Monday, February 22, 2010

Jennifer's Top Ten to Throwing a Great Children's Party!

For all you mommies out there, I have outlined 10 key elements to throwing a great kids party! By no means should you agree with all of these! These are simply my thoughts and what work best for me!

1st, Pick a Theme:  This can be as simple as a color scheme or can be as specific as your child’s favorite cartoon. It doesn’t matter what it is, just be sure to have one! Your entire party should be centered around the guest of honor and this theme! 

2nd, Brainstorm: This is always very important to me. Once you and your little one have decided on your theme, sit down and sketch out how you both envision the party to look and how you want it to go. 

3rd, Research Online: Once you have your theme and a general idea of what you are wanting to do, conduct a little research! You will be surprised at what you can find just by "Googling" your theme! Online you can find other real life parties that are in line with your same theme as well as online party stores that carry what you might need! (See my blog listing for sites!) Print out several ideas and pick and choose the ones that work best for you!

4th, Make a Rough Draft of your party: Based on your brainstorming session and research, write down all your likes and dislikes and sketch out how you would like your party to look and flow. Keep it simple and on theme! Draft out your tentative location, time, foods, decorations, cake, attire, etc.  (This draft can also include a budget to please your hubby! He is sure to ask, "How much is this party going to cost me?" and he'll be happy to know you have already prepared a budget for him!!)

5th, Write out a General Timeline for the party: aka. What, when and where! Not every minute needs to be planned but have a general sense as to what you will be doing and in what order.  Having a timeline will keep you calm during your party! There is nothing worse then a frazzled hostess! (which is sometimes hard to avoid no matter how Type A you are!!)

6th, Send Personalized Invitations:  Invitations should be consistent with your theme and have a catchy jingle/rhyme to get your guests excited about your party! Keep you invite nice and neat and on theme and your guests will be excited to attend your event! Invitations should be mailed and received at least 2 full weeks prior to your event. If you feel you can not make this deadline, email or call your guests and let them know to save the date and a formal invitation will follow! No one likes to scramble! 

7th, Set at least 1 Display Table:  Display a wonderful focal point using things like: linens, candies, pictures, food, flowers, vases, balloons, candles and/or confetti that will portray your theme and catch your guests eyes!!  Let the kids know that they are special and that their celebration deserves a special table!! Stay away from too much "matchy - matchy". (i.e. If you have a design napkin, don't use the same plates. Coordinate colors but try to not make it look like you bought the 'box kit' from the party store! Got me?) It's okay to print out a table display online and replicate it! Let someone else do all the thought process for you... you can still take ALL the credit!  
**On a side note. It is always great to have an 'AW' piece. For example, something to catch your guests eyes and strike up conversation. For instance, if you have a 50's themed party, have an old Mustang parked out back or if you have a John Deere party, have a John Deere tractor out front. A Barn or Zoo theme, have a traveling petting zoo come to your backyard. A princess theme, horse and carriage, etc. I know this doesn't always fit into the budget, but sometimes someone knows someone who knows someone who can "hook you up". Check around, you might be surprised! This always creates conversation and is always a sure hit!**

8th, Have at least 1 Activity:  Have at least one fun activity to entertain the kids! The activity should be geared towards your party theme. For example, if you have a cupcake theme, have the kids decorate their own cupcake to take home. If you have a candy theme, have the kids make candy necklaces. If you have a train theme, have your kids play pin the caboose on the train, etc... etc! Kids love this!  I find it nice to always have background music playing too. It helps soothe anxiety for everyone! Kids music is a plus and readily available to download!

9th, Giveaways:  It is always nice to leave your guests with a little something to thank them for coming to your party! I would try to stray away from the classic clear bag with a twisty tie and filled with that generic candy mix! (Does anyone even really eat Dots anyways?? blahk!) If you can, find something that matches your theme. You don't have to spend a lot of money! For example, if you have a monkey theme, send everyone home with the game, Barrel of monkey's! Candy theme, send everyone home with the game, Candy Land (Wal-Mart, $5 each) or a big lollipop, the swirly kind from a real candy store! A princess theme, send everyone home with a tiara or crown (bought in bulk for ~$1 each). Again, stay true to your theme and keep it simple! Your guests will sure be pleased!

and finally...

10th, Send Thank-You Notes:  No if, ands or buts, this is a must! Try to mail them out within 3 weeks of your party! The thank you notes should also incorporate your theme or color scheme. Thank You cards with pictures from the event are a great idea too! Everyone loves to see pictures! Whatever you do, send them to everyone who attended or sent a gift or card for the occasion.

I hope this helps those out there that don't know where to begin. Preperation is key! 

If you ever have any specific questions, please feel free to email me at  I have some great party blogs on my side bar that have AMAZING theme ideas and display tables! HAVE FUN planning and don't forget to take pictures!! 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this helpful tutorial, Jennifer. I'm totally going to use this as I plan Max's birthday!