1) Plan ahead. Do as much as you can before the day of the party so that when the big day arrives, you can enjoy it without being totally stressed out. Decide how many people you will be inviting, where you will host the party, and the date and time that will work best for you and your guests. I like to have a party in the afternoon because it gives me the entire morning to get everyone and everything ready. I also like to schedule 1-½ hours for the party. We never spend time opening gifts (as we always ask guests to bring a $2 coin in lieu of a gift), so this seems to be the proper amount of time for us. If you are opening gifts, I would suggest 2 hours.
2) Pick a theme. A theme will influence the invitation, the decorations, and the activities at the party. It can revolve around a character, a sport, an activity, or a color scheme. Having a theme is really about having something that ties all the elements of the party together. This year my five year old chose a Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party, and my seven year old chose a Spy Party.
3) Add a personal touch. You can bake a special cake, craft your own decorations, or cook your signature dish to serve to guests. The unique DIY details are what the guests will remember.
4) Have a schedule written out. You’ll have to be flexible, but a rough guide is definitely helpful. I always like to have a simple craft or activity to keep the kids busy until all the guests have arrived. Then, we eat, play games or make crafts, take a group photo, and serve the cake.
5) Make sure that the activities at the party are fun, simple and age appropriate. You can play games, decorate cupcakes, or do a craft. If you have a large group, breaking the kids up into smaller groups can be helpful in keeping everything under control.
6) Make sure everyone leaves with a small gift or loot bag. I try to come up with something that goes with the theme of the party. For our spy party, I put together little spy kits in a brown paper bags that were marked “top secret”. It’s a fun way to let your guests know that you appreciate having them celebrate with you.
7) Relax and enjoy the party. Little ones are surprisingly easy to please. If good friends, music, balloons, and cake surround them, all will have a good time.
What's your best tip when planning a successful DIY party for kids?
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)