Check out these easy party planning tips to help make planning your child’s birthday party easy and stress free as 1, 2, 3! 

Start with an invite list. It dictates everything: How large a venue, what kind of theme or activities you pick, etc.

What about siblings? Before age 7, inviting siblings is a nice gesture if you have the space and funds. However, other parents understand your predicament firsthand. If it’s not feasible, don’t be afraid to say no. If childcare is an issue for the sibling perhaps offer to have them drop the birthday guest off.

If your child’s friend list is a mile long consider making it Just Family – Don’t be afraid to make your child’s party just family plus a few friends.

Skip the paper invite. Everyone is online these days (even grandmas have email and facebook!) Utilize any of the many free services out there or create a private facebook event!

Get creative. Regardless of your theme, there are lots of places to go for inspiration including Pinterest. By the time your child is 3 or so, they’ll have lots of input on what they want too maybe too much input!

Skip the Goodie Bags! There! We said it! We love the generous spirit behind goodie bags and party favors, but we could all do without random tchotchkes that get played with for five seconds (if that) and then stuffed in a drawer. How about hosting a simple craft activity and letting the result serve as the parting gift? Or taking a group photo and printing out copies (at the party or after) for each child to keep?

Food–  Offer a variety of foods. Ordering a few pizzas takes care of the main course, but think about including fruit, nuts, cheese, crackers, or popcorn for snacking.

Visit  the venue- Plan a visit to your venue if you are throwing it outside your home before the party so you can scope it out and anticipate any issues.

Instead of lugging a trunk full of gifts suggest NO GIFTS – If you are overflowing with toys, try something new, host a book exchange. On the invite, ask that everyone bring a book in lieu of a gift, which they will then exchange for a new one.  

Keep it short! You need one or two activities that will take you to cake time!Party experts recommend 90 minutes for children under 5. Two hours for ages over 5.

Set an End Time. Always err on the side of a shorter party, and note a specific end time on the invitation. As kids get older, most parents will expect to drop off their kids and pick them up at the end of the party. If you’d like some grown up assistants, be sure to arrange for them ahead of time.

Take a lot of Photos. When the party is done all you have left is pictures. Make sure to designate someone to.

Write thank-you notes.  While sending email invitations is standard these days, most guests still appreciate a good old-fashioned physical thank-you card—particularly one written by the birthday child. It can even be a picture if your child can’t write yet. Can’t stand the thought of more wasted paper inevitably ending up in the trash? Send a personalized thank-you email and include pictures of the party.

Consider Throwing Parties Every Few Years – Everyone should feel special on her birthday, but there’s no rule that says your kid has to have an elaborate party every year.
 

Team Up with a Friend. Does your child have a good buddy with a birthday in close proximity? Team up to reduce effort (and scheduling) for all!

Planning a birthday party doesn’t have to make you want to pull your hair out! It also helps to connect with the right vendors to make sure your party goes off without a hitch! Check out PB Parenting’s bi-annual party planning guide which is also online all year long at pbparenting.com.
http://www.pbparenting.com/guides/cat/party-planning/