Gracie’s 5th birthday looms.

On the one hand, I’m excited: my baby is growing up, she’s learning so much, she’s getting ready to go to school… But then, on the other hand, there’s the birthday party. Of course, I could say ‘No, you can’t have a birthday party’ and be all mean and upset Gracie. But I’m always happy after the event, to see the happy faces of Gracie and her friends.

This year I’ve determined to make it as stress free as possible. We’re having it at a local park with some coverage (“It’ll pelt down with rain”), I’m preparing less food and buying more chocolate and chips (“It’s unhealthy and lazy, what am I doing?”), we will play pass the parcel wrapped with newspaper painted by Gracie (thankfully my sister is running that side of things on the day), I’ve asked the kids to bring their scooters and bikes (“Please don’t rain”) and we’re having a craft activity. A gift voucher received for a talk I gave was a big bonus to my budget.

So, few games, free outdoor venue and few homemade treats.

I’m sure that’s not the way it goes on Pinterest top five ways to create a memorable kids party.

But I take heart. At this age kids are very present and find magic in the most everyday things. I bought a book today called Dandelions by Katrina McKelvey and illustrated by Kirrili Lonegran which reminded me of this. In the book the little girl shares a world of magic with her father – all through dandelions. If weeds are magical surely a humble birthday party will be fun?

To be honest I do love being creative with my purchases and using Gumtree to source cheap local deals. For instance, I bought a vintage child’s desk for Gracie’s birthday present. It looks adorable and Gracie’s asked that I paint it pink – that’s next fortnight’s pay and energy.



Gracie doesn’t think of me as cheap or choosing second-hand presents. There’s no reason to think Gracie’s ability to see magic in the everyday has left her yet.