Who doesn’t love a kid’s party? Both the planning of them and party day itself are some of my favorite times with my own kids. But you don’t have to be a Pinterest mom to throw a memorable bash for your kids; you just need to have the right essentials to ensure everyone is comfortable–yourself included.
Whether you’re throwing a first birthday bash or a sweet 16, coordinated decorations are essential in creating a memorable look and feel. If you’re having a beach-themed party, start with something colorful and bright and match the other decorations to those colors. The place mats should match the food bowls, which match the napkins, which match the centerpieces. You get the picture.
Plan the Necessities
It’s the little things that we overlook, like having trash receptacles handy near the food or tables. Be sure to think about available restrooms, ample napkins and even areas for nursing or changing diapers if you’ll have a lot of babies at the party. Something else to consider is the flow of the party and especially the food. If you’re working with a tight space, know how guests will go through the buffet line and where they will sit so they’re not bumping into one another on the way to their tables.
I’m not suggesting you put all your guests to work, but a few close friends would likely be happy to help you out. Older siblings at a youngster’s party are great helpers too–and the jobs keep the older kids out of their parents’ hair. Put someone in charge of stocking the beverages or ensuring the music continues to play. A young child can take care of guests’ coats or the gift table.
Keep Guests Informed
Everyone wants to know what to expect, especially when kids are involved. A printed schedule at the door lets guests know what’s going to happen and (roughly) when. This also prevents guests from diving into the food if you have activities planned prior to eating!
Stay Away from Nuisances
If you have kids, you probably dread birthday parties because of the
junk goodies your kids come home with. If you don’t want your kids coming home with trinkets and cheap goodie bags, don’t send your guests home with them either. Good goodie bag choices, if you choose to go that route, include hand sanitizer in a fun scent that matches nail polish, or a book, notepad or activity that the kids can do in the car.
Don’t Sweat the Small (or Big) Stuff
No matter how much planning you do, something is bound to go wrong. More than likely, your guests will never know–unless you stress about it or draw their attention to it. Your caterer doesn’t show? Send a friend to the store to grab pinwheel sandwiches. It rains during a pool party? Play yard games in the rain. You drop the birthday cake before your kiddo blows out the candles? Stick the candles on the pizza or in a piece of fruit. Getting creative and laughing off so-called disasters will ensure everyone stays upbeat and has fun, even if it wasn’t the “perfect” party. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder!