What’s wrong with pass the parcel?

What has happened to children’s birthday parties these days?

I remember my birthday parties being lots of fun without the need for expensive entertainment or going to a soft play centre.  We used to have a party at our house (OK I was lucky being a July baby we sometimes got to go out in the garden!), Mum and Dad would make a nice buffet with the usual suspects, sandwiches, sausage rolls, etc and Mum would MAKE a fantastic birthday cake.  We used to make our own entertainment either playing pass the parcel, musical statues or just running around/dancing.

my party

Little Mr A went to his first birthday party of the school year today.  It was at our local village hall and there was a magician.  Not just any magician, a finalist for child’s entertainer of the year!  He had real birds and a real rabbit.  He was a very good kid’s entertainer but he obviously cost a fair few quid.  For lunch all the kids had a lunchbox with whatever sandwich they’d pre-booked, crisps, sausage roll, yoghurt and a cake and they all got two drinks each.  There was then tea and coffee and a buffet for the parents!  The birthday cake was not just a supermarket bought one it had obviously been made by a professional cake maker.  No-one even got a slice of it!  They all got given posh cup cakes!  All the children got a party bag packed full with chocolates and little toys and they all had a balloon gun/flower made.

Little Mr A's 2nd birthday cake - OK not professional looking but I was proud of it!

Little Mr A’s 2nd birthday cake – OK not professional looking but I was proud of it!

Although it was a great party and the kids loved it I can’t help feeling it’s become a bit of a competition between parents of who can throw the best party.  I certainly don’t feel hard done by from the parties my parents used to give me, we always had a great time.

We have had a party at a soft play centre for Little Mr A one year but, as he was at nursery, we only invited around 10 friends, he certainly won’t be going this year with all his school friends!

Little Mr A's first birthday - I made the cake!

Little Mr A’s first birthday – I made the cake!

I would love to throw him a party at home like we used to have but if all the parents are staying are we supposed to entertain and feed them to?  Why can’t we leave our children at the party and collect them later?  I remember being taken to parties, left and then picked up.  I can’t remember my parents ever having to stay?  And, if the parents do stay the whole time, where are we supposed to put everyone?!

Little Mr A 3rd birthday

Little Mr A 3rd birthday

Oh well suppose we best get saving for Little Mr A’s birthday in August!



11 thoughts on “What’s wrong with pass the parcel?

  1. Peer pressure is hard isn’t it. We do parties at home too, I have fond memories like you and I think it is nice to do it at home and you can really tailor it to your child’s interests. For the parents, I expect them to stay until school age, but for my son’s 5th we wrote on the invites “parents welcome to drop your children or stay if needed” and most of them did drop them off, so maybe that’s a way to encourage it? I think tea/coffee/biscuits is enough for parents too. If you time the party 10-12 or 2-4 ish I don’t think they should expect to be fed.

  2. We just had Miss C’s party at the local community farm! It was far cheaper than soft play and each kid got to touch all the animals and pony rides. We played pass the parcel as it was the one thing she didn’t want to miss out playing.
    I agree why can’t the parents just drop the kids and pick them up

  3. My childhood parties weren’t at home but held in the village hall – only because my parents didn’t want to deal with jelly and ice-cream on the carpet… Then again back then it only cost pennies to hire the hall for an hour or so and meant no-one had to be left out due to space limitations.
    Grandma produced child-friendly buffet – sandwiches, sausage rolls, cheese& pineapple, crisps, etc… She also made the cake herself.
    We were entertained with musical chairs/statues, what’s the time Mr. Wolf and of course pass the parcel.

  4. It’s such a competitive arena isn’t it – we threw this huge birthday party when our daughter was one for all OUR friends and after she spent the whole afternoon crying I swore never again. Last year we had a few kids round, hired a bouncy castle and played all the golden oldie games and all the kids loved it. I think most parents stayed but I expected that with it being preschool age children. I wouldn’t expect to have to stay once Meg is at school, I’d only be cramping her style after all! (popping over from Babyhuddle’s blog share tuesday)

  5. Kids parties are a form of torture in my opinion. I hate the pressure that build up over the years as they grow up and go to kids party that get fancier and fancier! I hate having to spend a fortune just so that you don’t feel like you are neglecting your own child if you don’t. I hate the party bags tack. I just hate kids parties as you might have guessed 🙂

  6. There’s nothing wrong with pass the parcel! I’ve always done traditional parties for mine (except for the eldest this year- she was desperate for a build a bear party! ) and people have loved it. The other parents tend to get stuck in helping too. This year my 3yr old had a dinosaur dig party (which I must blog!) and it was fab! Good luck!

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