Homeschool Birthday Parties: How to Plan a Birthday Party for a Homeschooler
Planning a birthday party for a child whose friends are all in his class at school might be easier than planning a homeschool party. Passing out invitations will be different, and the guests that come might be whole families, instead of just the kids. Planning family-friendly birthday parties is a learned skill that homeschooling moms can summon quite easily when they embrace the fact that multi-age parties can be a sign of healthy socialization and proof that their child isn’t suffering from age-ism or the negative effects of an age segregated lifestyle.
Homeschool Birthday Party Planning
A homeschool birthday party doesn’t need to take place on a weekend or evening. Quite often, the best time to interact with other homeschoolers is during the daytime, when the kids aren’t involved in extracurricular activities. For parents who are concerned that their children will be missing out on schoolwork, plan to have an educational party theme. Weather permitting, parties can be indoors or out.
Homeschool Birthday Party Invitations
Homeschool parents may want to discuss with their children whether or not the invitations are extended to entire families, or just some members. It’s not uncommon for homeschooled kids and adults to enjoy spending time together, nor is it uncommon for homeschooled kids to enjoy the younger and older siblings of their agemates. Without mandatory age segregation, children are given the opportunity to enjoy the company of a wider variety of people.
Invitations can be made or bought, emailed or mailed, or even just phoned in. It might be wise to make a reminder call. A party of ten that involves only two families is pretty much cancelled if one family doesn’t show up.
Homeschool Birthday Party Themes
Birthday parties can be loads of fun without themes, but themed parties are in fashion. A theme can be executed without buying a bunch of character-licensed accessories. If the theme is a toy or character, make a homemade pinata, perhaps as part of the week’s art lessons. Plan games and activities utilizing the theme, like perhaps a pin the ___ on the ___ game. Consider a “Mad Scientist” theme and do group science experiments, or choose a “Storybook Theatre” theme and have kids put on a puppet show with their party favors, hand puppets or marionettes.
Homeschool Birthday Party Clean-Up
Families who have made a commitment to preserving the environment might not be comfortable using disposable party dishes. Fill one side of the sink with warm soapy water to dump dishes into, so they don’t harden. Clean the activities up as the kids finish, and enlist the help of other parents in attendance. Plan to have outdoor playtime, to spare the mess indoors.
Before the party, put away toys that have several small pieces, or toys that “end up all over the place” so no one takes them out during the party. This will help speed the clean up.
Homeschool Birthday Party Games
In addition to pin the tail on the donkey derivatives, consider having a pinata or setting up carnival-style game tables. Kids also enjoy decorating their own cupcakes or sugar cookies. Another idea that works well with multiple age groups is having lawn games available, like miniature golf, a beanbag toss, badminton and cricket. Finally, some video games, like the Nintendo Wii system, work well for group play.
Planning a party for multiple age groups might seem challenging, but it can be done. It might be necessary to take a different approach to everything from invitations, to party games, decorations and even food. With proper planning, a homeschool birthday party can be a great success, where families share the blessing of yet another year, as friends.