Planning a Birthday Party? Here Are Some Tips
If you have small children, you know that planning the perfect birthday party can be pretty challenging. It can be stressful to worry that your little ones’ special day isn’t perfect.
Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can save yourself the stress and plan out the ideal birthday party. Follow these tips, and you will set yourself and your child up for a relaxing day that they will remember for years to come.
Pick A Fun Theme
The first step is picking a fun theme. Start the process by talking to your child. What kind of party would they like to have? Which character, activity, or animal are they most interested in at the moment. To make the process even easier, you can ask them to select several different themes and figure out which one is the most feasible.
The best theme for you and your child also depends on how creative and crafty you are. There are some themes that you can shop for just about anywhere, and others where you will have to create a lot of the decorations yourself. Think about whether or not you have help to do this, and realistically how much time you have to prepare.
It’s essential not to be too idealistic. If you choose a theme where you have to make every decoration from scratch, but you don’t have any time in your schedule to implement your plans, you will just be rushing at the last minute. That’s why it’s good to have a few different themes selected from the beginning and then just choose your favorite.
Some good ideas to get you started are the following; dinosaurs, pirates, llamas, dolphins, mermaids, Disney princesses, fairies Marvel, Minecraft, Spongebob, Paw Patrol, Fortnite, or any character from your kid’s favorite show, movie, video game, etc.
Create Your Guest List
Once you’ve chosen your theme, it’s time to think about who you want to invite. Begin creating your guest list based upon your budget and whether it’s a family party or a family and friends party.
If your child is school-aged, you will want to determine if you should invite the siblings of his or her friends. You should also prepare for some people to decline the invitation, as well as a handful of no-shows or last-minute cancellations.
Understanding how extensive your guest list is will allow you to choose the proper venue and select size-appropriate activities that everyone can participate in. Don’t wait until the last minute to determine who you want to invite.
You should already have the venue, food, decorations, and games picked out by that time, and you will either have to make changes to your existing plans or modify the list to suit your arrangements.
Make Your Invitations Shine
Your invitations are the first place where you can really flex your creative muscles and show off what the party will be all about. You have several options for invitations, all of which hinge on how creative you are and how much time you have on your hands. More obscure characters will usually not be readily available on invitations, so if you choose something that’s not popular, you might be making them yourself.
This is the easiest method of getting your invitations done. Store-bought invitations tend to be more on the limited side, but you can buy them in bulk, and they are generally not very expensive. If you are going for a more generic theme, store-bought might be the best way to go.
If your child chooses a more obscure character or theme, get ready to break out your art supplies, glitter and glue sticks. DIY invitations take a lot more time than store-bought ones, and they can even be more expensive because you have to buy all of the materials for them.
Still, they might be preferable for smaller parties or if you prefer to be as creative as possible. Your child can even help create the invitations for a fun family project.
If you want to get fancy, you can get custom-made invitations. These invitations are created by a professional to your specifications and often turn out beautifully, but there is a small catch. They tend to be a lot more expensive than the other two alternatives.
Getting custom invitations done is a great way to be creative while not spending a lot of time doing them yourself.
Choose Your Location and Decor
Next up; location and decor. You will want to find a great place to have your child’s party, so consider a few venues before settling on one. The first choice is at your own home. If you have a spacious yard or house, and you don’t mind hosting it there, your house could be a great option.
Many people have outdoor parties during the summer, and they’re tremendous fun, especially if you have a bounce house for the kids.
You can also throw the party at a different venue. Fire Halls or banquet facilities are excellent options, and you can usually rent them inexpensively, especially if you do it several months in advance. A good rule to keep in mind is that the further out you plan it, the cheaper it will be in the long run.
There are several things to consider when planning your birthday party. Think about your budget realistically, and don’t look at venues that are outside of it just to see them. Consider how many people are going to be there. Some banquet halls have additional public facilities.
If you are hosting a party for very young children, you might want a more private facility. Some venues, especially ones that serve alcohol, also have age limits.
Once you’ve chosen your venue, it’s time to move on to the fun parts.
Although some venues will decorate the hall for you, others leave it up to you. Always ask in advance and be prepared to decorate yourself if need be. Your decor doesn’t need to be too fancy; just colorful streamers and disposable dishes in the theme’s colors, as well as a sign to congratulate the birthday boy or girl. You can also put centerpieces on the table and make party hats or favors for the children.
Visit a party-themed store and take stock of what they have. You can even go to a craft store and stock up on styrofoam balls, construction paper, and other odds and ends that will help you make great centerpieces.
Select The Food
Planning your menu is a vital step, and how elaborate it is will depend on how fancy your party is, to begin with. One of the first things that you have to consider is whether you will be feeding both children and adults. Kid food, like pizza and chicken fingers, might be great for younger palates, but it won’t please most grown-ups. If you’re having people of different ages at the party, it’s best to get a variety of different food.
Dietary restrictions are another concern. These days, many people don’t eat meat, and many folks are lactose or gluten intolerant. If it’s an intimate gathering, you can always ask about dietary restrictions ahead of time. If there are many people there, and you can’t vet all of them, simply have a lot of different dishes out.
Of course, the birthday cake itself is the center of all of these festivities, so make sure that it’s prominently displayed alongside the food table. You can also opt for birthday cupcakes, which are a welcome change from a cake, and let each child have his or her own special serving.
Coping With Allergies
Although parents should communicate any dietary restrictions or allergies with you prior to having their child attend your party, they don’t always do so. Since nut allergies are prevalent, it’s important to note which dishes have nuts in them clearly. It’s also a good idea to opt for a nut-free cake so that everyone can enjoy it.
Pick Activities but Don’t Go Overboard
One area where you can really get in trouble is with the activities. It’s easy to get excited and plan every last second of your child’s birthday, but remember that things do and will happen and that strict schedules will most likely go out the window. Additionally, activities with fussy details or many messy steps, like gluing or glitter, could cause significant problems when cleaning up.
Plan two or three activities to be on the safe side and have ongoing activities to amuse themselves as needed. Bounce houses are great options for this.
Roll With The Punches
Ultimately, the best advice for having a great birthday party is to roll with the punches. Not everything is going to go to plan, and that’s totally okay. There’s a good chance that only you will notice the very few details that are off. Everyone else will just be having a great time!