The best parents will do anything they think will make their children enjoy their childhood. So understandably, lots of parents get agitated when their children’s birthdays are coming up. It’s easy to get sucked up in that Pinterest rabbit hole of over-the-top ideas that you’d think anything you do less will make you feel unworthy of being called a parent.

So you do what any panic-driven parent would do: spend. But will that magically make the party spectacular?

Back to What Matters

For you to not lose sight of what’s important, you need to ask yourself these questions: what’s the goal of this event? Can money make it happen?

Your child’s birthday party should remind your child that they are appreciated and that they are surrounded by people they can always count on in life.  So the most important element you should consider in your party is the guest: the whole family, close family friends, and his or her friends. Their presence will help build your child’s self-esteem and openness to the world.

That means, to make it happen, your most important consideration would be coordinating everyone’s time. All else is secondary.

So before you get distracted by worries of secondary relevance, be practical instead, and follow these simple yet pragmatic tips for giving your precious little boy or girl a birthday party he or she will always remember.

Plan Ahead

Successfully throwing a party is always a community effort. As the saying goes: it takes a village to raise a child.

Given that the people are the most important element to make this event successful, you should make sure that every one the child holds dear should be there. Maybe it’s their grandma and grandpa or their best friends from school, perhaps the neighbors next door, etc.

Make a list of these people, set a tentative date for the party, let everyone know about the plan, and ask if they will be free on that date. This will help clear out their schedules ahead of time.

Once everyone has agreed on the time and date, send out the invites a month before the event, including costume requirements (if necessary) and other reminders. Then send a follow-up a week or two before the actual date. Being persistent about your invitation tells people how much this means to you, and they’ll most likely reciprocate the effort.

Focus on Activities instead of Decorations

Party decorations are always fun. They look fantastic too. So if you want to go the extra mile and have a themed party, go for it, but don’t overdo it. Aside from the tedious planning that it requires, the cost can really stack up, and if you’re not mindful of your spending, you may end up frustrated with why nobody’s admiring your personalized napkins.

The first rule of practical birthday party decorations is always to go for the bare necessities: disposables, banner, confetti, etc. Visit your favorite party supply store for discount party supply kits that include the basic. A great option is to purchase a balloon arch kit, which adds stunning decor for a low price.

The kids will be busy doing what kids do best, and admiring the cup design will be the last on their agenda. So focus on entertaining them with fun kiddie activities instead. Breaking piñatas and making their own puppets are something they’d definitely prefer over admiring a giant cardboard panda any day.

You can also opt for a birthday party theme that centers on activities like arts and crafts, a sleepover with karaoke, movie or game night, even a sports-themed birthday party in a venue with a pool where adults can join in on the fun.

Create a Timeline

Good planning is always the key to a successful event. When you’ve thought everything through, you lessen the anxiety that comes with uncertainty. So preferably, start planning months before your child’s birth date. Create a timeline on what to do when, and stick to it. This way, you will have ample of time to change things when necessary, shop without inserting it in your busy work schedule, and talk with everyone involved in the event.

Dividing tasks allow you to manage your energy well and set your focus to do everything as you want it done.

Choose an Inexpensive Venue

Birthdays in your backyard are totally free. Movie nights and sleepovers at home are cheap. So why go anywhere else? If your home can accommodate the number of guests, you may want to consider having the party right where home is. This will save you a lot of money and time. It also helps you keep an eye on the kids.

If it’s inevitable to go somewhere else, choose somewhere where it’s easy to look after the children and where their parents can still have a good time. Picnics in the park with a sports-themed party will give the children all the ball time they need while the parents watch and have their much-needed parents-day-off talk.

Playgrounds are great options too. And the best part? Playgrounds and parks are free!

Serve Your Guests Well

While miniature cupcakes with finely detailed drawings of Spiderman are really cute, they’re also extremely time-consuming to make. Stop worrying about aesthetics, and give your guests a good feast. After all, this is a party, isn’t it?

Make this your way of thanking them for sharing their time with your family. Dedicate a good amount of your party planning on the food menu. It should be time-appropriate and considerate of the different age-groups present at the party.

Final Thoughts

The best birthday parties are not necessarily the most expensive ones. Show your child what’s important by making them feel the abundance of love, not the extravagance. Use this checklist, and start worrying about the right things.