My sister in law asked me for some tips on planning a kid’s birthday party. I had never really thought through my planning process so decided to do it here.
First, I usually ask my child or myself the chose theme. Ex. Lightning Mcqueen, Lego, Owls, etc. For myself when planning my adult parties I usually have a feeling I want to capture. Something from Paris, romantic, sweet, etc. Something Asian, something Italian, etc. I like to spoil my girlfriends when I get the chance with pretty desserts and go overboard with a lot of variety on the dessert table to make it an OCCASION to remember 🙂
The exception to this is when we have parties at other locations. My kids sometimes have their parties at a local indoor play spot where there are slides, balls, etc. If this is the case we usually keep everything really simple and just take the snack foods or pizza to the location.
Once we know the theme we want to go with I brainstorm a menu. For kids, I like to keep it simple, do some finger foods for young kids. If it is a summer party we usually have a cookout/picnic with food that goes along with the season: shish kabobs, hot dogs, or hamburgers. Typically I let the birthday kid choose their menu and add to that (of course this depends on the age of the child)
The cake is usually a combination of what the birthday kid wants or the theme combined with some new experiment I am wanting to try out or a new recipe I have run across. You gotta remember around here I am the cake lady and love getting a chance to try something different.
As for games if it is a summer party my husband plans the outdoor games. Our son’s birthday is in June and over the years he has had some amazing parties. When he turned 5 he had a Cars party where each kid decorated/painted their own car to “drive” in. Then there were car races with the kids running around the house and yard. The food was all coordinated with the Cars theme and it was a total blast!
Other parties he has had in the summer were a rocket/space theme. Where the kid’s made plastic bottle rockets and shot those. Another year they had a huge squirt gun war, with teams and all.
This year he will be 10 and I am glad we still have time to plan all that. He is getting rather picky.
Our April birthdays are more difficult because our house isn’t large enough for a big party. Two of our kids have birthdays 3 days apart in April. Up till now, we celebrated several times together at other locations and they were fine with that. Before our 3rd child was into parties we had a Cinderella party for our daughter. That time the girls made foam crowns, that they got to decorate with sticker jewels and played other princess themed games.
Now that our daughter is in first grade she wants to celebrate separately from her younger brother. So this time she is having an all girl’s party (no boys allowed this year, not even brothers). She wants to have an owl themed party as she is crazy about owls. We are still in the planning stage. We like to have a game or two and will have a hands-on/crafty sort of activity for the girls too. They will most likely get to decorate large owl sugar cookies.
So there is quick a rundown of how we do parties at our house. I look for menu and decorating ideas on Pinterest sometimes, but that can get a bit overwhelming and intimidating.
How do YOU plan parties?