For the longest time I’ve convinced my kids that birthdays are best celebrated with the family, usually with a little family travel thrown in. It has worked up to now. Lately they have expressed a desire to have an actual party with friends, games, and treats.

I wish I could say my reason avoiding the birthday party scenario was purely a family reason but in all honesty it is just easier. Planning a party can seem like a daunting task. And the gifts? Everyone wants to bring a gift as a form of celebrating this yearly milestone but do the kids really need another box of LEGO or a Barbie?

ECHOage Parties offer a streamlined party planning approach, enabling you to send out electronic personalized invitations, track the guests who can or cannot make it, even send out thank you notes after the event. Plus there is a charitable aspect to these parties, where attendees contribute electronically towards a gift, a portion going to a charity of choice and the other portion going toward a gift the child really wants. As a parent of an attendee I love that I don’t have to shop for a gift (for something the child may not really want) and as a potential party throwing parent I love the collective birthday gift aspect tied into a charity.

A new partnership between ECHOage and Etsy means your party planning is even easier. Not only are the electronic invitations crafted by Etsy artists, you can also shop for your party needs from the various vendors online. There are just a few of the great party items I found for some of our favourite party themes (contains affiliate links):

1. Nature Party Theme – Send the kids home with these fun Woodland Printable Gift Bags and include some Animal Crayons as well as Animal Finger Puppets.

2. Super Hero Party Theme – Welcome your party guests with this Super Hero Party Banner as you hand them their own Cartoon Super Hero Mask. Photo booths are always a fun activity at parties especially when you add in these Super Hero Props. There Cupcake Toppers will please any mini hero or you can just grab a Whole Hero Printable Set.

3. Princess Party Theme – Little princesses will love wearing these Paper Crowns instead of plain old party hats.  Dress up the royal table with these Paper Straws and delightful Food Sign Labels. And no party is complete without a game, like Pin the Crown on the Princess.

4. Scientist Party Theme – Invite your guests into your lab with these Science Symbol Flags but only if they are addressed in the right Mad Scientist Headgear. Then gather around the lab table for drinks and snacks with these Chemistry Water Bottle Labels and Science Lab Food Labels

5. Pirate Party Theme – Turn your home into a pirate den draped with a Pirate Flag Banner. Kids will enjoy the booty found within these Treasure Map Cupcake Wrapper and under this Skull Cake Topper. And your pirate grog? Perfect for these Pirate Barrel Straw Toppers.

You can find more inspiration and ideas on the ECHOage Etsy curated party page.

Feeling inspired? To celebrate this new partnership between Etsy and ECHOage we have a $250 Cdn Etsy gift card to giveaway to make it easy to shop for all your party supplies, no matter what the theme. To enter simply fill out the form below telling me what theme you are thinking of for the next party you are planning.

One (1) $250 Etsy gift card is available to be won.  Contest closes July 31, 2014 and is open to Canadian residents only. Please see full contest rules.

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