Miscellaneous

Ultimate Birthday Party Planning Guide…for Procrastinators

By Monica Reyes
My little boy is turning 2 – gotta make his birthday party memorable!

As a full-time student and working mom, life is busy! I try very hard to accomplish all my tasks in a timely manner; whether at work or at home. Well, next month my little one turns 2! It was just yesterday that I was still able to fit him in my arms and now I am planning his 2nd birthday. Time sure does fly. After school finals and all the talk about planning my son’s birthday, I realized that I was less than 30 days away from his birthday bash.

I had taken the time 3 month’s prior to look for ideas and get inspired on all the crafts that I can begin for a Thomas the Train party. Yes, that is my son’s favorite at the moment, so figuring out the theme this year was quite easy. Although, I had gathered my ideas and devised a plan to host the “hip kid’s” birthday party, I really had accomplished nothing. Now that I realized that it is SERIOUSLY “crunch time”, I came up with a strategy to make this a great and unforgettable party for my toddler.

I knew that I wanted this party to be kid friendly and entertaining so there has to be games and activities to keep the kiddies going throughout the day.

Step 1.

  • Set a date and time for your party.  Take into consideration your guests work schedules and any events that may conflict with your guest’s ability to attend your party.  Also remember that if it is a children’s party that you consider school schedules, nap times, bedtimes, etc.
  • Know your goal, theme and budget.  This will help you narrow down your party ideas and keep your expenses manageable.  Make sure to add any extra $50 or so to your original budget estimate to cover any last minute expenses and avoid being surprised by a larger than expected bill.
  • Create a list organized with ideas, things that you need to do, headcount of guests to invite and items to be purchased.  Make sure to take a look at your list every week and cross off the items as you complete them.  This not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, it also helps to keep you on track by reminding you of what still needs to be done.
  • Do your research to gather your final ideas for the party (décor, invites, food, etc.). Pinterest is a great social media tool that I use to find pictures for inspiration and party ideas.  Google Images is another useful tool that is similar to Pinterest but you don’t have to create a login profile to access the images.

Step 2.

  • Recruit a team of reliable helpers (uncles, aunts, grandparents, and friends).  Your friends and family will most likely be very willing to participate in making your kid’s birthday party a huge success.
  • Assign tasks that your helpers can easily accomplish for you.

Example: Hip Chick Amber Keiper is quite the whiz when it comes to designing invites. So I decided to put her in charge of putting them together :) This removed one item from my to-do-list.

  • Finalize your guest list and do not get in over your head. Keep it minimal so you do not overwhelm yourself of your child.

Step 3.

  • Complete things by category. Preferably in this order (invitations, decorations, layout, favors, games, food and the cake!)

A key thing to remember when throwing a party is to stay calm and organized. Just remember: as long as the children enjoy the party, it will be a success! Not everyone needs to know that you pulled your party out of a hat!

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