Even as the owner of a party shop, I can find kid birthday party planning overwhelming. You're trying to make an indecisive, emotional child with big dreams happy! Maybe that's just mine? My daughter has changed her mind 50x on her fifth birthday party theme and we still have a few months to go. I recommend doing any themes you've been dreaming of before their 4th birthday, that's when more opinions set in. To help give you some direction on party planning, we have 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Don't forget it is your child's birthday and party. I know it can be hard to let go of full control, but it's about them and you want them to have fun with it. I like to control the options. I think of 2-3 themes I know she'll be excited about, that I also like and can plan around. When shopping for supplies, if they want to be involved, pull a couple designs and let them pick between. I also recommend coming to a cute, boutique shop that curates a fun selection (wink wink!).
2. When working through your party budget, decide the most important element to your party. Do you want a great venue? Do you want a princess appearance? Over the top decor? Lots of balloons? Each year, you'll have to decide what's important to you and the birthday child. Planning my youngest daughter's first birthday this month, I knew I wanted a great backdrop since pictures would be the main priority. With my oldest turning five, I know she really wants a princess, so putting more of the budget towards that. Make sure you still have room for other items, but nail down what your must haves are.
3. Entertain your party guests. You can have the prettiest setup, but if the guests are bored, you're in trouble. I always recommend a fun craft activity and coloring sheets. Coloring is a great activity while they wait for other guests to arrive. You can make the craft as simple or complex as you'd like, just keep the guests' ages in mind when planning. If you book a party package with our event venue, we provide the materials and setup for your party. One less thing to worry about!
4. Plan a party timeline you are comfortable with. Don't feel like you have to have a long party. We usually recommend an hour and a half. If you only want to do an hour, stick to an hour. You have to keep them entertained and fed, so don't over do it. If you only want to serve treats, keep that in mind when choosing your time. Opening gifts can be done at the party or afterwards at home. I will say, as they get older, kids seem to enjoy seeing their friends open up what they chose for them. My timelines usually look something like this: Arrivals, have coloring sheets out for something to do; craft activity; sing happy birthday and serve treats (if we eat, would do before this); open gifts. I like to serve desserts towards the end, so I'm not spending an hour with sugared up children.
5. Have fun! Birthday parties are meant to be fun and your child gets so excited to celebrate their special day. Enjoy it! If you don't enjoy planning, book a party package or hire a party planner. Worried about being overwhelmed by children at the party, hire a babysitter as an extra helping hand. Not sure where to start? Look for inspiration. Scroll social media. Look through children's books. Stop by local party shops. We have a great tool on our website called Set the Party where you can see what different party supplies look like together before you purchase. You can always combine a couple ideas to add a unique spin on it.
Party on! Helpful links: