Whether you’re working on planning your child’s first birthday party or just reading this list to see if I’m really that on top of my game, there’s a little something for everybody to learn here. Keep reading for 5 life-changing tips that will make planning your kid’s birthday party a piece of cake (no shame in my pun game).
Communication needs to exist abundantly before, during, and after your child’s birthday party. If they’re old enough to have an opinion, ask them who they’d like to invite, what they want the theme to be, and what kind of cake they want. (It is their party, after all.)
When you send out invitations, make sure they provide crystal-clear information about the event’s time, location, theme, and special gift requests (registries, no-gifts please, etc.). Make sure to request that parents inform you of any allergies or special needs that their children have when they RSVP in order to help ensure that nobody is left out.
If you’re using any vendors (food, venue, etc.) make sure that you are both on the same page. Touch base frequently to lessen the chances that things turn out incorrectly, and make sure to get a copy of all recipes and contracts.
2. Do 2 things at Once
Leading up to the big day (and even perhaps for a bit setting up the day of) cut down on your running around by killing as many birds as you can with one stone. If you plan on ordering decorations, lump in plates, cups, napkins and anything else as well. You’ll save on shipping, and everything will come in one convenient order.
Give the kids some sort of craft to do, and allow the finished product to double as a little favor. Bonus: have the little party animals decorate their own cookie or cupcake. This will be fun for the kids while eliminating “coming up with a Pinterest-worthy dessert” from your to-do list. Combine and conquer!
3. Delegate Effectively
Now, I’m not saying that you need to assemble a CIA-like team (complete with suits and headsets) to help you on the big day. I am saying, however, that delegating out tasks will help you save your time and a bit of your sanity.
Make sure to have a designated photographer (whether it’s an aunt or a professional) to snap pictures so you don’t have to worry about it. Put somebody on trash duty and nominate at least one person to write down a list of gifts (and who they’re from) to make sending thank-you’s a breeze.
If you’re feeding a fair amount of people, encourage guests to bring a dish (potluck style) or even have some food catered; it’s one less thing to stress out about. Even just ordering a few pizzas can be a true lifesaver!
4. Plan Ahead
This could arguably be the most crucial step in planning almost any event. Plan ahead, and be sure to have at least one foolproof backup plan just in case the poo hits the fan.
Pick your theme well in advance of the actual date so that you can order (or make, if you’re crafty like that) coordinating invitations and decorations. If you wait until last minute, it’s almost guaranteed that the one Frozen dress your child want’s will be sold out with no hope of an expedited order.
If you are planning on spending time outside, make sure to have a suitable alternative in case it is too hot, rainy, or cold to brave the elements. Also, plan for potentially fussy and/or uncooperative children (especially if the fits are coming from your birthday boy or girl), and make sure to give yourself ample time to open presents (more on this in my final point).
5. Say “Thank You”
This point is not only directed at your child; it’s directed at you. Make sure to thank anybody and everybody that has a hand in helping you; let no good deed go un-thanked. It takes an army to throw a party, and each helper deserves gratitude.
Additionally, carve out time to open presents in front of your guests. This will give you a chance to thank the generous gift-givers in person, as well as allow them to see your child’s reaction to said gift. Do not think that verbal thank-you’s can replace mailed thank-you’s; that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works.