Birthday planning comes incredibly easy for some parents as they whipped together adorable themes and Pinterest-worthy elements. I am not one of those parents. And, while birthday celebrations are an important part of our family culture the party is usually a simple gathering of family and a very few friends. Managing life-threatening food allergies adds an additional layer to the mix when planning a children's birthday party, but somehow this year we found the perfect balance of celebration, family, and party for all.
Birthday celebrations have generally focused on an outing or activity as a family. We have enjoyed memorable birthday trips to the aquarium, the zoo, or even had a birthday overlap with a family vacation. This year we decided to apply the same concept when thinking about "the party" and how grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends might participate. After a concentrated focus on what local opportunities we might take advantage of we found one particular adventure to be a perfect fit for everyone, especially the birthday boy. Planning a trip to the local steam train museum was made extra special by the possibility of a "caboose birthday."
The party included a two hour time slot on the caboose, comprised of time to welcome guests aboard, a 60 minute train ride, and opportunity to mingle on the caboose upon it's return to the station. The adults and children were fascinated by the opportunity to watch the steam engine couple to the caboose in order to bring us to the rear of the train cars, and later in the ride observe the same coupling technique as the steam engine returned to the end of the train for the second half of the ride. The actually ride provided so much entertainment that many of the activities we had planned for the children were never completed.
Knowing how differently children can respond to an activity and in order to accommodate different attention spans, ages, and skill levels we devised a few activities for the children to complete during the ride (most of which we never got to because of the excitement with the steam engine). Our three main ideas included:
There were birthday cupcakes and fruit for the always expected "Happy Birthday" song, which rounded out a truly unique and special third birthday celebration. The day was so memorable that we would do it again in a heartbeat (even for one of the adults)!
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families as an educational consultant and parenting coach.
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Based on a work at http://www.strongtots.com