Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

We have one girl and one boy who are twins. They will be turning five in September and still want to have their birthday parties together. We also enjoy this but the older they get the more the party seems to cost. This year we would like to have a party at home to help save on the cost, especially since they now have school friends that they want to invite. Are there certain party themes that have been a success for a girl and a boy this age and maybe even for a birthday party given for two kids at the same time?

Taking a group of kids to the park is a great idea because it provides trails and play areas, plus you can usually find a spot where an outdoor grill is also available. Have the kids do a weenie roast and maybe make smores. As long as there is plenty of adult supervision, the little bit of cooking can go smoothly. Parks are great for scavenger hunts and kids love them. Think of easy things for them to find. They can play around with a soccer ball or large lightweight one and have kicking contests, and so on. The nice thing about having the party outdoors besides making the cleanup easy, is that the kids can be as loud as they want. - Jen Smith in Long Island, NY

FROM JODIE:

Some of the themes both genders like are: Harry Potter, Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Beauty and Beast, etc. You could also offer the twins a few choices of various types of party themes and have them rate the ones that they like. As long as they both vote on the same ones, let them choose. Check around first and price the party favors, streamers, cake, etc, to make sure they're all available, affordable and that you know where to get them. You could save more by maybe just buying the plates and napkins of the theme and using plain colored streamers and balloons. Be sure to check online stores for buying in bulk and/or go to the dollar stores and see what they have. Trying to keep the size of the party small can help cut costs too. As far as games go, your kids most likely have favorite ones that they play or have played, so ask them to come up with some for their party. They may even want to create some of their very own. You'll be amazed at how much imagination kids this age have. Whether the party is outside, inside or a combination of both, take into consideration having alternative activities in case of rain or other sometimes unpredictable situations that might crop up.

CAN YOU HELP?

We will be traveling in the family van with three kids this summer and was wondering if it's a good idea to have them get out and stretch every couple of hours. I know this sounds simple, but one is in a wheelchair but she still likes to get out of the van as often as possible. My husband says every four to five hours is good enough but complains when the kids get restless.

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