Throwing a party? It’s as easy as A B C!
A is for Allergy – You don’t want to find out after an allergic reaction that one of your party guests can’t eat nuts or gluten. Ask for any dietary restrictions when people RSVP, and plan your party menu accordingly.
B is for Bag – 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?
C is for Cake! There are many options for cake from your local grocery store to hiring a baker. Don’t wait until the day of or you are at the mercy of what is in the store.
D is for Decorations – Keep it simple. It’s amazing how far a few balloons, streamers, or tissue paper balls go toward creating a festive atmosphere.
E is for Evites! I love paper invites but Evites are simple! It also allow easy tracking of guests’ responses.
F is for 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.
G is for Gifts or actually NO GIFTS – If you are overflowing with toys and you want to try something new this year, 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. Or, ask your friends to bring a toy and donate all gifts to a local children’s shelter.
H is for for Hours – Keep it short!
You need one or two activities that will take you to cake time!
I is for Ice Cream, a great alternative to cake.
J is for Just Family – Don’t be afraid to make your child’s party just a family affair or just family plus one or two friends.
K is for Kids! How many should you invite? The general rule, often ignored: age plus one. That means four friends for a 3-year-old’s birthday. (If your child goes to daycare they can probably handle a few additional guests.) Once a child hits grade school they will have definite ideas of whom they want to invite just make sure it matches to your budget!
L is for Location Location Location! Let your child choose, but, make it central to your invitees & within your budget.
M is for Music – Make an awesome playlist to set the mood, or save yourself some time and let Pandora or Spotify, do the job.
N is for Noise –be aware if your child or a guest has sensory issues. Be aware of the amount of noise, smells, touch, and visual chaos in your party and adjust according to your child’s needs.
O is for Outside – Outdoor parties give your guests the freedom to be active, run around and do messier crafts that you wouldn’t dare do inside!!
P is for Photos. When the party is done all you have left is pictures. Make sure to designate someone to record the day.
Q is for Quick – Party experts recommend 90 minutes for children under 5. Two hours for ages over 5.
R is for RSVP! Ask for RSVPs, but don’t worry about stragglers. It’s always handy to know how many people are going to show up at your party, especially when guests arrive with siblings. But a few RSVPs are bound to get lost in the parenting chaos. Plan on a few extra portions of food and don’t worry about it.
S is for Surprises – expect them be ready!
T is for Theme – Having a specific theme in mind will help you stay on target and on budget.
U is for yoU – planning a party is a big undertaking make sure to take care of yourself.
V is for Visit – Plan a visit to your venue before the party so you can scope it out and anticipate any issues.
W is for Wish. Don’t forget the candles to make a wish.
X & Y – don’t forget whY you threw this party? For the eXcited birthday boy or girl.
Z is for Zzzzzz! Congrats your party is over now get some sleep!