• Why an ‘Experience’ Is A Better Birthday Gift than A Toy

    Choosing a gift for a child can be fun while at the same time daunting. It’s exciting and rewarding to give children gifts that make their eyes light up, but on the other hand, if you’ve ever helped a child clean his or her bedroom, you know that most kids have so many toys and possessions that it’s hard to even remember who gave them which things. This year, why not give the kids in your life experiences instead of toys?

    • Giving an experience gives you the opportunity to bond with the child. You can give a child an outing with you, and that will allow you to create memories together. Life is busy, and sometimes we get so caught up in our own hectic schedules that it’s easy to forget that one of the most valuable things we can give another person is our time.
    • Sometimes experience gifts are treats for the parents, too. Maybe you can’t be with the child yourself to experience the gift you’ve given. It’s ok to give passes to the zoo, movie tickets, or a gift card to a favorite restaurant, knowing full well the child will be going with his or her parents instead. In fact, that kind of gift is a nice gesture, especially if it’s something you know the family wouldn’t normally splurge on but would enjoy.
    • Experiences that have meaning to you are worth sharing. What are your favorite childhood memories? Some of the places and things you experienced as a child are easy to share with the children you love. Give the gift of a trip to your all-time favorite park or ice cream shop, or out to a ballgame to watch your favorite team, and those experiences you treasure become memories you share with that child.
    • Experience gifts provide lasting memories. With a few notable exceptions, the novelty of toys wears off pretty quickly. Experiences, however, leave a lasting imprint on a child. In fact, quality time spent with a special adult can create memories that last a lifetime.
    • Some experiences are educational. Opportunities to explore the world around them are important in child development. While some outings may be just for fun, others can broaden a child’s horizons, introduce them to new concepts, and teach them interesting facts. When you’re choosing an experience gift, think about museums, nature centers, libraries, and other places that can be educational for children.
    • An experience gift doesn’t have to be an outing. A butterfly kit, a personalized book, or a photo album celebrating memories you’ve already made are examples of gifts that don’t equate to clutter on the playroom floor, but can be meaningful to the child.
    • You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a meaningful experience. Every experience doesn’t have to be tickets to a show or a day at a theme park. You could visit a library together, spend the day at the beach, have a contest to see who can swing highest at the local park, or take a hike together. Use your imagination, and you can find plenty of things to do with

    When you’re considering experience gifts for the kids in your life, take a look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’re throwing a party for your child or want to gift a child you know with some time at an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Throw A Birthday Party Your Kids Will Love (On A Budget)

    When it’s time to throw a birthday party for your child, you want it to be fun and memorable. As years go by, though, it can get harder to find new ways to throw a party your kids will love without breaking the bank. Maybe they want to invite the whole class, or maybe you’ve gone over the top in previous years, and now you feel like anything short of a petting zoo and a hot air balloon will fail to impress. It might be time to take it down a notch. You can still throw a birthday party your kids will love without breaking the bank.

    • Limit the guest list. It’s fun to invite the entire class once in a while, but it’s far more cost effective to set some limits. Additionally, when there are just a few kids at the party, it’s easier for your child to play host while still having fun. A good rule of thumb is to invite as many kids as your child has years of age. Explaining the rule makes it easy to set the limits: when the child turns five, he can invite five friends. Next year, he can choose six!
    • Choose your time wisely. Set the time for the birthday party between meals, and you can save money by only serving snacks. 10 a.m. to noon might be great for little kids, and 2-5 p.m. is a popular choice.
    • Go old school. Have the party at a park or in your own back yard, with balloons, traditional party games, and homemade cake. A party doesn’t have to be an elaborate theme event to be fun for kids. Make a playlist and have a dance party, play musical chairs, or go outside and play tag and red rover. The games and activities from your childhood might be a novelty to the kids at the party, which makes it even more fun.
    • Focus on one aspect. Does your child love outdoor games? Plan several for the party, and make that the focal point. Are you raising a foodie? Let the food take center stage, or maybe incorporate food into the party activities, perhaps letting kids make their own pizzas or compete to see who can create the best cupcakes. Rather than going overboard on every aspect of the party, identify what’s important to your child and focus on that.
    • Make the most of your resources. Make your own cake, or enlist the help of a friend who loves to bake. Decorate with things you already have, reusing decorations from another party and recruiting toys to help bolster a theme. Send online invitations instead of paper, and entertain the kids yourself instead of hiring someone to do it.
    • Consider a destination party. On the surface, hitting a party venue might seem like an expensive, though memorable, choice. If you think about it, though, choosing the right venue will mean the kids are too engaged in activities to care about food, which means you can get away with a simple cake and some juice boxes rather than setting out an elaborate spread. What’s more, you won’t have to purchase decorations, you won’t have to clean up after the party, and your kids will always remember the fun time they had with their friends.

    If you’re looking for the most fun place to hold your child’s birthday party, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Fun Ideas for Goody Bag Snacks

    Ah, the goody bag! A children’s birthday party item that seems inescapable, the goody bag is problematic for a few reasons. First, while we appreciate the thought behind providing each child with a favor at the end of the party, few parents are enthusiastic about a little bag full of plastic trinkets which will soon become clutter. Further, when the children have already ingested enough sugar at the party to keep them bouncing off the walls for hours, there are few things less appealing than a bag full of candy. What are the party-hosting parents to do? If you really want to send kids home with something fun and memorable, we have some great ideas for goody bag snacks.

    • Consider one show-stopping treat. Rather than filling a bag with odds and ends, choose a container that fits your party’s theme (popcorn box for a movie party, sand pail for a beach-themed party, and so on) and put in something memorable. It could be a cookie or cake pop made to match the party’s theme, an elaborately decorated cupcake, or it might be a special treat the kids made for themselves at the party like these cute marshmallow pops. You can include a corresponding prize or two in the bag, as long as you go minimal enough to let your special item shine.
    • Sometimes the wrapping is what makes the treat special. Consider the gift bags from this Minecraft-themed party. Lunch sacks decorated with Minecraft designs were filled with Minecraft treats that were actually simple, every day children’s snacks. A juice box was decorated to look like an Enderman, Twizzlers became a stick of TNT, and the mom included a few small items like a pack of crayons and some Minecraft coloring sheets to round out the goody bag. Think creatively about your theme, and you’re sure to find some great ideas of your own.
    • Simple snacks can make goody bags fun. Items that are found in most children’s diets can also make their way into goody bags, especially when you find a way to dress them up or make them work with a theme. Having a Seuss party? Put some colorful goldfish crackers into a baggie and label it “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” Popcorn and pretzels are versatile snacks that can go with any theme if you label them creatively, and mandarin oranges are always a hit.

    Now that you’ve got the goody bags settled, it’s time to pick a location for your party! If you’re looking for the most fun place to hold your child’s birthday party, it’s time to take a closer look at BounceU. At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Birthday Party Themes for Children

    Are you trying to plan the perfect party for your child? Central to a great party is a great theme, so have you got any ideas? Sit down with the birthday kid for a brainstorming session, and you’re sure to come up with some great birthday party themes. We’ll get you started with some thoughts about choosing the perfect theme.

    • Think about characters your kid loves. Do you have a fairy princess lover or a child who is really into superheroes? Planning a party around popular characters is easy and just requires a trip to the local party shop. It might not be the way you want to go if you’re trying to do something unique, but you can make it your own if you think of unique ways to execute it.
    • Don’t overlook literature. Is your child a big reader? Look to the library for inspiration! What’s more fun than a Dr. Seuss bash or an Alice in Wonderland mad tea party? Your child’s favorite books can inform your decisions on décor, food, and activities, whether you’re choosing the bright colors and shapes favored by Eric Carle, arranging some monkey business a la Curious George, organizing things in two straight lines for a Madeleine party, or planning a quaint yet dramatic Anne of Green Gables tea party.
    • Let the activity inform the theme. It’s fun to build a party theme around something the kids will enjoy doing, like having a cupcake making competition, creating artwork or jewelry, or doing experiments that would make a mad scientist proud.
    • Recognize your limitations. You might want to do a luau, but if you’re looking in December those party supplies might be hard to find. If you’re trying to plan a Victorian-era tea party, the costuming may be too elaborate to manage. While you’re talking themes, make sure both you and your child are looking at the possibilities realistically.
    • Choose a theme that gets kids moving. You can choose a sports theme, or set up a series of challenges in which kids can compete during the party. A capture the flag party can make for a fun day, or you can plan a picnic and play time at a local park. A roller skating party can also be fun, and so can a pool party in the summer.

    If you’re looking for a place to have a party that’s active and fun, consider having your party at BounceU! At BounceU, we love kids. That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Delicious Finger Foods For Toddlers AND Adults

    When you’re throwing a party that involves toddlers, you know it’s important to have food they can grab and go. Toddlers are always on the move, and getting them to sit still for more than a minute is challenging, especially when a party is going on around them. This is no big deal, though, because there’s nothing little kids love more than little snacks they can eat straight out of their hands. The biggest hurdle? Toddlers come to parties accompanied by parents, who might also want to nosh while they’re at your soiree. You could buy a couple of pizzas and call it a day, but if you want a menu that’s a little more interesting, we have some suggestions.

    • Quesadillas are a flexible snack. Plain cheese quesadillas are always a hit, but you can make them however you want, adding beans, chicken, ham, or bacon, or vegetables like mushrooms or spinach. Quesadillas are easy, too, and can be whipped up in a skillet just by cooking the fillings between two tortillas. Cut the finished product into wedges, and you’ve got a finger food that kids and adults will enjoy.
    • Sliders are a perennial favorite. These kid-sized sammies are easy to eat, and you can fill those little buns with whatever you’d like. Check out this list of kid-friendly sliders for inspiration.
    • Muffins can be made into more than sweet treats. When you think of muffins, you probably think of ingredients like blueberries, poppy seeds, or chocolate chips. Muffins can be savory, too, though, and snacks like these meatloaf muffins, corn dog muffins, and mac and cheese muffins are a big hit with the smaller set.
    • Pinwheels are perfect for parties. There are two basic ways to go with pinwheels: you can put your fillings into a tortilla, roll it up and slice it, or spread the ingredients onto crescent roll dough, roll it up, slice and bake. You really can’t go wrong, though, they’re fun to look at and fun to eat.
    • Veggie fritters make vegetables You can vary the vegetables you use, and these crispy treats will bring even the pickiest eater to the table.
    • Raw can be remarkable. Sometimes, the simplest option is the best, and that’s a good thing to remember about party food for kids. Raw vegetables like carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes can be dipped in ranch dressing for extra flavor, and kids love to grab sliced fruit when they want something to munch and crunch. Want to do something a little bit extra? Whip together a jar of marshmallow fluff and a block of cream cheese and you’ve got a fruit dip that will get rave reviews from guests of all ages.

    You’ve got your menu nailed down, but if you want a place where your party can really take off, consider BounceU! At BounceU, we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Goody Bag Ideas For Your Child’s Birthday

    So, you’ve chosen a theme, picked out the décor, lined up some great activities, and made the menu. Your child’s party is in the bag! But wait, aren’t you forgetting an actual bag? Here, we’ve got some suggestions for goody bags that will make your child’s birthday party memorable.

    • Keep it simple. For parents, goody bags can be an annoyance. No one wants their child to come home from a birthday party with a bunch of plastic junk that is going to end up underfoot. Rather than hitting the party aisle of the bargain store, think outside the traditional party favor and go for one nice item instead, like a friendship bracelet or stuffed animal that relates to the theme. Think outside the box for this one: you could send home superhero masks and capes, personalized flashlights, a CD with music from the party, or something else cool you dream up on your own!
    • Go for books. No one objects when a child comes home with a new book, which makes them a great item to give away at a party. For an interesting twist, ask each child to bring a book, and organize a book swap in lieu of the party favor bag.
    • Give something edible. A big cookie that corresponds to the theme of the party is a fun favor, and so is a snack bag with a clever pun or poem that’s party related. Theme-related lollipops or cake pops can also be a hit.
    • An activity is a fun favor. A craft or Lego kit will give guests something fun to do after the party is over. It can be as complicated as a jewelry making kit, or as simple as a box of markers or a bucket of sidewalk chalk. Choose something that corresponds with the theme, and your party will be long-remembered. You can even have the kids complete a craft as one of your party activities, and send them home with their creation as a favor.

    What’s a great way to make sure your party hits all the high notes? Throw a BounceU party! At BounceU, we love kids! That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Easy Party Foods To Make For Your Child’s Birthday

    Planning a child’s birthday party can be so much fun! Brainstorming with your child, you can use whatever he or she is interested in to create an amazing theme and design a party that will be remembered for years to come. What’s more, some of the foods that will be the hit of your party are really very easy to make.

    • Popcorn. What’s easier than popcorn? Want to dress it up? Make it with mix-ins like movie theater candy, cookie pieces, or nuts, or drizzle it with chocolate and toss on some sprinkles.
    • Cupcakes. Cupcakes are the quintessential birthday food, and if you want, you can make them into an activity, too. Just provide kids with plain cupcakes, frosting, and decorations, and let make their own delicious creations.
    • Kebabs. All you need for this is skewers and your own imagination! Skewer meatballs and cheese, fruit and marshmallows, raw veggies to dip in dressing, or whatever else you think will be a win with the kids.
    • Cookies. This is another food that you can turn into an activity by letting the kids apply decorations, or you can create cookie pops by baking balls of sugar cookie dough, rolled in sprinkles and perched on popsicle sticks.
    • Finger foods. Sandwiches cut into quarters, bagel bites, pizza rolls chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers, and cookies are all favorites that take very little time and effort. Fairy bread is a fun addition to a party: it’s just bread, buttered and covered in sprinkles, cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
    • Take the cake. There’s nothing like cake for a dramatic candle-blowing photo op. If you don’t have time to make it yourself, there’s no shame in a bakery or grocery store cake. In fact, your local market may have some really creative ways to make a cake that caters to your theme.

    The ultimate way to throw a great kids’ party? Host a BounceU party! At BounceU, we love kids! That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • How To Help Your Child Make Friends

    It’s a well-known fact that friends are important, and making friends is a crucial skill for children to develop. Sometimes, though, it’s not very easy to do. It can be hard to watch your kid struggle with making new friends, and knowing you can’t make friends for them can make parents feel helpless. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make it a little bit easier.

    • Be proactive about setting up playdates. Whether or not your child makes friends easily, it’s smart to talk to other parents and create social occasions to foster interaction. When you invite kids to your home for playdates, you are fostering positive relationships not just between the children, but also between the parents. Building a community of support, where the kids and adults are friendly and supportive of each other, can be extremely valuable in many different areas of your child’s life.
    • Look for extracurricular activities. Find something your child truly enjoys, and then find a way for him or her to spend time with others who have similar interests. If your child has trouble making friends, it’s probably best to steer clear of activities that are overly competitive, in favor of those that are more cooperative in nature.
    • Rehearse social situations. Before a playdate, discuss what it means to be a good host. Help your child plan activities for the playdate, and rehearse conversations or situations that might arise. Similarly, talk to your child about things that happen at school, and practice how best to respond to uncomfortable situations.
    • Get to know your child’s friends. When you take the time to know your child’s friends, you learn about how your child interacts with others, what his or her social group is interested in, what kinds of influences are impacting your child, and how all the kids get along with each other. Friends are some of the most important people in your child’s life, and it’s worthwhile to get to know them.
    • Help your child to consider others. Empathy is an extremely valuable trait, important for a person’s whole life. Foster care and concern for others in your child’s life, and teach him or her how to be a good listener, sensitive to the needs of others.
    • Stay aware of your child’s social life. There’s a difference between getting too involved in your child’s interactions and paying attention to what’s going on. Multiple studies indicate that children do better when parents monitor their social activities, supervising where children play and helping to steer them toward friends who bring out the best in them. When you’re aware of what’s going on, you can help your child to avoid problems like bullying, as well.
    • Learn to listen. Spend time with your child, doing something you both enjoy, instead of asking direct questions. If you are willing to put in the time and pay attention, your child will open up about how things are going socially, and you’ll be able to figure out how to help.
    • Don’t pressure your child to be popular. Friends are important for children, but popularity is not. Sometimes, parents interpret a child’s behavior as shy when it’s really just introversion, and the child would rather spend time alone than with others. It’s ok to be an introvert, and as long as your child has one or two good friends, there’s probably no cause for concern.

    Ready to entertain your child’s new friends? Why not have a BounceU party? At BounceU, we love kids! That’s why we’ve created the best private party place in the universe, where families and friends can get together and go a little wild. We specialize in creating stress-free, unique, and exhilarating parties that make your child feel like a VIP. Whether you’ve got a special event on the horizon or just want to come in for an Open Bounce, call us at (631) 777-5867 or visit our website to see what makes BounceU so special.

  • Birthday Cake Trends

    Are you hoping to make your child’s birthday stand out this year with a one-of-a-kind cake? Don’t opt for a simple sheet cake when there are so many unique, trendy options out there. Whether you decide to order a cake from a local bakery or try your hand at making your own culinary masterpiece, get inspiration from these birthday cake trends.

    Tiered Cakes

    Once reserved for weddings and other formal occasions, tiered cakes are now taking center stage at kids’ birthday parties. These beautiful desserts are sure to impress. Plus, they’re ideal for large gatherings because everyone can help themselves to a sizeable piece.

    Unicorn Cakes

    Little girls, in particular, have a hard time resisting this triple-decker cake designed to resemble a unicorn’s head. Characterized by smooth white frosting, a colorful buttercream mane and gold fondant horn, these cakes are so darn cute – you may have a hard time cutting into them!

    Character Cakes

    Whether your child adores Star Wars, Mickey Mouse or Minions, you can design a birthday cake to reflect that. Even if you can’t afford or don’t have the skills to make your own custom cake, you can use a cheap hack to create the appearance of one. Simply bake or order a basic round cake and top it with a character topper that will make your child smile. This also gives you the opportunity to use the same topper again in the future.

    Cupcakes

    Simple, adorable, fun cupcakes are perfect for indecisive children or those who hate to share. Order or bake a range of flavors with different colored frosting to suit everyone’s tastes. Just make sure you have plenty in each variety to satisfy all the chocolate and vanilla lovers at the party.

    Cake Pops

    This birthday cake trend is made by mixing cake and frosting together to form gooey balls, putting them on lollipop sticks, and dipping them in chocolate or candy melts. They come in a wide variety of colors and flavors, and you can even design them to match the theme of your child’s birthday party. These bite-sized snacks are sure to please adults and kids alike.

    Cookie Cake

    Not everyone enjoys traditional birthday cake. If this describes your child, or you’re simply looking for something a little different, try a cookie cake featuring personalized frosting and sprinkles. Serve triangle-shaped slices just as you would with a regular birthday cake. To create more servings, stack multiple giant cookies on top of one another with frosting in between.

    Now that you have ideas for a fun cake, you need to pick a place to hold your child’s birthday party. BounceU in Farmingdale is a great place for children of all ages, from toddlers to elementary school kids to pre-teens. We specialize in making birthday parties unique and stress-free with party packages designed to meet your needs. To learn more about your options, or to book your party, please contact BounceU today.

  • Throwing a Kid-Friendly Halloween Party

    The spookiest holiday of the year is coming up! Why not throw a Halloween party your kids and their friends are sure to love? Invite guests to dress in costumes and enjoy the themed activities you come up with. BounceU can accommodate your Halloween party, and you can even use our fun-filled venue and party packages to enhance the theme you choose! Here are some ideas to spark your creativity.

    Monster Mash Halloween Party

    Serve cute monster cupcakes, finger sandwiches with olives for eyes and jagged cheese for teeth, and other party food labeled to be extra creepy. For instance, grapes become “monster eyeballs,” licorice becomes “monster hair” and pigs in a blanket become “monster toes.” Add face painting to your party package at BounceU so your party guests can pretend to be monsters as they play around the bounce houses.

    Halloween Carnival

    Host a party with traditional carnival games tweaked a bit to fit the Halloween theme. For example:

    • Bring a jar of Halloween candy and have each child write down how many they think are inside on a slip of paper. Whoever gets the closest wins a prize!
    • Spray paint plastic bowling pins white, orange and yellow and play candy corn bowling.
    • Modify “pin the tail on the donkey” to become “pin the bow tie on the skeleton” or “pin the nose on the witch.”
    • Make cone-shaped “witch’s hats” out of black poster board and play “Halloween ring toss.”

    Harry Potter Party

    Witches, wizards and Muggles alike will enjoy an afternoon complete with butterbeer, pumpkin juice and golden snitches. Set the mood with candles made out of spray painted paper towel and toilet paper rolls with tea lights on top. Then, serve treats like Bertie Bot’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum and color-changing “potions” made with food coloring. Hand out plastic Harry Potter glasses, magic wands and broomsticks to each guest. The kids will love running around BounceU, casting spells and pretending to play Quidditch.

    Haunted House Halloween Party

    This classic party theme can be as lighthearted or spooky as you want. BounceU can help create the perfect atmosphere with our Cosmic Bounce package. Ultraviolet lighting and glow-in-the-dark props turn the spooky fun up a notch for your Halloween party. White and neon colors glow under black light, so your guests’ costumes look extra fun!

    Murder Mystery Party

    For older kids, consider throwing a detective-themed party where guests have to unravel a murder mystery. You can find scripts and stories online that tweens and young teens will love! Leave clues around the BounceU venue for the young sleuths to discover and work out the puzzles together.

    BounceU has private party rooms and bounce house arenas to make your upcoming Halloween party the spooky success you’re hoping for. Ask about our numerous add-ons, such as Cosmic Bounce, face painting, food and drinks, party favors, and more. If you’re ready to book your party, please contact BounceU in Farmingdale today!