Planning your child’s birthday party is so challenging that you feel like you need a vacation at the end of it. You want them to have fantastic memories of their childhood. That includes having some epically fun birthday parties! It can seem overwhelming to plan a kid’s party, and with these seven expert tips, you’re bound to have as good of a time as the kids do.
Choose a Simple Theme
You can either choose a theme for the party based on what you know of your child’s interests or ask them what they’d like to do. If they come up with a theme that seems off the wall or too much to handle, this is the time to negotiate with them. It is their party, but who’s really doing all the work? So when Johnny says he wants a superhero party, ask him to pick one superhero.
On the flip side, sometimes a broader them can be simpler than a super specific one, and it can give you more room to be creative. How much can you really plan around one superhero? Choosing a theme that might revolve around a color or academic topic, like science, you can coordinate other portion of the party a bit easier.
Simple Party Favors
When it comes to kids, don’t feel stressed to create a personalized party favor for every single child who attends. Overthinking the takeaway for other kids when the focus should be on your own can overwhelm any parent or party planner. If you have a piñata, that bag of candy can be considered the party favor.
Search All Party Sections
It might seem counterintuitive to shop for birthday party supplies outside the birthday portions of stores. If you notice items on sale in other sections of the party store, consider how you can repurpose them to save some money. For example, as you search for party favors, whether it’s the bag for piñata candy or a small toy, don’t restrict yourself to the party sections of stores and websites. Sometimes the best wedding favors, like bubbles and candy boxes, can be dual purposed for kid birthday parties.
Plain Disposable Dishes and Flatware
It’s safe to bet that a child isn’t going to remember what plate they ate birthday cake off of, but you’ll remember how much you spent on them. Rather than buy more expensive princess plates, napkins, and cups, purchase single-color dishes and flatware in colors that match the theme. Being able to mix and match colors will help make sure you can buy everything you need without worrying that one store is out of princess napkins. It’s all going to end up in the trash anyway, so make this party simple so you can spend time planning fun activities.
For maximum fun, you need a game plan. Step one is planning the date and time, then sending out invitations with plenty of time for RSVPs to get in. The more time you have to estimate your final number of guests, the more time you have to prepare activities that are fun for that group size.
Plan Some, Not All, and Keep It Short
An 8-year-old doesn’t need a party that lasts all days. Chances are that he or she spends time with their friends at school throughout the week or other activities you have your child participating in. Plan the party to be around two hours. This includes any planned activities, which should be included, time to eat, and free time.
Plan any activities near the beginning of the party when kids are most excited and wanting to have fun. They won’t want to sit and eat if they’re looking forward to games. One activity should be planned and can be followed by free time for the children to socialize with each other. This gives you a chance to clean up and prepare food and gifts.
Communicate with Parents
While you don’t need to plan the entire party around each child that will be there, it is good to know relevant information about the kids your child is wanting to invite. Food allergies and restrictions are most prominent. It won’t be fun if Sally needs her epi-pen because she ate something she’s allergic too.
Let parents know what food you plan to serve and which activities the kids will be doing at the party. It’s ok to ask parents to pack a snack, meal, or treat for their child if they have special dietary needs. What’s not fun is feeling like you need to have vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free options.