Party planning shouldn’t be a headache or be stressful. Keep your day easy breezy with some of PB Parenting’s favorite party planning tips!

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

What about siblings? Before age 7, inviting sibli
ngs 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.

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

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). 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,  veggies, 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.

Keep it short! You need 1-2 activities that will take you to cake time! Party experts recommend 90 minutes for children under 5. Two hours for ages over 5.

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.

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.

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 Page 10 for PB Parenting’s bi-annual party planning guide which is also online all year long at pbparenting.com.