Tapping kids' creativity adds excitement to a special family event

PRIMETIME TOGETHER....WITH KIDS

March 21, 1992|By Donna Erickson | Donna Erickson,Features Syndicate

Our family just celebrated Grandma Phyllis' 70th birthday. Months ago, my husband and his brother took on the responsibility of organizing the grand event for their mother. They worked on the guest list, food and other party basics. But it wasn't until the school-age grandkids jumped into the planning that the party really took shape. After an evening of poking into grandma's shoe boxes full of photos and memorabilia spanning decades of experiences, the kids' creativity was set in motion. You might want to try these ideas, too, when someone on your family tree celebrates a milestone.

* Make the party invitations instead of buying them. On a piece of typing paper, mount photos, add drawings, stickers or other decorations and write the information for the party with a dark pen (date, place, time, etc.) Take the sheet to a printing shop and ask for the number of copies you need. A good photocopy machine also works well. Enhance each copy using colorful markers, and for fun, make a trademark or write a slogan on the back side such as "Cards by Annie." Stuff the invitations into envelopes and mail.

* Welcome guests with a big poster in flashing lights. Your kids can paint and decorate a big message on it such as "It's a Party, Starring William!" Add a photo, balloons or streamers and clip the poster to a child's painting easel. Place the easel in front of your doorway and hang blinking Christmas tree lights around the poster.

* Mount photographs on long ribbons and hang the ribbons on walls, from a mantel or at doorways for guests to look at throughout the party. Place photo albums, wedding and baby books on coffee tables. If available, organize slides depicting memorable events in the grandparent's life. As you show the slides and provide commentary, set the mood with background music from the decades represented.

If you'd like to share your comments or ideas for family projects, write to Donna Erickson, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.

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