Birthday Parties – Part 2

Birthday Party Timeline Brainstorming

In planning your birthday party, you need more time than you think.  Unless you plan to go out and purchase everything out of a box and give it to someone else to organize, planning a birthday party does take some thought and effort.  But with the right tools your brainstorming can be a pleasurable experience!  Below is one of the best Birthday Party Planning Timeline for those of you who like to stay organized.

6-8 Weeks in Advance

  • Choose Theme/Idea for Birthday Party with your Child
  • Plan a Date and Time
  • Locate a party facility and book it. Your home and/or back yard are great choices.
  • Quiz host location on what service/items they will provide or help you with.  Every place that caters to birthday parties will have their own system and it’s good to know that up front.
  • Save the Dates

4 Weeks in Advance

  • Make Guest List
  • Create Invitations
  • Plan Events or Activities
  • Decide on Decorations
  • Look for and decide on Party Favors

3 Weeks in Advance

  • Make or begin making/assembling Decorations
  • Make or begin making/assembling Activities
  • Make or begin making/assembling Favors

2 Weeks in Advance

  • Send invitations (could also be sent earlier but if you email a save the date, folks should already have it on their calendar and this is just a toggle reminder to get the kids excited)
  • Order cake or decide on cake to make and what it will look like

1 Week in Advance

  • Order Food or Decide on Food to prepare.

2 Days

  • Confirm with Cake Maker and Food if ordered or begin grocery shopping/preparing.
  • Charge Photo and Video Camera Batteries
  • Decorate if at home or assemble everything that goes to the party in one location.

Post Party – Within 2 days

  • Write or have your child write thank you notes.  They don’t have to be professional or long but must be done and the sooner the better.
  • Gather all keepsakes and put in one location

When you are hosting a birthday party in your home for your kids, it’s always important to provide a festive atmosphere. That doesn’t mean that you have to have the entire house decorated to the hilt. It simply means that there should be a spot carved out that you turn into “party central.” Simply put down a festive table cloth. Add some balloons or big impactful centerpiece and a sign saying “Happy Birthday” and you are set.

Most Popular Birthday Party Themes

I’ve accumulated a listing of the most popular birthday party themes. Following you will see that list. These are not in order of popularity.

Ballerina
Dress-up Doll
Mouse Pizza Place
Red Dog
Dinosaur
Dirt Bike
Dog
Fire Truck
Halloween Birthday
Island
Karate
Race Car
Pirate
Princess
Puppy
Sports
Science Fiction Wars
Tea Party

Circus

Birthday party clowns are a great way to have entertainment. When there aren’t other things to distract even the newest clown can occupy a kid’s attention and cause so much laughter that it’s absolutely contagious.
We’ve been to many birthday parties and school functions where this particular clown has been invited. He is engaging for preschoolers and involves the kids in his presentations. Any clown who loves to do this and has been doing it a while will be engaging as well.
Be sure when securing a clown for your birthday party that you know up front exactly what he or she is willing to do. How long they will perform and how flexible they are. It’s just always good to know everything you can upfront and don’t have any surprises the day of the party!

Princess Tea Party

There is no better time to pull out that silver service set that you have in the closet or displayed in your dining room than for a princess tea party. Using your tea set at the party may be the only thing I recommend pulling out. It’s not breakable and only moms will be handling it. Yet, you get to set it out and your little princess feels really special being able to use it. Don’t have one yourself? Borrow your mother’s or your neighbor’s. Most likely they don’t use their set very much either and would be thrilled for it to get some use. A great craft project to keep the busy involves cardboard, glue, paper, and glitter.

The boys can cut, glue, and decorate cardboard shields, then glue a handle on to the back. Then the girls’ project could be to decorate their own party crown. Again, the hats/crowns were purchase and then the kids glued on adornments and colored on them.

Pink Castle Invitations are perfect for you princess, this invitation is adorned with a giant pink castle. The set includes 20 invitations and 20 plain white envelopes. Also a great addition to this set would be Pink Castle Address Labels, Pink Castle Stickers, and Pink Castle Notes.

Pirate Party

At birthday parties, moms and dads “Arrh” often busying around with the party and all the details that go with it and aren’t enjoying the party itself. Whether it’s a pirate party or another theme altogether, you are going to have the same experience.

Just like you might hire a caterer or servers for a dinner party, hire a party “captain.” Now, I’m not talking about an entertainer. I’m talking about a person who takes the planning that you have set into motion and carries it out. This leaves you to pay attention to the pirates or to other moms.

A college student would be perfect but really any responsible kid could carry it all out. I don’t see why a teenager wouldn’t be able to carry out the basic functions of a birthday party if they were allowed to be in charge.

Regardless or not if you have someone else run the party for you or it’s you yourself running the party… don your favorite pirate captain’s costume and it will make the party all that much more fun for the kids.

Breaking the Ice

I don’t care the age, I don’t care the gender, I don’t care what kind of party it is or just gathering for that matter… having an organized ice breaker at the beginning always starts the party off right. Now, I’m not talking about a silly ice breaker. I’m talking about a planned activity that is ready to go as folks walk in the door. I’ve watched adults and children hesitantly walk into a room when there is a great deal of commotion and it takes them a while to warm up. Then I’ve watched the same kids walk in and immediately sit down to a project with other kids and they are engaged right off the bat.

Germs

When planning your child’s birthday party, it’s important to think about a lot of details that aren’t party of the creative process. A big one is the need to keep everyone healthy. The last thing you want is for a bug to pass through all your party guests. With the flu as contagious as it is, you should do your part as a hostess to keep the germs at bay.

A big way to assist in eliminating germs is to provide a hand sanitizer at a couple of strategic locations around the food table. Kids often eat with their hands and it’s a good idea for everyone to wash up before and after they eat.

Extra Party Favors

I don’t know about you but I seem to always have left over party favors. Honestly, I’m always paranoid that more kids will show up than what I have favors for and I don’t want anyone going home empty handed!

Now the question is what do you actually do with these extra toys and such???  Well, we keep them on hand to give other kids who weren’t able to make it to the party but give us a gift.  Or we even give favors to kids who invite us over for play dates post party.

What do you do with the ones that are still left over?  I’m at a loss.  Many of them get integrated into our own toy box but then we have numerous of these around.  I can’t wait for them tear up or break.

Directions to your Birthday Party

If you are inviting new friends or you live in an out of the way place, it’s always thoughtful to assist your guests in finding the party location! I have to be completely honest; this is a detail I personally often forget.

It seemed like for so many years I was inviting friends to parties who knew our neighborhood. Now, that my son is in kindergarten, we are inviting a whole new set of folks. It’s no longer the kids of my friends who are coming but his friends from school. And not very many of them live in our specific neighborhood so they get lost.

Really all it takes is a simple sign that your kids help to make. Or get a couple of extra balloons to tie to the front gate or a stop sign where they need to turn.

Another nice gesture is to put a copy of the directions in the invitation and not just an address. I’m so dependent on my smart phone to get me where I need to go that I forget not everyone has one or uses theirs in that way. This is really easy to do if it’s your home. Just type the directions in a word doc and size it small so you don’t have to resize all the time to print. Save the directions document for all the parties you throw.

So, no matter what kind of party you are giving or gathering, it’s helpful to assist your guests in arriving on time and with as little stress as possible!

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