A children's party without a carousel and without a 20-storey cake, that's yes!
Children's parties are sometimes excessive.
Candy bar, inflatable games, pony in the yard, outing to the arcades: children's parties have taken on fairground proportions in recent years. However, out of breath and budget, more and more parents are saying no to one-upmanship. What if we went back to basics?
To celebrate her seventh birthday, the daughter of Marie des Neiges Genest invited two friends to play outside and eat homemade cupcakes “in her fort”. An afternoon in all simplicity, but which was greatly appreciated by the birthday. “She asked me to repeat the experience next year!” Says the mother, who has never encouraged birthday packages at great expense.
[Are you okay? She is good! The series “Boutte Parents”aims to make families who are out of breath feel guilty in the context of the pandemic. On the program: advice, updates, and toolboxes on a ton of themes. To be continued in the Inspiration section.]
She's not the only one. The pandemic effect and the rise in inflation seem to have dampened the ardor of parents, after two years of simply celebrating. Partying at the public park is no longer a compromise; it is a choice for many parents who no longer want to pay high amounts for the party of their offspring. No fuss: we cover a picnic table with a vinyl tablecloth and we help ourselves to the cake while the children have fun around it. A practical solution for parties in summer (if it rains, it takes a plan B!).
Who can afford to rent inflatable games and make come to a circus in his backyard?, wonders Caroline, another mother. This is not the reality for many families. For the sake of economy, but also by choice or lack of time, simplicity is at the rendezvous.
Kids-parties like the 1980s
It's the return of theme nights: pajama party, camping in the living room, masked ball and company. Nothing complicated, just get out of the routine.
Forget the custom pastry cake. It's the return of McCain cake or Duncan Hines chocolate topped with a few candles. No thematic or rainbow.
“I wrote to the other parents that we were celebrating like in the 80s: macaroni on the menu and we play in the house! The children are benchill with that”, suggests another mother, Virginie Faucher.
The incomparable McCain cake/Photo: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash
Packages still popular
Nevertheless, birthday packages offered by companies are still just as popular. Some people want to get out of their homes. They want to live again, notes the manager of iSaute, which is sold out for the next few weeks.
Where to go in this case? The options are numerous and vary according to the age of the children. Amusement centers are always popular, as are indoor climbing, trampolining, laser tag and other activities that allow children who have just devoured a sweet cake to burn off their energy. Some also offer all-in-one themed packages, animation included.
Many parents calculate that the investment is worth it since, in some cases, room rental, cake, decorations and, of course, cleaning are included in the package. This saves time in organization.
Some activities outside the home are also more affordable. A birthday package in a bowling alley, for example, costs peanuts and has the advantage of bringing the generations together (so you can celebrate with friends and grandparents).
Whether at the park, at home or at the amusement center, the golden rule remains the same. That of leaving room for the unexpected, having fun and letting go.
Letting kids find their own games doesn't make you a bad parent./Photo: Jay Chen/Unsplash
Easier said than done. For Annie Germain, mother of two children, each party had become anxiety-provoking. “I organized great activities only to realize, in the end, that in addition to generating pre-party stress and post-party fatigue, it was relatively expensive. So I reduced the scale over the years.” Result: a little dinner at the restaurant, a friend invited to sleep over, a Lush mask in the evening, a cake decorated by the children. “But I feel guilty for being so “simple”…! Not funny,” she says.
Letting go, they say. Because birthday parties, there will be others. Every year.
- No time or inclination to cook? Skip the meal! An afternoon party, with the service of a snack and a cake, is the preferred option for more and more families.
- Recycle New Year's decorations last and add a bunch of colorful balloons.
- Have a list of simple activities or games handy. Pajama party, disco, cinema: we love the ideas offered on the Kaleido blog.
- Forget the surprise bags which are often filled with cheap gadgets that will quickly end up in the trash. Guests do not need gifts.