Celebrating your child’s birthday with a party is one of the best ways you can celebrate this special day with him. Aside from commemorating the day of his birth, a birthday party is also an opportunity for him to become the center of attention of people other than you, his parents.
But while it is an exciting time for your child, planning a birthday party can also be a stressful time for you. Not only do you need to plan for a successful event, but you also need to make sure it lives up to your child’s expectations.
Avoiding the stress of preparing for your child’s birthday party is not easy, but it is possible. Simply follow this seven-step guide on how you can reduce the stress of planning your child’s birthday party:
Step #1: Prepare for the Worst, But Set Yourself Up for the Best
When planning a kid’s birthday party, you’ll be doing more than just booking venues and preparing the food – you’ll also need to think about contingencies in case something doesn’t go according to plan.
Although it is unlikely that anything bad will happen, it would be better to think about possible snags ahead and be prepared, rather than shrug things off only to find yourself struggling to make things work when problems arise.
Be one step ahead of them by having contingency plans for possible hiccups at your child’s birthday party. This can range from bad weather, problems with the sound system to unruly kids, and late deliveries. You should also think about your child’s own stress and exhaustion as these can lead to tantrums and, ultimately, a ruined birthday party.
All these combined can take a toll on you, so be sure to think about these way before the actual date of the party. One to two weeks of preparation should be enough but plan for the party as early as possible.
Step #2: Set a Budget
Setting a budget for the birthday party helps in giving you the parameters of how to make things work. Not knowing what you can afford versus what your child wants can be a deal-breaker when it comes to birthday parties. You need to find a way to reconcile what your child expects from his party, and what you can reasonably spend.
Once you’ve finalized a budget, stick with it. Work in all of the birthday expenses around it.
Step #3: Get Your Child’s Suggestions
Although some children ask for the impossible for their birthdays (this usually depends on your child’s age), you mustn’t shut your child out of the party planning. While you won’t be leaving the planning to your child, you can ask him for suggestions to make it a more meaningful affair for him. After all, he’s the one who’s turning one year older and the focus of the party.
Aside from getting his suggestions, you can also ask him to pitch in wherever possible. For example, you can have him write on the party invitations or put stickers on the envelopes. If you opt for e-invitations, he can help in choosing the design. You can also get your child’s input regarding the guest list.
Step #4: Finalize a Theme
Themes can be a great help in planning for birthday parties as they dictate how you will prepare the other aspects of the event like the venue, decorations, and entertainment. For example, you can have a Barney-themed play party at Mattel Play! Town where your child and his young pals could have a meet-and-greet with the popular characters of the show.
You can also come up with your own ideas, although it can be challenging to start from scratch. One great tip for this is to search for similar parties on Pinterest and other references and try to replicate them for your little one’s birthday party.
Step #5: Pick a Date and Time
Choosing a date and time for the party is crucial in determining the success of the event.
Avoid setting the date on holiday weekends and the first weeks of the summer. You should also consider spending it on a different day if your child’s birthday falls on the same date as another event that you or your child needs to attend. These instances tend to limit the number of guests who can attend and potentially disappoint your little one.
Step #6: Pick a Venue
When picking a venue, make sure that it matches with the chosen theme of your child’s birthday party. For example, if your child loves Thomas the Train, you can spend his special day where they can watch a special screening of Thomas & Friends movies. Even better, choose a place where your child and his friends are sure to have fun and spend hours of play.
Aside from that, you should also remember the following best practices when selecting a birthday party venue:
- Consider your child’s personality and preferences. It wouldn’t be wise to have a movie party at a cinema if the birthday celebrant himself is afraid of the dark.
- Find out the actual costs to avoid bill shock when it’s time to pay for the venue.
- Think about the date and time of the party. It would be best not to book a venue during the peak hours of the venue to avoid higher rates.
- Don’t forget nap time. Always incorporate quiet time where your child can rest to prevent him from getting grumpy due to exhaustion on his special day. This is particularly crucial for very young children.
Step #7: Send Invites
After finalizing the venue, date, and time of the party, the next thing you need to do is send out the invites. To make sure that your guests have plenty of time to plan and prepare for the party, never invite guests at the last minute. Instead, deliver invitations at least one week before the date of the party.
In the digital age, technology allows you to send e-invitations to the people you want at your party. Aside from the ease and convenience these offer, e-invites can save you from spending on envelopes, paper, and stamps.
Remember to important reminders, including the dress code or party attire and important reminders and policies imposed in the event venue. You can also add notes of your own, such as your child’s preferred gifts.
Also, it would be best to ask your guests to RSVP to determine how many people would be able to come. These replies are also good conversation starters to learn about dietary restrictions or allergies some of the guests may have.
Here’s to Stress-Less Party Planning!
Stressful as it may seem at first, planning your child’s birthday party is also a fulfilling task. To make sure you experience less pressure during the planning stage, follow these steps and give your child the best party he could ever ask for.