Every mom wants to give their kids the best parties that they’ll remember fondly for the rest of their lives. When your children start going to school, you may start hearing about other parents’ hosting parties and feel the need to tackle yours with a new approach. For working moms and parents, party planning can be hectic and really put the pressure on!
Start Planning Early
When planning a successful party, giving yourself plenty of time to get all the details set is key. Start thinking about your party theme about 3-6 months ahead of time. Once you decide on a kid’s party theme, you can keep your eyes out for party decor and supplies at any store you go to, and perhaps even find party supplies on clearance. Choosing a theme that is common for children’s parties can make it much easier for you to find a wide selection of options. Think tea parties, unicorns, princesses, superheroes, trains, legos, pirates, beach themes for summer birthdays, and popular kid’s TV shows and movies.
Set a budget for the decor and accessories, and work on finding a couple of items for the party each week, like party favor bags, table decorations, props, disposable plates, cups, etc. Getting your supplies slowly will be less of a drain on your wallet all at once and be much less stressful.
Send Invites at Least One Month Out
Other parents lead busy lives, too, between school, work, and extracurricular activities. Getting your invitations sent out at least one month ahead of time will give parents plenty of time to plan and RSVP attendance to your party. Be sure to give a deadline for RSVP-ing so you can have enough time to plan for the right amount of food. On the flip side, sending invites out too early can cause people to forget about the party and miss attending it together. A proper invitation window ensures your kiddo won’t be left with a party and no guests!
When it comes to the day before and the day of the party, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen prepping and cooking a ton of food. Catering is an excellent idea that is worth spending extra money on rather than saving yourself a buck and trying to do it all yourself.
There are many catering options you can think about like food trucks, a grill chef present at the party, food delivered from restaurants, party trays and cupcakes picked up from your local grocery store and your classic pizza party delivery that every kid loves. Catering doesn’t have to cost a mint, and it will give you so much extra time to enjoy the party with your child and guests. A few days before the party, give your catering company a call to confirm the order details and delivery times.
Keep the Kids Entertained
It’s so much easier to keep adults entertained at a party — all you need is a good company, food, and drinks. But for kids’ parties, you need to keep them entertained with fun games, activities, and maybe even professional entertainment. DIY games and activities can be fun to plan and help keep your party within budget. Here are some cool ideas that will give you some inspiration:
- Face painting
- Sandcastle building
- Temporary tattoo station
- Musical chairs
- Pass the parcel
- Treasure hunt
- Egg and spoon race
- Pin the tail on the donkey
And as for hired or rented entertainment, here are a few that are solid winners for kids of the right age:
- Bounce house
- Mobile petting zoo
- Puppet shows
- Mad scientist
You’ll also want to call your hired entertainment about a week before the party to confirm all the details. You wouldn’t want your little one to miss out on the main entertainment because of a miscommunication in planning.
Make sure to have a great goodie bag for kids when they are leaving the party! A great party favor to add would be a chocolate bar. I know you are thinking, that is so much sugar! But we have a great low sugar option, GATSBY chocolate. GATSBY chocolate’s contain all the decadence of premium chocolate but with significantly less calories and sugar. It only has 2 grams of sugar per serving! This is the best way to provide a candy without giving too much sugar, parents will love you for this!
GATSBY Chocolate Bars are available to purchase at Kroger, Ralphs, Mariano’s, Fred Meyer, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, and City Market, and online at gatsbychocolate.com. To find a store near you, visit gatsbychocolate.com/pages/store-locator.
Outsource and Delegate
Parties for kids typically involve family and friends, and this gives you a wonderful opportunity to recruit anyone who is willing to help out. With enough guests, you can assign small tasks to people that will really take a load off of your plate. For example, have a friend with a large vehicle pick up your balloon garlands. For surprise parties, give your significant other the task of keeping your child out and busy until it’s party time.
And if you’ve chosen not to go with catering, have family members make and bring dishes to the party potluck style. Be sure to clearly state to people what their task is and the exact time they should be doing it. Giving them a few reminders leading up to the party will help keep them on track. It may be hard to let go of control for every little detail, but delegating and teamwork make throwing a kid’s party so much easier for a busy working mom.
Enact Your Game Plan
When the day before the party arrives, try to pre-prep and get as much done as possible before the big day. There may be decorations that can be set up early and food that can be prepped ahead of time. This is when you should also have a set game plan for the day of the party. Writing your tasks and timeframes down on paper will help everything move smoothly.
On the day of the party, have some helpers come early who can assist with putting up last-minute decorations and getting everything ready for when the majority of guests start to arrive. Don’t forget to take time to prepare yourself and your family members to look your best. You’ll want to look beautiful when the party starts because there will be plenty of pictures to snap!
When everything is in full swing, mingle with your guests and enjoy watching your kid have a blast! All the hard work you put in is totally worth it when you see the smiles on everyone’s faces.
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