Today my daughter turned 9 years old and I let her decorate her party all by herself (gasp).
If you have any experience with 9 year old girls, you know this was probably the best present I could have given her. Her eyes lit up when I told her she had complete control. I gave her our big box of old decorations and other odd things and told her to let me know if she needed anything else. After rummaging through the box, and writing up a list of ideas, she told me she needed two things — balloons & colored cardstock.
This is what she came up with. And it was AWESOME.
Using our old balloon ribbon and painter’s tape, she made these stylish streamers and hung them from the mantel.
This old “surprise” banner completes the mantel look and just gives a general excitement to the party. What are we surprised about? I’m not sure, but I’m confident now that something amazing is going to happen.
Most people don’t realize that the space in between the couch cushions is the perfect spot to stuff a balloon ribbon. It is.
Another great spot to tie a balloon is velcro space where your dry erase marker attaches to your weekly schedule board.
Another banner? We must be really serious about this party! This time it says “Happy Birthday” just in case there’s any confusion.
My daughter made it clear that this party needed to be minecraft-themed. I think she did a pretty amazing job creating minecraft people out of colored cardstock, don’t you? Here are her other creations…
And finally, I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of food we ate. We had exactly what she wanted. Steak, Potatoes, Salad (with tomatoes on the side), White Bread, Creeper Juice (Sprite), Fishy Crackers, and Cherry pie & Ice cream for dessert. Was it completely organic and healthy? Kinda. Read why we don’t believe in eating perfect all of the time.
Listen Moms, I get it.
It sure can be tempting to make a perfectly decorated birthday party for our kids. But does it really matter? Do our kids need to see a perfectly color-coordinated table of goodies, with matching homemade decorations? Let’s be honest, most of the time, the decorations are for us. Maybe they’re to make us feel like we have a perfect home, or maybe they’re just to give us a creative outlet.
Whatever the reason, if you are feeling stressed or pressured to have a perfectly decorated party the next time your kids have a birthday, just remember that this chick doesn’t do that.
And it turns out PERFECTLY WONDERFUL anyway.
Karen Buckley says
Thanks snoring husband, I will need a nap today. Reading about your homegrown birthday ideas DaNelle, I thought of some of the fun homegrown Bdays, we did a treasure hunt through our bog,up the dirt road into the woods, perfect for a group of boys with big energy! They made their own pirate costumes before venturing out. Another time we had a water ballon contest (rules?) over the balcony with Caden’s older sister running up and down the yard below with an umbrella seriously messy good fun. For the HarryPotter(when the book first came out) no frills, wands and a sheet hung from a living room beam and again older sister and friend, hang stars on strings, give happy boys and girls wands, abs cadabra,louder! and stars start to move, let loose imagination! Wow he’ll be 17 this month! Hardware stores are great for decorations, the bright contractor ribbons. You are on the right path unschooling, it is about keeping their spirits in tack, 4th grade we went to a private school, 10th grade AP public, for senior year Caden will duel enroll at the local college. I am an artist/farmer and thank goodness for people like you DaNelle for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm
Jessica T says
She did a great job! My kids love minecraft too.
My daughter would love complete control of her party decorating, my son would rather I do it all. I generally let the kids help a lot with decorating, and we reuse a lot. I just can’t bring myself to buy decor that won’t get lots of use. I’ve used ideas from pinterest for interesting decorating, their favorite has been balloons threaded on thread so that they dangle over and across a room (one year we did it over our basement stairwell, a favorite to this day!)
I can not tell you how much I loved this post!! The balloon taped to the back of the couch made my day. She looks so proud and why wouldn’t she be? her minecraft decor is a.ma.zing! 😀
Love it. I’m learning how to let go (slowly, but surely). This year I let me two daughters (ages 6 and 5) decorate for their little brother’s 2nd birthday. They LOVED it. Life is SO MUCH easier (not to mention more enjoyable) when I stop trying to keep up with what others are doing and be that “model mom” and just be REAL instead. Huh. Go figure. 🙂
Brooke Lewis-Slamkova says
I’ve tried contacting you via the website but none of the links work properly and several of your links are not working. Please let me know the best way to reach you.
DaNelle Wolford says
I’m sorry about that Brook, which links aren’t working?
I had the same problem to. The “Contact” button and “About” button under the picture in the upper right corner aren’t working.
I love it! Too many moms get bogged down with Pintrest. Use it as a creative inspirational resource when you know what you sort of want. Children have great ideas on their own though. I try to have my son have his own time to be creative without my input. My mom did it for me and I loved being trusted with my creativity! Way to go Mom! Tell your daughter “great job on the minecraft creatures”.
This year I let my 4 year old decorate her own birthday cake. She had the time of her life. And that’s what birthdays are all about. I’m fine with moms going over the top if it’s for their child’s sake (let’s be honest… how many kids care if their party is pinterest perfect?… none that I know) or for their creative outlet, but if they are just doing it to plaster it all over the Internet and get virtual high-fives, it’s really irritating. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!