Here are 8 things you can skip so that you can host a more simple kids’ party. These simple tips will save you brain-bandwidth, time and money.
Simplifying kids’ parties
Kids’ birthday parties can be so complicated to organise.
Much as I love a big old celebration, some years I also just want to keep things simple.
Life is hectic enough as it is without having to act like a professional party planner every time your kiddo is due a birthday celebration.
With simplification in mind I’ve put together a list of 8 thinks you can skip altogether for your child’s next birthday party.
Go the whole hog and skip the lot, or cherry pick the things you think you could skip, to make your life easier and help your party stay within budget.
8 Things you can skip to make a simple kids’ party
1. A crazy big guest list
This is YOUR CHILD’S PARTY.
I know there is a lot of social pressure to invite the whole year or whole class in nursery and primary school, but you really don’t have to.
After your child starts school it’s also ok to just invite school friends for the party.
I don’t know many kids who enjoy going to a party where the only other child they know is the birthday kiddo.
Give your child a target number of kids to invite.
Of course the flip side of this is that your child will likely get missed off some party guest lists, but hey, that’s all part of the reality of life.
Remind your child that they chose their guest list and not everyone can go to every party.
2. DITCH Paper invites
The way life works everyone seems to WhatsApp or text a ‘save the date’ ahead of the paper invite anyway.
So why not just follow up with an invitation WhatsApp or text with all the party details?
Paper invites can be lovely and are a tempting addition to an overall party theme, but they are no longer a necessity.
3. Anything over two hours
Three might have been the magic number for De La Soul, but two is the magic number for kids’ parties.
That’s right, two hours. That’s all.
Keep the plan for the party tight.
Welcome the kids in, entertain them, feed them, then lovingly wave them farewell.
4. Meal times
Avoid meal times at all costs, unless of course your child’s party is at a restaurant!
This way you don’t need to be responsible for providing a whole room full of over-excited kids with lunch or supper.
Go for a 10am start – when their tummies are still full from breakfast.
Or go for a 3pm start – when their tummies are still full from lunch.
Go for these times and all you need do is show willing and provide some party snack food.
5. An Instagram ready birthday cake
You really don’t need to spend hours crafting and creating a birthday cake unless baking is a total passion for you.
Equally, you also don’t need to spend a fortune ordering a cake in.
Well you can, but the reality is that the ‘ooing and ahhing’ from the guests lasts around a minute max before their attention is diverted by party activities.
Then of course the thing gets cut and eaten. It can be heart breaking to think about cost per slice!
So, unless you are so hungry for an Instagram perfect shot of your child blowing out their candles, keep the cake simple.
Marks and Spencer and all the main supermarkets have perfectly decent birthday cakes.
Let’s face it, Colin the Caterpillar is a design classic – the cute M&S cake has been being made for 25 years.
6. Professional entertainment
This can often be the most expensive element of the party.
A professional entertainer can totally remove the pressure from you having the entertain the kids yourself.
But you don’t have to have one.
I’ve got a post that lists 30 children’s party games.
I put the post together when my daughter turned five, so that age group was my focus, but most of the games will work for all pre and primary school aged children (2-11).
Put together a plan of a handful of games to last around 45 minutes to 1 hour and you’ll be set.
7. Overstuffed party bags
One of the most popular posts on Mums Make Lists is the alternatives to kids party bags post.
There’s a reason for that… there aren’t many parents who revel in the cost or creation of party bags.
But it’s so easy to feel under pressure to dutifully prepare them and hand them out with a smile.
I’ve noticed a trend away from party bags over the last couple of years, with some of the ideas listed in the alternative ideas post I mentioned above being party favour gifts.
It’s also possible to keep the party bags super simple.
There are even a couple of friends of ours who’ve gone one step further and not given any bags or gifts at all. Now that’s hardcore, but I have maximum respect for them.
8. Present opening
Save opening presents until after the party is over – and until you are back home if the party is at a venue.
Provide a table or a large bag for gifts to be put on or in as guests arrive.
Aside from avoiding the mayhem of kids tearing into all the presents, you’ll also have time to make a note of all the gifts, so that thank you notes can be written.
I really hope this list has given you some ideas for ways you can simplify the next party you’re planning for your child.
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