Have you ever felt fed up with the insane birthday parties that seem to be the new normal? You know, where entertainment is ordered, enough food for the gods is catered and carnival worthy blow up toys fill the yard? And by the end a sick, cranky kid is stumbling around and could care less about the time and resources used? (this might be a bit hyperbolic).
A few years ago we simplified our birthday celebrations quite a lot - just a few friends over for a waffle breakfast or a hike in the woods with some buddies. So simple, and the kid had more fun. And I was not left with garbage bags full of paper products headed straight for the landfill.
If you would like to move your parties into a greener, more simple direction, Naturally Fun Parties for Kids by Anni Daulter offers loads of inspiration. Daulter highlights three parties for each season that focus on homemade decorations and delicious whole, fresh food with an emphasis on ecologically friendly and healthy alternatives to the mainstream. Especially helpful is the organizational chart, list of supplies and timeline for each fete. She makes it easy for you to look amazing!
Some of my favorite parties are: a Wild Girl Teepee Party, Upcycle Art Party and a Berry Picking and Jam Making Party. But in particular, I was inspired by the Summer Solstice Beach Party - something I can easily do in Florida this summer.
While the parties are styled and shot perfectly, they are simple at the core and Daulter encourages the reader to borrow and make the decorations instead of the buying and pitching cycle that is so easy to fall into. Using elements from nature, thrifted fabric, mason jars and other goodies from the recycle bin, many of these decorations can be used in any party or celebration.
In fact, that is what we did. For my daughter's 10th birthday we were inspired to make the scrap fabric garland. It was especially sweet because all three of my children helped make it and we picked from many of her old dresses - so the garland was really a visual celebration of her. A million times better than anything I could have bought! And when we were done, we hung it in our craft room - so it still lives :)
I loved reading this book and recommend it to anyone who is looking for new, sustainable ways to throw parties.
*I received a copy of this book to review. However, it was on my wish list and I am a fan of Daulter's work - so my review is from the heart.