It’s inevitable. Birthdays come around every single year. What doesn’t have to be inevitable is the stress that sometimes comes along with planning a party. In our family we keep things small. There are no parties with 40 people, or a bounce house, or trendy venues in town. Though those are a lot of fun, they don’t quite fit in our family-friendly birthday budget. To throw a twist into our family’s party planning, I have to plan a party for three kiddos at one time.
Our twin sons were born on August 28th, and we found ourselves hosting their second birthday party in my hospital room having just delivered our baby girl, now sharing the birthday of August 28th. So this year as the three of them have their sixth and fourth birthdays just around the corner, I thought I would share just a handful of party planning tips that have worked in our family.
Tips for No-stress Party Planning
Pick a theme that would be friendly your child.
Or in our case, to all three of our children! Being that we have to celebrate a girl and boys, I have tried to incorporate things they would all like. I know this won’t always be easy, but for now, here are some ideas:
- Lemonade stand party — with pinks, yellows, and greens
- Safari/zoo party — who doesn’t like wild animals?!
- Under the sea — mermaids, whales, sharks and star fish! Sweet and scary sea creatures for all!
- Travel — using hot air balloons and cute pieces of luggage in their favorite colors
Plan ahead with your decorations.
This would include anything fun you may want to add to the day: plates and utensils, games, etc. See what you have to use so you don’t have to go out and buy too much. I have a big chalk board for homeschooling that I always draw a fun sign on. I use things around the house for centerpieces, and I grab toys and stuffed animals when they apply to our theme. And keep it simple. Kids don’t need anything extremely elaborate. Some balloons and a few little extras are all you need. I try to decorate one main area, be it the foyer area, by the food, by the presents, or in the room where everyone will mainly gather. Rather than getting a ton of balloons filled with helium and adding to the cost, blow them up yourself and make them into your own design.
Bake your own cake.
Or at least decorate it yourself. I love to bake cakes from scratch, but sometimes I end up buying a boxed cake and just decorating it myself. Don’t try anything new. There is no shame in buying a cake, but rather than spending the money on someone else fancying it up for you, add some of your own embellishments! For my kids’ safari themed party, I gathered all of their little animals and made party hats and stood them on top of their cake. For their under the sea party, I made a crab, mermaid tail, and a couple of fins sticking up out of the water. If you have a son who likes construction, grab some of his little construction vehicles or buy some new ones cheap online and he will love you forever. Make it a chocolate cake and take some of the extra batter to bake aside from the cake as some pretend dirt that the vehicles can be digging up on the top! Sometimes I just print out their picture, cut out their age, and add their name to it, and am done with it!
Don’t stress over needing entertainment.
Kids have so much fun together, just being! I like to have a little game or fun craft for the kiddos if possible, but if it isn’t pulled off, know they will have fun no matter what! They have fun at play dates, right? Now you’ve added cake, goodies, and even gifts to it; you’re secured!
Send little guests home with something fun.
This is something I always enjoy doing. For a zoo/safari themed party, I did a plain tote bag that I stenciled on an elephant with each child’s initials. Another idea would be a fun hat, like a safari hat, or a construction or fireman hat for parties with those types of themes. For an under the sea party, how about a sand pail and shovel? Another idea is tying your craft in with the little goodie to send home. Maybe host an art party and one of the activities/crafts could be a blank puzzle for them to paint their picture on and they can take it home and have hours of future fun! For our kids’ birthday one year, I just did a really fun lollipop with colorful ribbon. It can be super simple. Remember, it is just a little something to say thank you for sharing in the special day.
And lastly, give yourself grace. You can throw all of this to the curb, like I am this year, and pick up some helium filled balloons, buy a cake, and say that is the extent of our party. It’s the sweet friends, hearty laughter of little ones, and memories shared that make the day special. They won’t remember what you didn’t do, they will only remember the fun and the love you poured into making their day special!