Birthdays come once in a year but remain in memories throughout the year. The happy faces and the excitement makes each party worth the effort and all the hard work pays off when your child hugs you tight and expressed gratitude for a well planned birthday ! Sharing some suggestions I lived by while planning my daughter’s art and craft birthday last week.
What goes into making a birthday party a success?
- Decide on the budget : It’s important that you do not burn your pockets to make a party successful. And if you do then it does not make you happy at the end of the day. Right ! Hence chalk out how much you want to spend on food , gifts , decorations and miscellaneous other account heads and be careful to stick to the figures as close as possible.
- Choose a theme : I request you all to choose an age appropriate theme. Also make sure enough supplies are available to match your theme . Make sure you decorate the venue moderately so that there is enough space for the children to move around.
- Plan your activities : Visualise yourself in the child’s shoes and live the experience in your mind . Plan the course of the party in advance . Arrange for games and activities that match the theme making it a unique experience for kids .
- Duration of the party : Keep it short and simple . Generally kids have an attention span of around 2 hours after which then start missing their parents , get tired and complain of restlessness . Hunger strikes which makes them cranky and difficult to handle .
- Return gifts :These days there is a trend of personalised gifts but I don’t approve of it at all . Most of the times it costs more and ends up piled with you if the children do not turn up. Like choose planters for a garden party , cupcakes for a candy party and art and craft supplies for an art and craft party like this. I handed each child aprons/art smocks so that they didn’t dirty their dresses too.
- Invitations and thank you notes : Planning a birthday on a weekend makes sense. Make your own invite, create a what’s app group and send out to your guests in advance so that they can save the date . It’s important to ask them to RSVP so that you get a head count of your guests .Mention the date , venue , time , dress code and theme in the invite clearly. It’s a good idea to send a reminder two days earlier and later send a thank you note to all for joining in .
- Food : Make sure that the food is moderately spiced and served fresh on time . Choose the menu best suited for kids so that they enjoy the food thoroughly. Select the most preferred flavour for the cake and make sure that it’s cut into fine pieces while serving.
- Birthday dress : I urge you not to overdress the birthday child. The dress should be comfortable and suited for the occasion. They should feel free to roam around and enjoy the activities thoroughly .
- Create a guest list : This enables you to keep a check on your guests and plan the birthday accordingly. Eliminating unwanted people reduces the cost as well as saves on your time too.
- Stay off your phone : Try not to see your screen while the party is on. Make sure you have your phone with you just in case people want directions or call for any help . But do not touch your phone otherwise and remember to keep the conversations short and crisp . It is extremely annoying if you cannot meet and greet your guests. Make sure you address them by their names too .
- Check for the weather : Remember to check the weather forecast and plan B ready if you are planning an outdoor party . You never know when it starts to rain! keeping the party late afternoons saves people from the heat. Check with your guests what is their most preferred times and plan around it .
- Dress appropriately : I have seen mothers wearing fancy outfits with matching high heels on their child’s birthday bash . And after a while they can barely walk and feel tired and exhausted due to the stress. Wear it only if you can handle them gracefully .
- Ask for help : It makes sense to ask family and friends to help at the venue for activities or games or simply coordinating with children . An older child can play DJ and friends can volunteer in conducting games too.
I love to plan birthday’s for my kids and enjoy the experience thoroughly . For my daughter’s birthday this year I recycled old dried paint bottles , worn out sketch pens, broken crayons , coloured juice bottles crepe paper colour splashes and balloons. This not only saved me some money but most importantly allowed me to get creative and think beyond.Creativity is not a hobby but a part of life and is the best stress buster to me.
Hope you find these tips useful in planning yours . Do let me know if I have missed out on anything which will enable me to plan more appropriately next time.
Happiness and sunshine