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How to throw a successful birthday party!!
Have you ever been so paralyzed with fear that you couldn’t think straight? Or that fear sent you into bouts of anxiety?? I know I have. Whenever I would hear the words host your child’s birthday party I would feel my knees start a knockin’ and I would tremble in my boots. Now for you this may seem silly! But for me, friend, it was truly a great fear. It hadn’t always been this way but after a botched first birthday party for my oldest I wanted to run and hide whenever I heard about hosting another birthday party.Have you ever heard too many hands in the pot? Or too many cooks in the kitchen?? This was the story of poor Big Girl’s first birthday and how to actually throw a successful birthday party!!
So here’s the story
As Big Girl’s first birthday started to roll around there was a huge pressure on me to host a big exciting birthday party! I decided to take the plunge! What could it hurt? I called up a local friend and she agreed to make the cake. It was a check mark on my list! I picked a candy land theme and started to plan a candy table. Again check! The invites were sent! Again another check! Everything seemed so simple! I called people to help! Because delegating is good right?
No wrong very wrong!! Instead of taking on the jobs that they were asked to do. Every family member decided to be in charge of the candy table. The party flopped there was a ton of food and candy! Zero decorations. Zero games and worst of all I didn’t get to actually see my baby on her first birthday… it was a total flop!
So for the next three years we did a special activity that Big Girl would choose until this year! I decided to face that fear of planning and hosting a party when those sweet chocolate eyes looked up into mine begging for a birthday party with friends. Now. I’m not going to lie it took me a couple of months to work up enough courage to host her party so it became an unbirthday party!!
So how did we end up totally rocking the day?? We started with a list of course! Who doesn’t love a good list?!
Pick a theme
It took Big Girl about a month to finally pick the theme she wanted for her party. She waffled back and forth between dinosaurs or My Little Pony. Decisions. Decisions. She found it really hard to decide. However this is the hardest step in the party planning stage (or maybe sending the invitations out is if you are like me!! Ha ha!) Anyways, once you have your theme picked it’s all flowers from there! Oh and don’t forget to choose two colors to compliment your party day!
Decide where you are going to host it
The next big step in totally rocking a party is to know where you are going to host your party event. Are you going to be doing it outside in your backyard? At the park? In your house?? You need to know exactly where it’s going to be held before you can decide on things like games, decorations and menu items!!
Once you have picked what kind of party you want, jump on Pinterest! But just wait!! A word to the wise; don’t get caught up in trying to host a Pinterest perfect party that’s not the idea here! Set a time limit and start an inspiration board. Find food items, decorations and party games or activities to do at your party! This is just to provide you with some creative juices to get the old ticker working about how your own party will go.
Grab a paper and pen
Decide on the type of cake you want!! I always wanted to try fondant cakes and so I took the plunge a year ago and make cakes for my girls in whatever they ask for!! Big Girl asked for a free standing t-Rex that I am super stoked to try out!!
But If you want something simple scour Pinterest there are just so many fantastic ideas out there. And they always range from easy to difficult!
Next write down your menu items. Decide if you just want some snack theme foods or if you are going to host a lunch! This will help you decide how much and what you are going to get! Right now we are on the hunt for Dino chicken nuggets because they just look so fun!!
The other thing to write down and decide is what games or activities you will have! This is where the inner teacher takes over!! I love themes and so I like my games to all be centred around the theme!! Use the teacher tip to over plan and make sure you have a ton of activities and things to do! I feel like it is better to have activities you don’t get to then be scrambling to entertain a bunch of crazy kidlets!
Apparently, the typical birthday party is around 2 hours long. Estimate that kids will spend the same amount of minutes as they are old on an activity before losing interest. So five years Ives you five minutes. This is a rough guide but I would plan seven to eight games!
Update: We found that with the girls all being together with friends it became a huge play date party!! It was so fun and the activities and games didn’t really get used so for the next party we will plan it almost like a preschool theme day!! Need help planning it that way?? You can check out this post!!
So you’ve got everything planned now you get to send out invites!!
Send out the Invites
One thing that I considered about my invitations is how I was going to send them or hand them out! My friend who is organized to a t sends them out in the mail! I absolutely adore this idea because it is SO fun to receive mail! If you are trying to get invites out a week in advance mail might not be the way to go!
If you are planning a bit last minute like I am then use this fun site I discovered!! It’s called Punchbowl invites! It allows you to create the coolest invite and you open it up as you would a letter just online! You get to click on the envelope and the invite slides out! It’s really so super cool!! Best of all, lots of the options are free!! Check it out here.
Ask for help from one friend
It’s nice to have a bit of backup when it comes to the big day. Either for an extra set of hands or someone to take pictures! Learn from my experience and choose just one friend or family member to help you! That way there aren’t too many cooks in the kitchen or hands in the pot!
Remember why you are doing it!
When it came down to the big day I took some time to re-evaluate and reflect on my anxiety and fear. What I started to think was not from my perspective but my daughter’s.
In looking back at her first year pictures from her perspective it was a great day! She got to play with her grandparents and cousins as they took turns running her around the church gym on a blanket while people blew
bubbles for her. Each picture she sees of herself shows sheer joy. She won’t ever know that there wasn’t anything to play or do. That half the gym wasn’t decorated because a family member dropped the ball. What she will remember and see are the friends and family who came to celebrate her!
So instead of freaking out about how awful a party can go, I decided to approach it from my daughter’s eyes. She will remember the fun.
So when it comes to planning a totally awesome party take the time to plan by picking a theme and colours. Scour Pinterest for ideas. Put the plan into motion and send out those invites, buy the food, the decorations, and prepare those games! But, then take the time to remember and celebrate this beautiful little gift you have been given from God and keep life simple by realizing it’s a day to celebrate them!
Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!