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When I was 8 my mom threw me a Birthday party at the roller skating rink in town. At first I was a little worried about it cause I couldn't skate but my friends were so excited about it and wouldn't stop talking about it. My one of my presents that year was roller blades my mom gave them to me that morning and helped me practice all day before the party that evening. I had a great cake, tons of soda and so much fun skating with my friends. I skated for years after that and sure I can still pop them on and roll up the street with my kids one day. I think besides my sweet 16 it was my favorite birthday.
My eighth birthday was the first one I could ever remember, and still one of my favorites. We didn't have much money growing up, but my mom made the most of it and we had a great time. She made games for us to play for the whole party. She blew up a bunch of balloons, and filled some of them with candy, some with change, and others with small toys. She hung them from the celing with strings and we each got a needle to pop as many as we could. Then we played 'Mother May I?' 'Red Light, Green Light', and 'Red Rover' out in the back yard. She made command signs with construction paper and popcicle sticks. Of course those are older games, but they can be played for quite a while depending on how many party goers you have. She made and decorated a cake based on a picture she had of my favorite cartoon character. It was low cost, and lots of fun. Good luck!