I think most moms can recall a time when they were feeling completely overwhelmed at the thought of planning a party for their child. In the age of Pinterest, it has become all too common to throw increasingly extravagant and expensive parties for your kids. Though it might be tempting to try to keep up with the Jones’s and turn your backyard into a big top circus with a petting zoo and pony rides, you DO NOT need to do that for your birthday kiddo and their friends to have a great time! Follow these tips and your child’s special day is sure to be a blast!
Keep it simple!
You don’t have to break the bank to throw a great party! Kids are actually pretty easy to please, some food, some treats, and some fun activities, and you’re sure to have happy kids on your hands! To plan the perfect party for your birthday kid is to take an honest look at what you have to invest in this party. What kind of time do you have available for planning? How much money do you have to spend? How creative are you, and can you harness that creativity to save yourself some time and money along the way? All of these factors are important ones! If you enjoy baking, don’t buy the expensive three-tier cake from the local bakery, a simple sheet cake with yummy frosting is more than enough! You can also consider baking cupcakes and letting the kids decorate their own as a fun party activity! Don’t overthink the menu. A couple of pizzas are an easy, universally liked option for kid’s parties. You should also keep the guest list to a number that works for your child. Some kids thrive in big groups with all their classmates around, while others are much more comfortable with only a few of their closest friends and cousins. The focus of your party should always be that your child has the best time. You should plan the guest list according to your child’s individual needs. Keep in mind that some schools (especially with younger students) have adopted policies stating that the whole class must be invited to a party if the invitations are passed out at school. Hence, if you or your child are not prepared to host a party of that size, make sure you have an alternative method of delivering your invitations.
There is no need to hire an expensive party planner to plan and decorate your child’s birthday party. Luckily for us parents, kids love balloons, and balloons are cheap and easy party decor. For less than $30, you can buy a package of balloons and a small helium tank and decorate your whole party with colorful balloons that will delight your child! Some other ways to decorate your party while still being cost-effective include utilizing paper streamers, inexpensive tablecloths, photos of the birthday child, and cute table confetti. Paper plates and cups are easy and affordable and as a bonus, they come in a nearly endless number of themes to match almost any taste or interest! PRO TIP- check out Amazon, where you can find TONS of party packs with decorations, plates, cups, napkins, and more for less than $30! With a bit of effort and a minimal amount of money, you can create a fantastic party that your kid will love!
Set a Time to Start and End
Kid’s parties do not have to be all-day affairs. In fact, in most cases, they shouldn’t be! For children under the age of 5, a short and sweet 90-minute party is perfect for keeping them engaged and having a good time and avoiding meltdowns from tired and overstimulated little ones. For older kids, you should plan for a couple of hours. Setting a specific start and end time gives you a smaller window of time to fill and eliminates the stress of figuring out activities to keep everyone occupied for hours on end.
Plan some Fun Activities
It’s always a good idea to have something for your kiddo and their guests to do while at your party. Recruit an older niece or nephew who loves art to set up a face-painting table where the kids can choose a simple design to have painted on their cheek or hand. Set up an age-appropriate craft to keep the kids busy such as decorating their own cupcake (as mentioned above), making their own beaded necklaces, or decorating a birthday banner with stickers and crayons. You should also plan some activities that get the kids up and moving around. Some great ideas for this are musical chairs, freeze dancing, sack racing, and keeping a balloon up in the air. It’s always better to have several activities planned, even if you don’t use them all. It’s better to have too many activities ready to go and not need some of them than not to have enough to do. PRO TIP- A photo booth is a great way to entertain kids, and the parents will have a fun time too!
Depending on the age of the children attending your party, opening presents at the party may not be a great idea. Younger kids have a tough time understanding why one child gets presents, and they don’t. If your party has many preschool-aged children in attendance, you should opt for opening gifts after the guests have left. If Grandma or Auntie would like to see your little one open their gifts in person, you could offer them a place to do so away from the other children. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of your child receiving a pile of new toys to add to the already substantial mountain in the toy box, there are alternative gift options you can think about. One such option is requesting that each guest bring the birthday child a new book instead of toys. It is also becoming increasingly popular to request that guests purchase an experience instead of a toy. That could mean movie theater vouchers, tickets to the local children’s museum, or a gift certificate for a kid’s art class. You can also choose to give each child who attends your party a small goody bag to take home. It doesn’t have to be super elaborate, or expensive small age-appropriate treats and prizes are perfect!
Are you planning a party for your fantastic kiddo?
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