Birthday Party Tips
1) Combine all the kids' birthdays into one giant party. The same people were going to be invited to multiple parties anyway, so why not save them the extra trips?
2) Invite everyone you can possibly think of with children that would want to celebrate with you. This includes entire preschool classes and daycares. Don't exclude anyone, because they might read about it on Facebook and feel left out. We want to teach our children not to let anyone feel left out. I once read an article on that very topic: how some children were never invited to anything, so the mom started inviting the entire classes to their parties. (Also, stop telling your husband whenever new people are added to your invite list. He might start freaking out about maximum capacity of building codes and extra costs of food).
3) Rent out the largest building you can find. Preferably some place with things for the kids to do. You gotta put the people somewhere. Your house is not going to be large enough to hold the entire neighborhood, along with the preschool class and their families. Plus, you don't have to worry about cleaning up your house before and after the party.
4) Don't stress about the decorations and Pinterest-y type stuff. As a matter of fact, just go decoration free. The kids won't notice, and if the adults do, then they should be polite enough not to say anything. You invited them to your party, after all. It will set the bar low for when you go to another birthday party and see all their wonderful decorations.
5) Attempt all the Pinterest-y stuff, just to say you did. You can have the kids help you and take pictures along the way for memories. If it doesn't work out, refer back to tip number 4.
6) Make your party at an ambiguous time so nobody knows whether or not to eat before they come. One o'clock in the afternoon is a good time. It's right after noon, which is the typical time to eat lunch. That lets people decide if they want to eat before they come and risk being too full for party food, or if they want to starve themselves and their kids and be famished upon arrival.
7) Speaking of food, provide the most unhealthy, sugar packed items you can find so that the kids are happy and you provide an affordable feast. The usual food items to include are pizzas and cupcakes.
8) To appease some of the healthier adults, maybe pick up a veggie or fruit tray. Then you can say you offered some healthier alternatives.
9) Let the children and adults roam free in your rented location. Hopefully it has some kid friendly things to do so everyone can chat and have a good time. Make sure you and your children are circulating so as to make everyone feel included.
10) Forego any party games. Have you tried to round up large groups of people to participate in organized activities? It's a lot of work. Let them entertain themselves.
11) Save gift opening for a later date. See tip number ten about rounding up people. Instead, take all gifts home to open and hope that everyone put a card or name tag on it so you can figure out who it came from.
12) As for party favors, they seem to be a big thing right now. Perhaps try something simple, like a balloon. Or do something Pinterest-y if it works out for you.
13) Make sure to send Thank-You cards. It's important for kids to learn to say thank you. Even if you have to write everything for them, make sure they are there with you learning gratitude.
I hope you enjoyed my tips. Baby just turned 4 in February and Baby2 turned 1 in March. We threw a gigantic party for everyone I could possibly invite at a local gymnastics center. There was only one present that I couldn't figure out the giver. So, whoever you are, thanks for the coloring books!