Anyone that knows me knows that I love a party and having two girls means even more reasons to celebrate throughout the year but what age is too old to to have a birthday party?
Well that got me thinking about how different parties can be at every age and having lived through a few of them, here is our birthday party guide for all ages ....
Age 1 - Let's be honest, the first birthday party is really a celebration of the anniversary of you becoming a parent. A one-year-old may enjoy being the centre of attention but she will have no idea of what a party is. We chose to have the girls first birthday's in a function room with sensory toys for the little ones (and a bar for the adults!). Everyone happy!
Age 2 - Despite their reputation, two-year-olds aren't always terrible, so a party for this age group can be great fun. A toddler has no expectations, so there is little point wasting time and money on an extravagant affair. A teddy bears picnic in the park ( or the back garden ) is ideal for this age.
Age 3 - It's not until they hit three that children begin to really understand parties. Children very often go to nursery or playgroups at this age, so have a small circle of friends that they play with, so soft play is frequently the destination of choice at age 3 as it gives them chance to run around without restrictions (but don't forget the cakes)
Age 4 - For some reason, parties seem to step up a notch by the time children are four. Many children have established friendship groups at nursery and there appears to be a little competition in the quality of the party, so an entertainer is a good idea. It is at this age that children also seem to become acutely aware that they get a party bag at the end of a party. This is usually filled with all sorts of goodies from balloons, sweets and small plastic toys!
Age 5 - Having started school, your little ones social circle will have expanded again and for the first couple of years at school you may find a constant merry go round of children's parties so trying to find something "different" can be a challenge. A farm party is always good for this age as they love discovering, feeding the animals (not forgetting getting muddy) and you can have larger numbers here too, without significant expense.
Age 6 - A disco party is a favourite at this age. Children will especially enjoy this if it's hosted in the early evening rather than the afternoon. Make sure you have plenty of space for dancing if you are not holding it in a village hall. Six is a great age for throwing a birthday party, as children can play without too much supervision and they love the idea of entertaining their friends.
Age 7, 8, 9 - Sleepovers and cinema trips are the usual party of choice as they go into Juniors and decide that a "disco" in a hall is not cool enough any more.
Age 10 - I am now the proud owner of a 10 year old and despite saying (for years) that she was too old to have a birthday party, this year she chose to take a (large) group of friends on Skytrail, which is essentially an adventure playgroup suspended in the sky! Apparently they turn into adrenalin junkies when they reach double digits.
Age 13 - This is the age of hormones and teen angst. Whatever they want to do at this age will probably end in tears but you can try a pamper party (for the girls anyway).
Age 16 - Celebrating being 16 is the new 18. My god daughter is already planning her sweet sixteen party and she wants chocolate fountains and a limo. This seems to be an American thing that is now crossing the pond but thankfully they no longer want party bags at this age!
Age 18 - Most 18 year old's can't wait to have a "legal" drink in a pub and with a lot of function rooms being reluctant to hold 18th birthday parties for fear of serving those who are still underage, they usually decide to go into the nearest town for pubs and clubs with their official I.D.
Age 21 - My Nan would always sing, "You've got the key to the door, never been 21 before" and it is the age where you are seen as an adult. No more children's parties, no more party bags and very often now, you have the key to your own door. So maybe it is house party time?
I still celebrate my birthday every year, whether it is drinks with friends, a BBQ at the house or a meal out. I *may* be 40 in a couple of years time and that is as good a reason as any for having a party in my book.
So what age is too old for a birthday party?
Never I say! You are never too old for a party in my book.