Who had better birthday parties? Us or our kids?

Recently I began to think about the birthday parties I celebrated as a child. Having a July birthday meant that they were mostly spent in the garden with a glorious picnic. Those were the days back in the 80s when we had hot summers and even had to use to suntan lotion. So this got me thinking, who had the better birthdays? Kids of our generation or the kids of today?

Today’s birthday parties are certainly on a much grander scale. We are presented with many more options with the commercial explosion we have seen of recent years, largely due to the Internet. There’s just a lot more out there now for kids birthday parties these days. The question is though, can you measure a child’s happiness based on material content at a party? My childhood parties were a very simple affair with sausage rolls and fairy cakes however they were the most joyful times of my life.

Perhaps it could be argued that if children are used to lavish parties they come to expect this. When one doesn’t live up to the tag ‘lavish’ quite possibly the child is a little disgruntled with it. I imagine if today’s child could travel in a time machine to my summer party in my garden during 1985, they may well not be so impressed with my humble gathering. In my circle of friends as a lad, no one had extravagant parties so everyone was happy.

I asked a friend with children what they thought about this. They mentioned that children of today are constantly trying to outdo each other with birthday parties and it has become somewhat competitive. This is a big shame as it takes away from the magical treasured memories of what should be a special event and not a contest.

On the other side of the argument, the experience a parent can provide the child today for their birthday is certainly far superior than of my generation. If you like minions then you can have minion printed paper plates, minion cups, a cake with an extraordinary resemblance to a minion and to top it off you can even hire an actual minion character to walk around the party! If I could have had He Man attend my party I would have been thrilled. Failing that I would have settled for Thomas The Tank Engine. Actually a train costume might be difficult to construct.

Is a real difficult question to answer but I think that the answer could lie with the grandparents. They have seen their children (us) and our children celebrate birthdays. What a great judge to decide the verdict.

Check out my friend Max who is a great magician in sussex

I’m occasionally asked by parents what games I do in my parties and it’s always a bit of a mouth full to explain so I have wrote this for greater clarity. To begin with, none of my games are elimination based which means no one is ever ‘out’. This ensures all the children are engaged throughout and are not going to become bored which is very important to me. On to the games!

Character statues
I tell the children to dance and when the music stops to freeze and impersonate a well known character (superheroes, Disney princesses etc). I’ll pick the most creative one each time ensuring that everyone wins. If there are a lot of children, I’ll pick multiple winners each time so by the end they have all won.
Why it’s good
– The children enjoy being on their feet, if they don’t want to pretend to be a character they will usually just  freeze normally so they still feel involved. It’s  easy to understand and we can play it instantly. The children are never bored in this game and are always riveted throughout. It’s been so good over the years.