Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kid's Home Birthday Parties - it's the same in France - Part I

Slumber Party  for her 12th birthday!!

At the end of January, my two older girls celebrated their birthdays.  It's always fun having 2 girls - 3 years apart but their birthdays are only 5 days from each other!  It makes for a bit of a scramble to choose dates, organize parties and figure out themes.  When we lived back in the States, so many of our birthday parties were held at various "party" locations, the bowling alley, the kid's spa, a make your own pizza restaurant, children's museum, dance museums, ice skating rink; the ideas seemed endless.  Our house was very small so having too many kids or people at the house was always a challenge.  Not too mention, it was always nice to have the mess and clutter elsewhere!  I do know it was beginning to change as my girls were getting older - they wanted a party at home - be able to hang out and enjoy their friends in the comforts of their own home.  These were the kind of parties, I remember as a child.

Last year, I've spent a lot of time observing ideas from others as to how parties were done here in France.  Overall, the majority of them are good old-fashioned home parties.  Yes, my girls have gone to a couple parties at the local rope's course or the bowling alley.  But for the most part, these kids invite their friends to their home and have their party there. In nice weather - they are outside, maybe swimming in a pool or playing outdoor games - Inside could be crafts or other activities to amuse a bunch of kids. This I found really refreshing - letting the kids just enjoying being with each other and hanging out.

My oldest wanted a slumber party.  Now, I remember slumber parties when I was young - we were often in someones basement or in our own space where the noise wasn't too bad for everyone else in the house.  A little tricky here in France, we have no basement or extra big space for a bunch of exuberant girls.    So, we did what most sensible parents do - we limited it to 5 friends and told her - that she could use the living room.  We were trying to keep the noise away from the younger girls who would try to get a good night's sleep.  She wanted it low-key, no fuse - no planned games or activities - just a fun evening with girl friends!

Cupcakes were ordered!

Pizza was served!

Party bags were prepared ( a side note here - This fun little design is Barba Papa - a popular preschool cartoon character in France - it translates to Mr. Cotton-Candy.  My daughter was just looking for plain 'Joyeux Anniversaire' bags but after going to 2 stores - she decided to be fun and youthful!)
Balloons were blown up...because "Mom it isn't a party unless there are lots of balloons!"
The girls who arrived early helped to finish blowing up lots of balloons!
Even my youngest helped with preparing the festivities!
It was a fun classic evening - hanging out with girlfriends!

and of course, I had to put "magic" candles on her cake!
They all danced to "Just Dance" on the Wii & played Mario Cart.

They ate, hung out & spent the evening chatting away and did their nails and redid their nails about 15 times! They are girls after all!

It may be 9:30 in the morning - but they were all awoken by the younger sisters who wanted to watch TV!

And it's always great when your father makes Crepes for everyone before they leave!

Overall, my daughter said her party was a success.  Yes, they stayed up most of the night.  My husband and I did get up a few times to remind them to stay quiet.  But, it's a birthday party and it was her 12th!  I think she'll remember this one for a while!

For Part II coming up in a few days - I'll share about my middle daughter's 9 year old Glamour party at home!

Enjoy your week.

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