5 Tips to Simplify Kids’ Birthday Parties ~ Written by Jamie C. Martin
Birthday parties for little ones can easily get out of hand. If you love organizing and planning them, I think that is a beautiful way to show love to your kiddo!
But if you find the process overwhelming, here are a few tips on how to simplify kids’ birthday parties that might be useful. I have tried all five at different seasons and can vouch for each one:
1. Forget themes.
Birthday parties for young children do NOT have to include themes. We had theme parties when my kids were young, and I found executing them stressful. It was hard to find the “right” decor, favors, cake items, to go with the theme without spending a fortune.
Young kids don’t expect themes unless we’ve taught them to do so. They’re happy with a simple, special celebration.
2. Smaller is better.
I once went to a birthday party for a one-year-old that was honestly larger than my college graduation party. And the guest of honor? Crying in the corner.
I’ve read several times that the total number of children at a party should be close to the age of the birthday child, a suggestion that was good advice as my kids became older.
3. Think oversized playdate.
Inviting just two or three close families makes parties feel more like an oversized playdate rather than a big “event.” There’s no need for special activities – the kids can run off to play and come back later for cake.
This was definitely more challenging when we lived in the suburbs rather than the country like we do now; our yard wasn’t large enough for several kids to go play independently. We would sometimes walk with guests over to a nearby park instead.
4. Make parties optional.
Around age seven or eight, we started giving the kids a choice about birthdays: They could pick either a friends’ party or a family party.
A friends’ party meant having a few friends over to celebrate. A family party meant that the birthday child got to choose a restaurant to go to.
Some years all the kids chose family parties, which significantly lowered this introverted mama’s birthday stress! Now that they are all older teens, close friends are usually part of the festivities but the planning is much simpler and less elaborate.
5. Do what you love.
If you truly love birthday party planning, thinking of themes, and so on, please do it!
But if you don’t, know that there is a simpler way – one with less stress that still honors and celebrates your special little ones.
Ready for more calm, less guilt, and quiet joy as a mother? I’d love for you to join my Introverted Moms’ community!