Wooohooo! Your baby or toddler is turning __ and you’re going to throw a party. You want to create a fun and charming event, but if “kid's birthday party” inspires fear just as much as excitement, read on my friend, because this article may help calm those nerves.
Before we start, here are my ground rules, so you know my M.O. when I tackle planning a kid's birthday party:
- “Half-assed” (HA) is a relative term. For the purposes of this article, HA means HA if you were to comparing yourself to a Martha Stewart, i.e. you care, but you don’t care so much that you’re going to have a budget that equals a car payment and that would require the services of professional party planner.
- Nothing too commercial. For example, you’re not going to Party City and just buying the whole row of Sponge Bob paper party products. The goal is to be modern, fun and chic.
- A mix of homemade and store-bought. Maybe you hand make all your party decorations and buy pre-prepared food, or vice versa. I find doing a mix of homemade and store-bought will keep you sane. Be tough on yourself on keeping a good balance! I know I always want to make everything myself, but it’s just not worth it for the time sacrifice and stress.
Step 1: Party Theme
For some parents, figuring out the theme is easy. A theme is important so that colors, menu, decor, etc., are consistent. It also helps when you need to make decisions -- e.g., does oh-so-cute item work with my theme? Whether you already know what your birthday party theme is or you need a little inspiration, this is where some choice websites and blogs come in handy.
Two that I really like are Oh Happy Day and 100 Layer Cakelet. They're a great source of inspiration for kids birthday party theme. Now, if you were to try to duplicate what you saw on there exactly, it wouldn’t follow my ground rules. A lot of time, money or planning goes into recreating those looks, but they give me inspiration to create a more budget and time friendly version.
Of course, a general search on Pinterest is a no brainer. I’ve also gotten some good ideas from Buzzfeed, like this birthday cake article. If there are any bloggers that you follow that have kids, that could also be a source of inspiration.
Here are a couple example pictures that I’ve used as inspiration for my own child’s birthday parties:
Step 2: Basics Quick Drill
Next up, you’ll want to do the quick mental exercise of answering the following questions:
How much do you want to spend?
How many people?
Indoor or outdoor?
Your home or other location?
Will you be having adult beverages?
How long will the party be?
Electronic or paper invites? Personally, I prefer electronic for kids parties, because it’s green and easier on you. My favorite site is Paperless Post. They have loads of cute designs!
Example of Paperless Post Invite