I know an at-home birthday party can sound like a daunting task … you not only have the pressure to throw a knock-out party but also you’ll be playing host to many kids and their parents. I’ve been throwing my kids’ birthday parties in our home for nearly a decade now and I’m here to help ease your worries with some simple tips and tricks to not only throw a successful party but also enjoy it yourself!
Pick a theme and make Pinterest your friend. When my kids were younger (ages 1 to 4) they didn’t have much preference on the theme of their parties which made my job a little bit easier. I would choose something fairly popular they liked at the time and figure out the primary colors within that theme. Those colors would go into the cups, plates, balloons and general decorations as opposed to buying all themed everything, which can get pricey! Pinterest is your friend here! I have found many party ‘hacks’ on Pinterest that helped me not only save time and money but also that were super cute and easy to throw together. As my kids have gotten older (age 5 to 10) some of their themes have been ‘unique’ and take a little more time to prepare, but I just with the colors within the theme and go from there!
Dollar Tree is a great spot to find inexpensive supplies. This place is a birthday party treasure trove! I get everything from plates, cups, napkins, balloons and streamers to party favors, cupcake stands, candy, easy activities and games. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find many things ‘on theme,’ but if you focus on colors, Dollar Tree has a wide assortment and you can always mix and match. Foil curtains and streamers make for great photo backdrops!
Don’t feel pressured to have a detailed schedule for the party. Kids just want to play and have a good time. If the weather is nice enough, I would highly suggest your big party purchase be renting a bouncy house (you can get one for as little as $125 for 5 hours with Game Time Inflatables) and the kids (and their parents!) will love you for having a super fun activity at the party! If you’re stuck indoors, choose an entertainment option like a magician, balloon artist, face painting, visiting princess or another character. Remember to make time for singing “happy birthday,” cutting the cake and snacking. If you’re pressed for time, don’t feel like the birthday boy or girl has to open presents in front of their friends, but if you need an activity to fill time, this is a great one.
KISS (Keep. It. Simple. Susan.) Remember, these are kids! Really all they want are sugar and playtime with other friends. Choose a room or two in your house where the ‘party’ will take place; if you need to shove things into a closed-off room, that’s perfectly acceptable! If something doesn’t get done before the party starts, let it go. Stop what you’re doing and enjoy the party; otherwise, you’ll miss it and your kids want you there!
Amanda Watson is a stay-at-home homeschool mother of three as well as a professional wedding photographer. When she isn’t schooling or working, she enjoys baking, binge-watching The Office and reading a good murder mystery.