is a weekly feature on Hamilton-Wenham Patch that invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Hamilton and Wenham.
Each week moms in the two towns will combine to take your questions, give advice, and share ideas and solutions.
Moms, dads, grandparents and others who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about the best pre-schools, the best pediatricians, playgrounds and the thousands of issues that arise while raising children.
If you have a suggestion for a question in for this space in future weeks, please let us know.
So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with something that is often on many parents’ minds.
Question: What are some creative ideas for kids’ birthday parties? What are some great local places to host a kids’ birthday parties? What activities/themes have been successful for your kids? What are some activities/themes that haven't worked well or you would not recommend?
: I really love the "old fashion" at-home parties (if I have the energy).
We have done sledding parties for my kids with winter birthdays. We also had a soccer party.
My son's birthday was at the pond at . I gave all the kids a net and they caught frogs and tadpoles. We got tons of positive feedback for this party.
For some indoor games we gave all the kids a paper plate with a piece of gum covered in whipped cream and without the use of their hands they had to get the gum and the first to blow a bubble won. The other fun game was everyone eating two krispy crackers and the first to whistle wins.
Does the Patton Park pool let you rent it out for pool parties? That would be fun.
I was once told that the number of kids that should be invited to child's party is their age plus one. I think this is a good rule to stick to. In my experience, the parties where there are tons of kids get a bit overwhelming for all involved.
I am a huge advocate of the kids that say no gifts or ask for their friends to bring a donation to or another non-profit.
: It's so much easier to go somewhere. , , YMCA, , and all do a nice active party. This year, we are going to try Canobie Lake Park with a few friends.
Parties at home allow move creativity. We did a Pokemon Party with a pinata we made from a grocery bag and tissue paper and a hunt for Pokemon (like an egg hunt). We had Curious Creatures come, then made homemade snakes from tubes of polar fleece and filled with rice (idea from YouTube) and made a snake from a row of green frosted cup cakes. For one party we had an ice cream truck come to the house and everyone got to pick a treat. If you have a pool, but a winter birthday...a half-birthday party is great.
While not a disaster, you are taking a huge risk if you rent a bounce house and the weather is bad. That happened to us. The kids did not care about jumping and sliding in the rain, but they were all covered in mud. Other parties with risk include karate, roller skating/ice skating and movies.
I've seen kids cry at karate because they were scared. Roller/ice skating requires some skill, so when kids don't know how, they’re just sitting around wanting to know when the party is over. When you go to a movie, sometimes kids have already seen it and complain.
The Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Department used to rent their gym for parties as does the rock wall and pool. I've never been to either, but they seem like good ideas.