Christmas trees. Holy guacamole, you read that right, 3 trees. We went a little overboard this year! We have one in the main room, one in the entry, and one in the upstairs game-room! I mean… why not?!
- Board Games! A major concern was that kids wouldn’t have anything to do, so as they began arriving, we had games set out for them to play together. Our games included Connect 4, Pop the Pig, and Ants in Your Pants.
You would be surprised at how much they LOVED this! I don’t think young kids get too many opportunities to play games together these days. Pulling out the board games is definitely something we will be doing again soon at a play dates.
- Saran Wrap Ball Game! This is the easiest game to prepare! All you need is saran wrap, and a bunch of treats to wrap up! In this case, I used our candy bowl that we already had in the pantry. Wrap up all of the treats, adding them as you go, into a big ball! Usually the ‘best’ prize is at the center, so you would start with that.
There are several ways to play this game, most of the time people use a timer. I used Christmas songs I had on my iPhone. The kids sit in a circle and take turns unwrapping the ball. Each person kept unwrapping as long as the music was playing, collecting whatever candy fell out. BUT, as soon as the music stopped, they passed the ball to the next person. So make your ball big enough for everyone to have a turn!
- Tie up the Bad Guys! Ok, this was SOOO easy! And SOOO much fun! All you need are 2 rolls of paper ribbon, 2 chairs, and 2 volunteers.
I ever so sweetly VOLUN-TOLD my sister and hubby that they were the badguys! I then split the kids into two groups and gave them the paper ribbon rolls. It was a contest to see which group of ‘Good-guys’ could tie up their ‘Bad-guy’ the fastest. As you can see, everyone had a good time with this game! There was so much laughter from kinds, onlooking adults, and even from the bad guys!
- Tug-o-war with Batman! On our porch, we had the cutest tug-o-war match you have ever seen! All of the kids tugged together on one side against Batman… aka, my husband.
We have boys, so of course we already had a batman mask he could use!! It also helped that my hubby is quite strong, so he managed to put up a pretty decent fight. 🙂
- Eat cake! Give Gifts! The last thing to do was eat delicious Batman cake, and open presents.
Many people are going away from opening gifts at kids parties, but I cannot get behind that movement. It’s important that we teach our kids about being thankful and having giving hearts. Kids need and WANT to see their friend open the gift that they brought them. Cullen always leaves a party feeling incredibly disappointed when he didn’t see his friend open his gift. What’s the point of bringing a gift if you don’t get to give it? Plus, 9 times out of 10, thank you notes are not sent, which makes that method seem ungrateful. It is also important for the birthday boy or girl to give heartfelt thank you’s. If your worried that your kid cannot sit still during presents or doesn’t understand why the gifts are not for them too, you patiently teach them. It’s a part of character building. (This obviously doesn’t apply to some kiddos with special needs. There will always be legitimate reason’s to do things differently.)
- Make giving special! We had each child sit next to Cullen while he opened their gift. The kids loved it! They each held their present while awaiting their turn. A tip from an ex-teacher: let them know you’re looking for the kid that’s sitting nicely to be the next person to sit next to the birthday boy. Worked like a charm!
That is our indoor party improvisation in a nutshell! Hopefully some of these ideas help you out the next time you are enter taining kiddos and need something fun in a pinch.