As the flowers BLOOM in spring, so do KIDS PARTIES! Over the last three years, I have thrown 'beaucoup' birthday parties. My oldest daughter is approaching FOUR in May and the youngest just celebrated her second birthday. In this short time frame, we have attended some pretty creative & lavish birthdays, in our social circles.. The themes have been the most creative parties: Princesses and Ponies, Unicorns, LOL surprise, Mickey’s Clubhouse, Minnie’s Bowtique, Boss Baby, Minions, Tuti Fruity, Peppa Pig, Shimmer & Shine, Lemonade theme, Moana, Superman, Onederland, Barbie, Doc McStuffins, Milk & Cookies, Donuts, Wild One, Nyla-Gras, NOLA Fest (kid's bestie)... I wrestled with that Baby Shark theme for months before I settled on it, for the 2nd birthday. I can just look through the thousands of pictures (in my phone) to go back down memory lane. The activities range from riding ponies, bouncy houses, characters, face painting, games/activities, trains. The Kidz Bop is still ringing in my ears..
I have just started going to the dollar store and buying cards for different ages. I keep them in my drawer at home. I also re-gift bags and labels. I don’t even write names on bags anymore, thinking most moms being a “Frugal-ista” like me.
I really enjoy viewing the cakes! Next to the birthday boy/girl the cakes make the parties. There are so many great local bakeries in the New Orleans area. You can miss everything, but if you have a great cake and and cookies, you are good! Food items can range to a thanksgiving dinner or light spread. Less is best when dealing with hyper-active kids eating sugar. The swag bags are memorabilia for the kids and something to do while you are driving home from the party with screaming kids in the back. They missed their naps! Have you ever been to Chuckie Cheeses on a Saturday night? Exactly! You understand where I am coming from.
I recently celebrated the 1st birthday celebration for my niece. The FIRST birthday is the most memorable..... I am currently teaming up with my Mommy friend to throw a fourth birthday party for our girls. We have a few weeks to get the venue and entertainment booked. If your kid’s birthday falls close to a buddy’s, consider a dual party. You and the other child’s parents can split the cost...and responsibilities. Just make sure each kid gets separate cakes.
I like to use excel spreadsheets to document everything that is needed. I am not a Party Planner, though! All in the name of kids..... I hope and pray they look back at all of their celebrations with gratitude. I have become a subject matter expert on throwing parties. If you want to throw a quick and fun party, I can also provide tips:
Here are other ways to celebrate birthdays.
You can fly the friendly skies for less than the cost of a birthday party these days. Take a trip to a place you and your family have been talking about all year. Disney seems to be a common theme for the little ones.
Plan activities that will honor a person, group, business, or service that brings happiness to your child.
If your toddler delights in story time at the public library, have the guests create a giant card to say "thank you" to the librarians and library staff. If your preschooler is fascinated with fire trucks, invite party guests to make several batches of cookies or other sweet treats to deliver to the local fire department.
Really simple! Don't buy a single thing for any of the party's activities. Encourage adults at the party to teach the guests some of their favorite and "vintage" party games. Turn everyone loose outside for freeze tag, or have the adults create a scavenger hunt. Challenge yourself to cut out any unnecessary stuff when it comes to party activities.
If your focus is on less stuff, the issue of gifts will have to be addressed. Be a SAINT and take a bold action against consumption, you could ask guests to forgo traditional gifts. Closet space does get limited after a while.
Rather than showering the guest of honor with toys or clothes, ask each guest to bring a letter-sized paper filled with words and pictures that celebrate the birthday child. Collages, poems, songs, inside jokes, and favorite memories could fill pages that you could slip into a photo album after the party.
Rather than bringing in more "stuff" that will eventually be tossed or outgrown, your child would have a tangible reminder of his value and worth.
You can also ask for a gift to donate to charity. Consider the organizations that are in need of donations in your community and invite party guests to partner with your family in meeting the needs of others.
Let the Good times roll!