Tiny pennant cake toppers? Hand-sewn birthday banners? Themed craft downloadable printables? If the thought of all that work sends a shiver down your spine, no worries! It is actually possible to throw a great party for your kids without any of that stuff. Here are eight simple steps to get you planning an absolutely great party in under an hour without the help of 500 Pins.
1. Send out an invitation online. Don't make an invitation. Electronic options are perfectly acceptable.You can even send them straight from your cell phone.
2. When it comes to decorating, balloons are enough. Kids love balloons. No need for helium either - tie them together on a string and hang across a window or scatter some around the room for play time. If you want to include personalized décor, buy something pre-made, like this create your own message banner kit, or order a personalized felt banner from Etsy.
3. Serve your child's favorite food. Forget the elephants carved out of celery sticks - think about the food your son or daughter likes to eat, and serve that. Mac and cheese, Oreos, fruit, juice boxes - all of these are fine party foods for kids. Just make sure there's plenty to go around.
4. Buy a cake. If you, like myself, have never had a single cake rise in your entire baking life, just buy it. Kids don't care where the cake comes from, they just want to eat it. If you really want it to look personal, buy a plain cake and decorate it yourself with icing and candy.
5. Invite a talented friend. Know someone who can make balloon animals? Face paint? Play guitar? Do magic tricks? They are your ticket to awesomeness. Ask them to come and do their thing in exchange for an endless supply of kids party food...and maybe another invite to a grown up dinner in a few weeks.
6. For activities, stick with the classics. There are reasons why piñatas, pin the tail on the donkey, egg and spoon races and dance parties have a long history as party activities - they are actually fun. And easy to set up. For a short party with cake and food, you'll probably only need to plan one, maybe two, games. Plan to do whatever will be the least work in setting up.
7. In lieu of party bags, give a small toy. Play-doh, Hot Wheels cars, crayons, bouncy balls - all can be bought for around a dollar. No need to assemble complex combinations of candy. Parents with hyperactive kids will thank you, too.
8. Remember what's really important. Actually having a party is more important than having no party. Having friends around is more important than having decorations. Having a Mom and Dad who are excited and care about celebrating you is more important than having a Mom and Dad who are stressing out over tiny details. Just do it! And enjoy yourself! Really, the whole thing isn't about what fancy-shmacy thing you can do, it's about how much you absolutely, utterly love your kid.
Have your own tips for an easy-going kids' party? Share them with our readers below!
(Image credits: Danielle Trovato/My Party: Rainbow Confetti)