I have only hosted three children’s birthday parties but I feel that I have learned a few things each year and what is the use of having knowledge when you do not share it??
Birthday party hosting Tips for a young child’s birthday party:
- Always have baby wipes or wet naps handy ! Cake , candy, games, ice cream… sticky fingers and faces everywhere
- Always have at least one game for the kids ! When a party is a free-for-all filled with a room of kids hopped up on sugar and running wild and screaming… the parents aren’t really going to have a great time. In fact, they may be having a terrible time. Of course the party is “for the kids” but let us think about who took the time to pick out and buy the gift, dress their kids in actual clothes, dragged them out of the house into the car and showed up for your kids party. Am I right? Having the kids doing something whether it be a game or a craft will help with the other parents’ sanity, and probably yours too.
- Serve easy-to-eat food for those toddlers who don’t always quite make the food into their mouths. Cheerios, dried fruit, crackers… all easy to eat and easy to pick up food options for those little guys and gals. I have served those snacks in little paper or plastic dixie cups and it seems to work well. Of course you can, and should, have other food options for everyone else who can eat like actual humans and not little messy monsters.
- Be careful not to dish out too much sugar ! This seems like a no-brainer but I have been to many birthday parties and I too have made the mistake… When the kids eyes are getting wider by the minute and they are all starting to sweat from jumping and running and tackling each other and the voices and shrieks of delight are getting louder and higher pitched… you know the sugar over-load is about to peak and then all the kids will be crashing and whining and driving everyone nuts. Cake and a little bit of candy is fine ! Great even ! But when the kids only eat the junk and have nothing else in their little wild tummies, the pop and the candy and the cake is going to turn them into little evil monsters. Learned this from experience. Your welcome.
- What ever happened to PAPER invites? Like to anything? Of course Facebook event invites are easier and free. Of course you can still do that but for me personally I get so many event invites online every week that I almost always forget about a birthday party until the day or two before when I get a notification ! Who doesn’t love getting mail ? Especially kids ! (Unless it’s a bill. those suck). I recommend doing both a paper invite and a Facebook invite! Mail out that cute little paper invite so families can put it on their fridge and remember to save it in their calendar. And then you can also do a “save the date” on Facebook so everyone knows to keep an eye out for their invite. Text reminders a week or so before to those who have not RSVP yet also work great!
- Cut corners where you can ! Do you really need to spend $50+ on a birthday cake that will be devoured within minutes of the cake cutting anyways? Do you need to order that custom birthday banner? What about the favors for the kids? Do you need to spend $10 per kid? Probably not. Now I am sure there are some people rolling their eyes to this because they do not cut corners for their little prince or princess but for me and my family… we like to save money where we can ! Free printables found all over Pinterest make FREE and super easy party decor. Throw it in an old frame you already have or from a thrift store and voila ! Or just tape it up on the wall with some cute washi tape. No need to go out and buy all those cardboard decorations that will be thrown out after the party. Why spend $50 on a cake when you can buy a cake mix for a couple bucks and make it yourself? You don’t HAVE to have matching paper plates and napkins when you most likely already have some plain white ones sitting in your kitchen anyways. Use what you already have to serve and present the food on! Get creative with what you already have so you don’t need to go out and buy it all.
- Rolling an idea off of number 6… reuse when you can ! I am cheap I suppose because I almost always save those cheap plastic disposable table cloths. If they are not ripped or torn up I wipe them off, fold them up and put them in a drawer in my craft room. I use them ALL the time. Cookouts in the summer ,doing crafts on them with the kids, and using them for future birthday parties ! I also always keep extra plates and napkins or whatever else and re-use them at the next gathering.
- Clean up (just a little!) as you go. Kids birthday parties are messy. And after a couple hours of crazy sugared-up kiddos running around, the last thing you are going to want to do is clean up that disaster of a mess. Whenever I am in the kitchen or really any room in our house and I am chatting with someone, I try to talk and clean up a bit. Throw out garbage here and there. Throw a few dishes in the sink. Wipe down the table after the kids have cake. I really don’t like starting the full-on cleaning up from the party DURING the party because that seems to give guests the suggestion that you are ready for everyone to leave so you can pick up your trashed house. (so take note: if you need people to scat start vacuuming) haha
- Don’t be afraid to ask people to follow your house rules ! For years whenever I would host anything, I would always feel weird asking people to take their shoes off or little things like that. Now I am comfortable with asking people to follow our house rules because, well, it’s our house ! If you only want people to eat or drink in certain areas of your house, say so ! Politely, of course. And make it pretty clear where the food and drinks should be. Last year for our Toy Story birthday party I had some of our food on a table in the basement where the kids were playing… BIG mistake. We normally do not eat downstairs at all because the carpet is this shag-type carpet that is a total pain to clean. So it was time for cake and even though I had that cake upstairs, everyone was taking it downstairs to eat it and I had bright green and blue frosting smeared all over that basement. On toys, in the carpet, on the walls… yea, I don’t even know. So this year I kept all the food and drinks upstairs where spills are much easier to clean up!
- DO NOT STRESS over a children’s birthday party like I have ! It really does not matter if you do not follow a single one of my tips but this one! Just have FUN! Your child loves you and loves getting gifts and being the birthday boy or girl. Who cares if you were so busy having fun that you forgot to take photos of everything you did and half of them came out blurry… ehem. (See my post about my sons 4th birthday party HERE )