Does the thought of hosting a kid’s birthday party at your house make you break out in a cold sweat?
No wonder so many people choose the option of birthday parties held at fast food places and play centres!
Personally, I have never done that because I am a cheap-skate and I think they are over-priced.
Not to brag or anything, but I have hosted around 25 kid’s parties in some form or other, over the years.
What was I thinking?
No, really, we have such fond memories of all the crazy themes (Star Wars, Monsters, Bike, Garden, Fairy, Princess, Pirate, Gross, Disco to name a few), the great kids and the FUN! All on a budget and (mostly) healthy.
Well, you are in luck today. It’s Tip Tuesday and I am sharing my top tips on how to host a kid’s birthday party without the stress.
* KISS. Keep it simple, sweetheart. Unless you are a party planning goddess and get off on this stuff, keep it really basic. The kids won’t notice. Promise.
* I like having the party on a different day to my child’s actual birthday. The times we have had it on the same day, I haven’t had time to properly enjoy the day and my child.
* Host a morning or afternoon tea. Less catering required.
* Serve finger food. No plates required and less washing up.
* Keep the food very simple. You don’t need to create gourmet masterpieces (it will be lost on a three-year old anyway). See how to make a simple, healthy birthday cake here. More food ideas in tomorrow’s blog post!
* Limit guests. You do not need to invite the whole class. Choose the number of guests to coincide with the child’s age as a rough guide.
* If you have family invited, get them to bring a plate.
* Always make it easy for guests to RSVP. Include mobile/phone/email or even a tear off slip on the invite. Chase them up if need be.
* Plan well ahead of time. Shop ahead for non-perishables – this makes it easy on the budget too.
* Don’t overcater. In my experience, younger kids will not eat loads. Four different items and cake is plenty. KISS remember?
* Set up a tea and coffee station so parents can help themselves.
* Don’t make special food for the adults. They will eat the kid’s food anyway. Many do not even eat anything.
* Keep the entertainment cheap and simple. You don’t need to hire a jumping castle or entertainers. Choose 3-4 old fashioned games to play. In fact one of the most popular games we had at a teddy bear’s picnic theme was all the kids holding onto the edges of a picnic rug and tossing teddies into the air! Another fun idea was our water fight party – everyone bought a water gun and that was the entertainment sorted!
* Put hubby or older child to work and make them in charge of games. You can even load them up with some organic lollipops and get the kids to give chase!
* Ask parents to stay if the kids are very young. Supervising toddlers en masse is not easy!
* Ask the parents staying to help you out. Usually at least one will ask what they can do. Don’t be a martyr – delegate!
* Set up bins and recycling bins close by so clean up is easy.
* Take the whole shebang to the park! If you have a fabulous local park with lots of good play equipment, you are set. One of the best parties we ever had was ‘pancakes in the park’. I just made up a big pancake mix at home and we cooked them on the bbqs. Put out lots of yummy toppings and fruit and get the kids to help themselves.
* Make food ahead of time and freeze. The birthday cake and muffins will freeze really well.
* For older kids, a home-made pizza night with movie and a sleepover is often more fun than a full-on party.
* A simple craft activity is fun for older kids and they can take home their masterpiece as the party favour. Check out the Veggie Smugglers ‘Craft for Non-Crafty Parents‘ for ideas.
* Don’t compare yourself to other mums, other parties or Pinterest. Do your own thing.
* Limit the party time to two hours. It will go fast, trust me.
* Remember the candles and matches and don’t forget to charge up the camera and video recorder. Ask a friend or family member to be in charge of the photography.
* Relax and don’t sweat the small stuff. Let go of your ideas of perfection and just enjoy the time with your child and their friends. They won’t notice that the cake is a little wonky or you forgot the balloons.
* If you are really pushed for time, consider purchasing the party bags ready-made from companies like Organic Party Bags. The amazing people at Organic Party Bags are offering all my readers a huge 25% discount! Just use the coupon code NNM13. Valid until the 30/6/13. I love the eco-party bag!
* Don’t forget your sense of humour!
* Put some Instant Calm Blend aromatherapy oil from Twenty 8 in the diffuser.
* Have some down time planned for after the party. You’ve earned some quiet time with a nice relaxing bath and a cup of chamomile tea.
* Enjoy the party and make precious memories. Kids grow up way too quick.
I would love to hear your ideas for making kid’s parties fun and stress free.
Leave me a comment or a link!