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Party Like a Green Star

Eco-friendly birthday bashes affordable, fun

You shouldn’t want to rip your hair out while planning your child’s birthday party.

Unfortunately, for many parents the financial cost and shear amount of work can be panic inducing. You don’t have to break the bank to have a great party, though. With a little innovation and research, you easily can arrange a day that is affordable, unique and eco-friendly.

Even the small, but important details, such as invitations, can go green. InvitationBox.com offers thousands of designs that are 100 percent eco-friendly and that kids are sure to love. You just need to decide on a theme and then you can send the invitations on their way.

Superhero and princess party themes are common among younger kids, but there are plenty of other ideas that your child might enjoy as well. A green theme is easier than you think and it can save money and is kinder to the environment. Younger kids may enjoy a garden theme. You’ll need small planting pots, soil, seeds and kid-safe paint. Let the little ones decorate the pot and plant the seeds. It’s not only a great activity for the party but a wonderful party favor for the kids to take home.

Many little girls love the pampering of a spa party, but it may not be so relaxing to find the products for a natural-product spa party. Luckily Piggypaint.com offers kid-friendly nail polishes and a “Birthday Bash” gift set. You could also plan a party at local spas like Crave and Sweet & Sassy which both carry organic and all-natural lines of products and treatments.

If the little birthday boy demands adventure and excitement, go above and beyond pin the tail on the donkey and a pinata, challenging them with a scavenger hunt or let the little partiers create their own capes and masks. Plainjaneskincare.com provides all the materials you’ll need. You can also take a group of kids to your child’s favorite local attraction. Kids can have animal encounters at the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens and Lowry Park Zoo or experience hi-tech, hands on exhibits at the Glazer Children’s Museum in downtown Tampa. For the older boys, you can put a twist on the traditional sleepover by setting up a tent in the backyard creating a safe and unique camping experience.

Parties in your home seem to require days of cleaning up. If you are looking to avoid that after-party cleanup, the Lotus Room is one of the most unique party venues in the area, allowing the kids to experience a healthy way to have fun. The Kula Kids Yoga party includes yoga, play, games and arts and crafts.

When it comes to giving and receiving gifts, it can get daunting. The last thing a parent wants to do is upset their child on his birthday, but it doesn’t hurt your child or your wallet if you’re a little inventive. Homemade gifts can be meaningful and likely will last longer than the latest toy. Now, there’s nothing wrong with giving toys but there are other options, such as a photo collage.

Shapecollage.com has a great gift to help commemorate an entire year in photos. Users can upload photos to create large collages in all different shapes. Parents, grandparents and family friends can turn digital photos into keepsakes. If the child is a bookworm, give her the gift of reading with Booksfree.com, the Netflix of the publishing world. For a flat monthly fee, it provides unlimited reading options.

Birthdays are also a great opportunity to teach your child that giving is also one of life’s most important lessons. Parents can set up a fund to donate to their child’s favorite wildlife fund, charity or any other cause they would like. Partygoers can donate to that fund instead of bringing a present. If your child decides to donate the funds they raise, a great website to visit is Childrendonate2.org. Another great idea is to open a savings account for college, camps or trips that guests also can contribute to in lieu of a gift.

There are plenty of options when executing your child’s birthday celebration. The most important thing is that you enjoy it as much as the guests. Birthdays are supposed to be fun events that help to celebrate another year of wonderful memories.

Happy planning and happy birthday.

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