Are kids' birthday parties getting out of control? A parent weighs in

Once upon a time, kids' birthday parties were simple: cone-shaped hats, a three-legged race, and re-attaching the tail of a donkey with a drawing pin. 

People could even whip up a classic 'tip truck' or swimming pool cake from the pages of Women's Weekly - now, expectations have changed.

The celebration has been hijacked by social media and made into a competitive event of endless one-upmanship.

Influencers like the Kardashians have turned children's birthday parties into extravagant - and expensive - events. However, there are ways to get off the performative parenting treadmill.

Ditch the goodie bags - the environment doesn't need another rubber ball or yoyo floating in the ocean. You can also text your invitations and not hire entertainers. Having a swag of kids should be entertainment enough.

When The Project asked author and parent Emily Writes if birthday parties are getting a little too OTT, she said, "they really are".

"It just feels like they are getting out of control and there's too much pressure around them," Writes said. "I just think we need to let kids go back to being the little freaks that they are and just having crazy, wild birthdays again."

Writes told The Project her children have come up with some interesting themes for their parties.

"When my son was five, he really wanted an Eric Young Prime News party and we tried to explain to him that no other five-year-olds would know Eric Young was, but he insisted."

She said the kids who turned up had no idea who the Prime News presenter was, but her son loved it.

"Eric Young surprised him and it was the greatest day of his life."

She said she loves dress-up and a theme, but she keeps the parties small.

"We just have a couple of bags of chips and some Raro," Writes told The Project.

She also revealed her golden rule to keep numbers down: her kids can invite half the number of friends as the age they are turning.

"My 10-year-old son can have five friends and if you have a one-year-old [they can have] no friends. That's just for the parents to have a glass of bubbly and say, 'We survived the first year'."

Watch the video above.