This past weekend, my family went to a birthday party that has to be one of the most imaginative ideas I have seen in a long time.
Sondra has a son who is about four months older than my son and her daughter is two years older than my girl. Their birthdays are both June birthdays and so Sondra held one party. It was located at a local park by the river. The food for the day was hotdogs, hamburgers, various salads and birthday cupcakes. The coolers held juice bags and water bottles.
The big idea was to have everyone bring Nerf guns and bullets. Six- and eleven-year-olds and every age in between were shooting these things off. It was great fun. Luckily, Sondra brought extra guns she had picked up at garage sales all summer so that people like me, who forgot to bring ours from home, could join in the fun.
Kids were running and screaming around the park, having a great time. The teenage relatives picked up the guns and became a part of the fun. Occasionally, one of the adults would pick up the Nerf toy and set off a round and let the kids go pick them up.
That was the other part of the fun. The bullets were all over the place so if you need to re-load all you had to do was grab a few off of the ground. What I would do is walk around every now and again and pick up bullets that had fallen. Then I would stash them in my skirt pocket so that when my kids needed another bullet I had it for them right away. It came in really handy when I took one of the guns my kids had laid down so they could get a juice bag.
At the end of the party, we gathered all of the bullets from around the playground and grassy areas. One mom had yellow bullets and we made sure she got them all back. I had to empty the barrel of one gun to make sure there were none in there and when I was done we were able to give her the rest of their yellow bullets.
I love birthday parties like this that are not big huge productions and yield a high rate of fun. To be honest, it was so much fun, I am thinking about doing the same thing for Sam’s birthday in October. I wonder if I can borrow Sondra’s collection to supplement the few I have?
Lecture note (Optional Reading):
I guess I should take a moment to write about the dangers of Nerf guns and how little kids will confuse these guns with real guns that have real consequences. So parents, be smart with your real guns at home. Put them in a place where the kids cannot get at them. Take the bullets out of the gun when it is stored. Don’t be an idiot and just have a loaded gun lying around in your house.
You can teach your kids about guns but a three-year-old doesn’t get why a loaded gun will take away a sibling or friend forever. This is exactly the type of situation where parents have to be SMARTER than the kids. This is when you pull on those big boy or big girl pants and make sure that gun in your house is not accessible to the kids in your house.