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Go Green and Host a Birthday Party for Your Kids

written by: •edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/24/2014

Nothing gets kids more excited than a party, especially if there is cake and ice cream. Kids' parties have gotten lavish over the years with parents trying to outdo each other, but you can easily plan a green birthday party for kids without the fuss.

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    First things first. Unless you want your child to party alone, you will need to send invitations to notify young friends and classmates about where and when. Sending invitations via email is of course free of charge, but it also gives you many options to be creative. Email invitations are convenient for tracking RSVP's, but homemade invitations add warmth and a personal touch.

    Involve your kids in helping you design easy to make invitations where you create your own themed motifs. For example, you could make personalized princess tiaras out of cardboard, felt, and other interesting accessory items from your craft box. The invitations can be hand delivered at school and then worn by your child’s friends to the birthday party.

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    The Menu

    When you are hosting a green birthday party for kids, serve nutritious kids' meals that are tasty and a cinch to make. Prepare an assortment of simple foods like tea sandwiches, cookies, soy hot dogs, chicken fingers, popcorn, and pizza. For dessert, use smoothies or yogurt to make Popsicles. And for drinks, fill pitchers with homemade pink lemonade or iced tea instead of offering sugary sodas and bottled fruit drinks.

    Some kids are fussy eaters, but one food they can all agree on is cake, which is the centerpiece of any party. A greener option to purchasing an expensive store-bought cake is to make the cake yourself. Cupcakes are the rage these days, so why not whip up a large batch using gluten-free flour, and then top each cupcake with yummy frosting and sprinkles made from organic ingredients.

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    Dishes and Table Ware

    Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. Don't worry about having the kids wipe their fingers smeared with chocolate frosting or ketchup on your good cloth napkins. Chocolate stains are easier to launder than pesky red wine and lipstick stains.

    In terms of dishes, the kids won't mind if the plates are old or mismatched. If you're feeling creative, use glass jars and baby foods jars to serve smoothies and juices.

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    Planning a party theme? If so, don't get carried away with elaborate decorations. Choose a princess theme, or perhaps a theme from a favorite story book and then create props and illustrations for the decorations. And since kids are masters of arts and crafts, invite the kids to make paper garlands and streamers to hang from backs of chairs, hanging fixtures, and the ceiling.

    Scour your attic and basement for unusual decorative items that kids will find just plain silly or quirky. Impress your child's friends with Chinese paper lanterns as an alternative to toxic helium-filled balloons. Ultimately, you can teach your kids to recycle by showing them how tissue paper and ribbons from past celebrations can be reused as decor or gift-wrap.

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    Activities and Entertainment

    The ideas for activities at a green birthday party for kids are endless. For musical entertainment, organize musical chairs and a kids' karaoke session. Contests that offer real prizes are fun too. Try a kids cooking class where the kids learn to make cookies or a veggie pizza. For outdoor fun, organize old-style sack races and beanbag tosses.

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    Party Favors

    Food is extremely popular as a party favor. As a thank you gift, you can send your guests home happy with sweet creations like homemade chocolate fudge. More ideas for loot bags include a batch of cookies, organic lollipops, recycled bead jewelry, and handmade toys.