As a first-time mom, it’s so exciting to see your child grow up. Kids go through many milestones throughout their lives, from first day of school to learning how to ride a bike to going off to college. Another annual milestone is their birthday. And while celebrating your child’s first birthday was emotional and memorable, planning a birthday party when they are a bit older is usually stressful. Here are a few ways to take the stress out of birthday planning, and make it more fun.
Get Your Child Involved
An easy way to make planning a party for your child easier is to involve your child. This may seem counterintuitive, but it works. Kids are naturally interested about things that involve them. They pester their parents with questions all day long. Instead of spending precious mental energy fielding questions from your kid about their birthday party, let them share a part in planning it.
You may be a mom but let your child take charge of their birthday party. Think about a few of their favorite things. Maybe they have a favorite TV show, or are really into pirates or magical creatures. Give them a couple of different ideas to choose a party theme from. Find out what kind of cake they want, and what color the decorations should be.
Then head out to the store together and let them choose which balloons, streamers, and cake they want for their party. This way they feel involved in the process, and you don’t have to worry whether or not your child will like their party. They will love it because they helped create it.
Planning the Party
While there are several things you can involve your child with in party planning, they can’t help with everything. As a mom and parent, you still need to find a few suitable activities for the kids to do, get snacks for everyone, and sent out invites to all the parents.
Brainstorm a few activities based on the party’s theme. If the theme is pirates, you can have a swim party for everyone, or let all the kids dress up and watch a pirate movie.
If you can’t find any activities that match the theme, you can always have the kids play pin the tail on the donkey and break open a piñata. Those games never fail.
For snacks, there are a million options for healthy snack food nowadays. A pirate birthday might have goldfish, or a circus themed party could have circus animal cookies. You can also go to bakery or specialty store and get some cookies or cupcakes that match the party.
For the invites, you may be able to get what you need at the card section of the store. If not, take a look at Basic Invite. Their birthday invite selection is huge, and all of their cards are customizable, with hundreds of different colors to choose from. You’ll find the perfect cards for your party.
What to Expect at the Birthday Party
After you have the supplies you need, activities planned, and invites sent out, you need to get a head count. Find out how many kids to expect, and ask their parents if they have any special needs like allergies or sensitivities to light or noise. Provide a few alternative snacks if anyone has allergies, and you create a quiet space in a back room of your house for children who struggle with loud noises or too many people. The parents of these kids will be so grateful you took the time to create a party their child could participate in.
If you have planned out some activities like games and treats, don’t be too rigid on when they should start. Going with the flow of their fun is better than ruining their moods, especially if your kid wants to lead all the other kids at the party with game play. Your role should be to facilitate rather than taking charge.
Extra Help for Smooth Sailing
If necessary, don’t hesitate to ask other moms for help monitoring everyone. Of course, who knows better than experienced moms who have thrown many birthdays before you.
Your spouse, neighbor, or an older sibling can help you keep track of all the kids. Though you may need to bribe an older sibling with some cash or dessert to make cooperation easier.
And that’s it! Your child’s birthday is planned. Remember to ask parents if their child have special requirements, get activities, snacks, and invites that match the theme, and allow your child to help with the party as much as possible. The party is sure to be a hit! Happy birthday to your little one!
Image credit: Photo by Silvia Trigo