Does the thought of your kid’s upcoming birthday party have you stress-eating or reaching for some other relaxant?
Not everyone is blessed with that ability to throw the perfect party for their kid, while keeping the house spotless and their hair unmussed. Ever wonder what Super Party-Planning Moms know and you don’t? I imagine half of it is having connections and knowing how to get what you want. For example, that business which does unique wedding cake toppers, knowing they do birthday toppers as well. The other half? Understanding that birthday parties require military-level strategic planning. (Prayers and offerings to the birthday gods also help.)
Want a party that can be executed without you or the birthday boy or girl experiencing a breakdown halfway through? Here are the secrets to a successful party you will want to nail down fast!
Leave the main party entertainment to others – not you.
Yes, Mother of the Year award goes to that mom who always comes up with treasure hunts and party games one her own. She also somehow entertains 20 plus children by herself.
But if you do not have the time to devote to hunting down party games, then an easier option is to hire party entertainment. For the right price, you can find a magician, a clown, a birthday party fairy. Party entertainers are a hard-working bunch who can amuse and delight your crowd while you sit back and sip your beverage. A great party entertainer is worth their weight in gold. Just be sure to read reviews because not all entertainers are equal.
Have a Plan B. And a backup plan for your Plan B.
Even with entertainment scheduled for your party, Murphy’s law dictates that something will go wrong. The entertainer does not show. It rains when you had been counting on sun. The parents are late for picking up the kids. Any or all of these events could happen.
By being prepared, you can minimize the damage. Have a couple plan B options that you can turn to in a pinch. Yes, you might need to orchestrate some games, but keep them simple but fun. For example, a food fight for the courageous. A water balloon fight if you are hosting in the summer. Don’t be above paying your child’s older siblings to help out with the playing of games. Younger kids will love the prestige of having older kids also enjoying the fun.
Make your party invitations work for you.
The last thing you want is having to repeat yourself 20 times with various bits of information that the moms and dads need to know. When is pick up time? Is your child allergic to any foods? Is the party a drop off party? Or can parents stick around? Do you want them to stick around? Etc.
Put it all on the back of the birthday party invite so that parents know what’s expected. (If your party invite is electronic, include this information below the main headlines.)
Stating upfront what you need from parents is a way of getting help from all the parents. For example, what will you do if a party attendee has an allergy? Request on the back of your invitation that parents wrap up and bring a snack for their kid who has an allergy. (This will not be seen as an unreasonable request.)
Another way you can get your invites to work for you: If you have specific requests regarding presents, this is where to discuss it. Perhaps you are working with your child to reduce the stuff you have in the house. If there is something your child wants in its place, make sure that is clearly stated.
Have a plan for handling the aftermath.
The attendees have all gone home, but your day is not done. If your child did get gifts, then a thank-you note is customary. As you open gifts, keep track of who gave what so that you can say a thank you for exactly what was given. Do not put this off. Trying to remember what came from who a day later increases in difficulty with each passing moment. And if getting a thank-you card in the mail is just too much, have your child call his or her classmates and say the thank you. Other ways to lighten your load include having your child bring notes to school and passing out the notes there.
Best of luck!