By: Natasha Archary
Hassle-free kiddies birthday parties are possible. Unless you have all the time in the world, spending months planning the perfect kiddies birthday party may not always be possible. Moms tend to feel like they’re not doing enough, as much as we try to remember every precious detail, finding the time to party plan is a challenge in itself.
The trend with modern day moms is to go big or go home. We have themes, spread out our kid’s birthdays over a week or weekend, spend thousands on hiring a party planner and choosing venues. We drive ourselves crazy because this is apparently what modern day moms do.
Speaking from experience, my son’s first, second and third birthday parties were humongous occasions. I drove myself to the brink of exhaustion in the week leading up to the big day. From guest lists to mementos for each invitee, it was honestly insane the lengths I went to.
But we do it because we think it’s what our kids want. They probably won’t even remember their first and second birthdays. My son does however recount his third birthday, so does this mean I should up the ante and just find new ways to out-do myself? Gosh, I hope not.
What I’ve learnt over the years is that the “go big or go home” mantra that us moms use, is mostly because we want to impress the family and our friends. On a quest to be the best moms, we enter this imaginary contest to win a non-existent title and it’s absurd.
Do we even stop to find out what our kids want? Or is it because perhaps we never had these elaborate parties as kids that we do everything in our power to make sure our kids will?
Experience has taught me that with kids, it’s the little things. Give them a cupcake, some sweets and a bottle of inexpensive bubbles and watch their eyes light up like you’ve handed them a magic wand that actually works.
From themed parties, to dressing up family members as Disney characters on the day, hiring venues that cost me more than an international family vacation, I’ve done it all. And I have a few tricks to ensure you have hassle-free kiddies birthday parties going forward.
Choose a theme that is popular
You will be able to pull off your theme so much easier if you choose a theme that is popular. With most novelty and dedicated toy stores now carrying a huge range of trending animated character items, there will be no bumps on the road leading upto party day.
Pick age-appropriate activities
Kids need to either be active or entertained at a party. Venues need to accommodate kids of all ages to include all party-goers so keep that in mind when choosing a venue. You don’t want to book a jump venue for example when you have a bunch of two-year olds present. It could ruin the day with tears because they can’t join in on all the trampoline fun.
Get the grandparents involved
Delegate something to the proud grandparents. However big or small the task, they will appreciate being roped in on their pride and joy’s special day. Picking up the platters, or ordering the balloons to selecting cake flavourings, if it means it’s one less thing for you to stress about then we’re all for it.
Keeping it simple doesn’t mean you’re being cheap
In these tough economic times, don’t put pressure on yourself to break the bank for a kiddie’s party. It’s not worth the financial stress. Finding ways to cut the cost is practical, you can put the money you’re willing to spend on a party towards an education trust fund for the little one or take that family holiday instead.
Parties at school
Yup, you have to do something at the school. Inform the teacher if you’re going to join in for ring activity or what time you plan on bringing through cupcakes and party packs. With older kids, it may be best to arrange with the school for a recess gathering. Older kids may prefer something outside school so always check with your child about what’s comfortable for them.
When in doubt, water fun is the solution
If weather permits, a jumping castle with a water slide and splash pool is the ultimate fun. You can throw in some bubble bath for hours of supervised fun and toddler giggles.
Choosing a simple design is cheaper than all the frills. If you have budgeted or saved for an over-the-top cake then go wild, there are so many fun cake designs for kiddies. Just remember all the excessive sugar in the layers and fondant icing. So on this one less really is more.
Hire a bubble machine if you’re outdoors. The kids will love it and it makes for beautiful birthday pictures.
Kiddies parties are such a special milestone for both little one and the parents. This was the day that changed your life forever and you want to celebrate that. Try to get your child’s input on their day, find out what they want, a big deal or something smaller like an intimate family dinner. It’s important to take into account how they want to spend their day, it is all about them in the end.