It’s tough coming up with clever ideas for your kids’ birthday parties year after year. And when you’re the parent of twins, there’s the added stress of making it special for each child. After all, you want to celebrate their unique differences but you don’t want the added bother of organizing and hosting two separate parties. But finding one party theme that can showcase both personalities, focusing on each child’s likes, can be tricky. Talk about pressure! But with the Summer Games just around the corner, why not try an Olympic theme?
In the winter of 2006, we threw my fraternal twin sons an Olympic theme party which coincided with the Torino Winter Games. Each child got to be the captain of his own team, with his own friends. So it became two, parallel parties. A big hit!
First, the invitations. Simple store-bought cards are fine but why not create tickets to the event? Design your own, alter one that you find on the Internet, or if you’ve been lucky enough to have ever gone to the Olympics, scan your old ticket and doctor it up on Photoshop or similar software. That’s what we did and loved the results. Each boy had his own personalized tickets that he used to invite five of his friends.
Next, decorations. After a little brainstorming with my boys, we decided on a banner welcoming the athletes (a.k.a. party guests) as well as a string of flags being sensitive to include each party guest’s ethnicity. (We found photos of the flags on the Internet.) Both banners hung over our medals podium, milk crates in varying sizes covered in colorful plastic tablecloths—one for silver medalists and one for gold (we opted out of creating a bronze podium but you could easily add that if you have the extra time and energy).
Olympic-type activities kept party-goers entertained. Three-legged races, indoor Nerf basketball, relay races and so forth. A quick search on the Internet gave us a host of ideas. At the end of each competition, gold and silver medals were awarded to the winners along with a trip to the medals stand. But this is where I got nervous. Would a group of 10-year-old boys think it was too baby-ish? Not a chance! That, they said, was the best part of the party! They loved being awarded their gold or silver medals with all the pomp and circumstance—everyone gathered around and cheered—and proudly wore the medals around their necks for the remainder of the party. Plus, they got to take them home as party favors. The medals, by the way, were easy to make. I found little balsa wood stars at my local crafts shop. I painted them either gold or silver and then strung red, white, and blue ribbon through each one.
The menu? Italian, of course! Meatball subs, pizza, calzone—the kids loved it all—and two birthday cakes (always). For this year’s Summer Games in London, your menu could include fish and chips or bangers (sausages) and mash. Or keep it simple with hot dogs and pizza.
Summer’s heating up and so is the excitement surrounding the games in London. Why not tap into the energy and throw your twins an Olympic-theme party that they’ll never forget?