All three of my children have birthdays in January. So I feel like a little bit of a birthday party expert this time of year. Then the rest of the year, I breathe a big sigh of relief that I don’t have to go through all THAT again for another 11 months. Since I have been living in my own personal birthday party dream/nightmare, I thought I would share with you all the tips I have learned this time around.
- Embrace the weather (or what other uncontrollable element you have to deal with). For my now 4 year old’s birthday party, I had planned an outdoor event. For twenty-five 3 and 4 year olds, I rented a bouncy house and called it done. I don’t know if you noticed, though, but last weekend it was very, very cold! I stressed about it all week. I sent out multiple messages to the parents about dressing warm. Finally, I just accepted that the weather was going to be cold, I set up a fun hot chocolate bar, and rented a few extra outdoor heaters. The hot chocolate bar was a hit and everyone had a great time.
- Think outside of the box. My 4 year old wanted an ice cream cake. Well, I nixed the ice cream cake when I saw the weather report. Instead, I set up a cupcake decorating station. It was really simple and the kids loved it. I found this all online at The Cupcake Café. They delivered three dozen undecorated cupcakes, a few filled bags of frosting, and an assortment of candy toppings (I could have baked them, but this was easier and way better tasting then what I could make). This was my daughter’s favorite part and she totally forgot about that ice cream cake.
- Hide half the presents. Since my kids’ birthdays are right after Christmas, we already have a house full of new presents. So what I end up doing each year is hiding most of the birthday presents away in a closet. Then, when we have a trip coming up or summer vacation starts to get b-o-r-i-n-g, I have these new, fun toys to bring out for them to play with. I thought the kids would balk at this by now, but the whole day is so overwhelming that they really don’t notice.
- Label your gift. This is not my tip, but I am totally stealing it from a mom friend. She has these fantastic labels printed up that she attaches to each present. Her label is kind of like this one from Tiny Prints. It just simply states who the present is from. I really see the need for this after this year of birthday parties. We had many presents with no card or a lost card. I really could not figure out who half the gifts were from. I think this is what happens when you move locations with the presents; things get shifted around in the car and then forget about it. So I am going to order these labels for all of the presents we give this year.
Alright, those are my helpful tips when planning your next party. I hope that I helped someone with my lessons learned. Do you have any great tips to share? I could really use help in the goody bag area. I hate to give out candy and the little plastic toys that litter my house everywhere, but unfortunately that is what I normally end up doing. Also, at what age do you make your kids write their thank you notes themselves? Sometimes it is just easier to do it myself, but I know I should make them do it. Thanks!