Monday, May 21st, 2007
Third Birthday: Ideas for a Glow-in-the-Dark Birthday Party
My daughter’s third birthday is next month and I’m ready to go all out.
Her first birthday consisted of 14 babies from a mom’s group running and crawling around our home. The event was low-key and my Little Miss refused to taste her birthday cake.
Her second birthday was attended by five kids who did two craft projects and then ran around and played. The finale involved a homemade pull-string pinata.
Her third birthday will transpire in the dark. It will be held in the morning, so our plan calls for vast quantities of aluminum foil blanketing the windows in our living and family rooms. I am slightly concerned about what my neighbors will think.
Tea light lanterns will hang around the rooms.
Kids will be equipped with flash lights, and glow necklaces.
The bane of any party is the cheap plastic junk your guests take home. We attended a 4-year-old party at Round Table Pizza last month where there was a claw machine and an endless pile of quarters supplied by the birthday mom. You insert a quarter and try to grab a 5-cent plastic trinket, piloting the claw with a joystick. If you don’t lower the claw, the machine does it for you after 30 seconds. The interesting thing is that the kids plugged in a ton of quarters and lost interest halfway through. Oh, and the machine pays off about 70 percent of the time. So I sat and watched the unattended claw operate on auto-pilot, depositing plastic junk in the prize chute every 30 seconds for at least 10 minutes.
Our party favors will be battery-powered flashing eyeglasses from a dollar store. I figure the glasses are good for dress-up play after the batteries die, and the battery compartment is accessible for changing out the batteries. The glasses will be handed out near the end of the party.
I have sketchy plans for party activities.
1. Hunt for Easter eggs with flashlights. The eggs may be plastic, or glow-in-the-dark. I imagine glowing eggs are easy to find though.
2. Hold an egg race, balancing glow-in-the-dark eggs on spoons. Can a 3-year-old balance an egg? I’d better check.
3. Buy several dozen 1″ glow-in-the-dark bouncing balls. Keep them in a box under a strong light in another room. When the time is right, bring the box into the party room and throw the balls into the air. We have hard floors, so we’ll watch kids run in glee. Or scream in terror.
4. Decorate candle lanterns. I found 50 miniature plain white Chinese food takeout containers for $3 at a restaurant supply store (two chain stores on the west coast are Smart & Final and Cash & Carry). Incidentally, Michaels craft store sells similarly-sized colored containers for 79 cents each. Afterward, the kids will insert battery-powered tea lights into the lanterns purchased at Michaels.
Update: The week of the party, my web-ordered party supplies arrived. The glow eggs were a discontinued product, though the retailer (Oriental Trading Company) allowed me to place an order online. The glow balls had a feeble glow (half of the balls that were darker colors didn’t seem to glow) and 7 of 12 of kiddie flashlights were wiggy or outright broken. We’re out $20 shipping, but did return the entire shipment. Read my final party report to learn what activities we devised at the last minute.
I’m looking for your creative ideas and warnings.
- Stop! Think about 5 toddlers waving flashlights in each other’s eyes.
- Stop! You’ll have a room full of crying kids afraid of the dark!
- There is a much cheaper way to black out your windows. Hold the party at night!
- Whatever you do, don’t put on a bear costume halfway through the party and run around growling.
I’ve love to hear your theories on how this party will play out, and if you any ideas for fun activities.