Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

5 tips for great parties

My son is in kindergarten and while this means several things; such as the necessity to find matching socks and pack sack lunches the school administration will approve of it also means that he will be invited to roughly 19 birthday parties…plus the one we throw ourselves.

In fact I am sitting at the second of three scheduled for this spring break. You see with birthday party etiquette when one is in kindergarten you invite the WHOLE class as strong individual likes...and dislikes haven’t really been formed yet, you either invite all 20 or you make it gender specific; you hold a tea party just for the girls or you hold a nerf war birthday just for the boys. But chances are you are destined to be inviting more than a basketballs team worth of kids for your offspring's special day.

So what are you going to do!? Do you play the one-ups-manship game and match the parties already having been thrown by the mothers of the classmates?

Do you take the easy – yet expensive way out and all head off to the local jumpy house venue or do you go the old fashioned yet unique way of a traditional backyard party?

Either choice is rife with pitfalls. Woe be unto you party thrower who doesn’t have enough to entertain the kids, or those of you who provide lack-luster activities that no one can remember by the time the kids reconvene at school.

Is there a sure fire way to personalize and add a shot of adrenaline to juniors party – I mean without letting them get tattoos of their favorite nick toon?

Yes, possibly there is...eschew cookie cutter parties, just say no to corporate party land, embrace a theme! Decorate with home grown ideas in your childs chosen theme. Carry the idea over to party favors, I mean REAL party favors. Send the kids home with potted flowers from your garden party theme, a small remote control car from your race theme party.

Don’t load my kid up with plastic magnifying glasses or spinning tops that are just fodder for the vacuum cleaner. Stuck for a theme? Ask your child's teacher what the current unit in school is, there is certainly an idea there (this month my sons kindergarten is studying plants, butterflies and has had a guest artist who works in ceramics come in – all of which would be great themes!)

Yes, it takes more thought. It possibly might be as expensive as a jumpy house but you will be off the Richter scale when it comes to the coolness factor. It will be a party to remember

5 steps to the worlds best party

1. Employ a theme and carry it all the way through from invitations to thank you notes
2. Money does not a good party make. Instead try ingenuity and creativity
3. Send them home when theyre still happy. This means don’t go too long. If they are bored, asking to go home or causing problems its already too late
4. Feed me! It’s a scientific fact that kids with low blood sugar are not fun party guests
5. Activities. Think about when the guests arrive, make sure there is something for them to engage in – better yet some activity to get them interacting! If your budget can afford it consider novelty entertainment, better yet work it with your theme. Hire a face painter to paint butterflies, flowers or puppy dogs. Have the local reptile show come in and introduce your kids to iguanas and geckos. Have a magician or mad scientist give a command performance, think novel, think theme, think fun.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

VOTE now; bring storytelling to local schools


some of you may know we began adding storytelling to our menu of services earlier this year. Im happy to report its been going great! I am enrolled in a professional storytelling course with Stagebridge in oakland and will be included in a presentation in Berkeley next week!

We have also been telling stories the first Saturday of the month at Millers Candy Emporium downtown Sebastopol and we have had an ongoing storytelling date with the second grade at Gravenstein Elementary School.

Be looking for us at some events later this summer with our 'magic storytelling bag' (where all good stories come from!) Also be on the lookout for some possible news regarding storytelling and a grant from Prilosec OTC