It is undoubtedly your child’s favorite day of the year. The day they have talked about for months. When it comes to planning their birthday party, your goal is to make it fun and memorable. Right? So why settle for ordinary when you can have an extraordinary birthday party. If you are reading this than you are likely here to learn a few tips and tricks to make the most out of your next party. Or you may simply love snakes! So fair warning, if snakes make your skin crawl just skip over the pictures.
CHOOSING A THEME
For most kids the theme choice will be obvious. Maybe a new movie was just released that they can not watch enough. You know like the one where they sing, ‘Let it go, Let it go!’ Good luck getting that out of your head now. Or you find them in their favorite costume for the 10th day in a row that you have to now peel off of them to wash. For our little guy, it was snakes. We knew it was the right choice long before he asked because he slept with his stuffed snake every night.
Location, location, location. This three word phrase is often used in the real estate world but it holds some truth here too. Now that you have the theme, you can pick the location that will compliment it. For the snake party, we choose a local nature center to rent and host his party there. There was no way that I was going to have live animals, that had the chance to get loose, in my house. I would never sleep again!
The invitation can set the mood for the entire party. It will get the kids excited for the big day. I love a good personalized invitation. My go to place to order invitations is Etsy. You will hear that a lot from me. Simply type the theme into the search bar and scroll until you find just the right one. This could take a minute. Some invites will even include a picture of the birthday boy or girl. Want to take it a step further, you could stage a photo to match your theme. Yes that takes more effort but it is something you will cherish for many years. My favorite one was when my middle boy was turning 1 and Sesame Street was the theme. We surrounded the poor kid with a million Sesame Street dolls and took his picture. To say he was slightly traumatized would be lying. Why stop there, you could even turn the invite into a souvenir. For my baby’s first birthday party, the invitation was a boat with the words on the sail. Try mailing that one.
You have heard the saying, it’s all in the details. That is solid advice. Although before you get all trigger happy with the submit button to your online shopping cart or walk out of the local party store with a cart full of decor, research your location’s policy on decorating. Some places do not allow anything on the walls or others may only allow 15 minutes to decorate. My heart stops when I read a time limit on decorating because for me that just creates way too much stress and anxiety. Party City and Birthday Express are two good places to look for plates, napkins, cups, plastic silverware, and balloons. So back to Etsy, several places offer a complete matching party package that goes along with the invite. These can include banners, water bottle wraps, favor tags, party circles, welcome signs, and thank you cards. It sounds amazing because it is!
You can have your cake and eat it too. You could choose to make or to buy a cake/cupcakes. I have nightmares from eating several pounds of royal icing while finishing a 4-H cake late into the night as a child. Why we waited until the last night was not my best idea. Plus it creates a whole new level of anxiety. However, I have seen some of you mammas that have made the cakes for each of your kid’s birthdays and they turn out amazing. I praise you! For the rest of us, Pinterest is your friend to find examples and ideas for your cake or cupcakes. My usual meeting with our local cake store involves several photos that I screen grabbed from Pinterest and mix and match to get the cake that I envision. A local place called Halls Takes The Cake does an amazing job each time turning my cakes into reality.
Let’s eat! Cute themed food makes all the difference from cute shaped sandwiches to fun themed names for every day food. Spend some time planning out your menu and the fun dessert items that you want to go with it. Let your child choose some of their favorites for the menu too. Since my boys live on hotdogs and pizza then it is no surprise that pizza and hotdog bars end up at their parties.
Now to display all your new yummy goodness. One key element that I incorporate into every party is a decorated cake table. This is the focal point of the party besides the birthday boy/girl of course. If your location allows you to decorate on the walls then consider a backdrop or buy a stand. The table will obviously include the cake but other dessert items as well such as color themed candy, cookies, cupcakes, popcorn, rice Krispie treats, cake pops, lollipops, and other themed desserts. If you can’t find one of my kids then check around the sweet table. Good luck with all the sugar but you get to send them home right? The parents will love you I am sure.
We love all our little friends and love thanking them for coming to our parties. Favors are were you can get your creative juices going. The party store trinkets are not bad but usually they have a short life span. Don’t get me wrong, trinkets are likely to end up in our favor bags to some extent. However, my goal when thinking about party favors is what can I see them playing with for long-term. I can tell you that I have seen some of our previous favors being used more than 4 years later. This I love! For the snake party, I found a stuffed snake pattern online then I went to the local craft store to find cute coordinating fabrics. So I also added about 6 inches to my snakes by printing off extra middle sections. I also added a few extra details like bells to make the tails rattle and more permanent sewable eyes. To answer your question, yes this did take me several days to almost a week of sewing every chance I got to finish one time. Slightly nuts I know.
Trust me when I say this but you will want some sort of entertainment for the kids. I have three boys and all you mammas of boys know exactly what I mean. Plan a few games, rent a bouncy house, use your location’s amenities (like a trampoline park), or hire an entertainer. For the snake party, we first set up an area where the kids could paint a wooden snake while waiting on all the guests to arrive. After searching the internet and facebook, I found an animal handler with tons of snakes and reptiles. It was perfect! And for others terrifying!
The last tip is to be a relaxed host. I for one can take my own advice and loosen the grip a little. It is your classic do as I say not what I do. If all the above makes your stomach ball into knots then pick and choose how much you want to do. Your child will enjoy anything that you do for them and all the attention from family and friends will make them feel so loved.
Finally, don’t forget to write thank you notes to your family, friends, and vendors.
Tell me about your party planning must haves or other fun tips that I missed in the comments below. Also please click follow at the bottom of this site. Thank you in advance.