Last weekend we had a birthday party for the ever growing sprout in our garden plot – my seven year old son. These days, most kids have their birthday parties outside the home at facilities like JumpZone and PumpItUp. Those places are fun, but expensive so we decided to be adventurous and have a nature party in our home. The kids made bird feeders, searched for animal tracks, threw snowballs inside our house and found their own chirping bird to bring home.
They made the bird feeders by spreading a mixture of vegetable shortening, cornmeal and oatmeal onto a pine cone, then rolling the coated pine cone in safflower seeds. Before the party we tied string around the top of the pine cones. After each child finished their feeder, we wrapped it in saran wrap and placed it in their goodie bag. After the bird feeder activity, the kids guessed how many gummies were in the jars…one for gummy worms and one for gummy bears.
Next, they all searched for animal tracks scattered throughout the house. Each child had a list of the 15 animals who left their tracks in our house, along with stickers to place next to the animal’s name after they found its tracks. The kids had fun scurrying up and down the stairs hunting. The most difficult tracks to find were the bird tracks since I had placed some of them on a shelf (birds can fly, you know).
My husband led the kids in snowball throwing games in the basement while I prepared the kitchen table upstairs for the pizza and cupcakes. I was not worried, the snowballs were soft pom poms I made with white yarn (I made 20). They held up well, only a few white yarn strands fell onto the carpet.
The party concluded with each child finding their own chirping bird in a paper nest (an origami box). The kids were thrilled to bring home their own bird. All the birds were local varieties they may see come to their feeders.
My son enjoyed his day with his friends and all the activities. He felt a bit like a king. “Wait! I need my crown!” he shouted, just before the cupcakes, candles and the happy birthday song.
I’d love to hear your in-home kid birthday party ideas.