1.15.2013

Party Planning Process


     In our household, parties are a huge deal. Months in advance, we pick a theme and start looking for party favors, invitations, fun details, games, and activities for the celebration. We try to make guests feel special when we treat them to a well-planned and fun party. In a few weeks, I will share some of my birthday parties (celebrating birthdays 9-12), but for now, I present the simple steps of our party planning (and execution) process.

Step 1: Pick a fun theme that reflects the interests of the birthday girl/boy. For inspiration, check out Oh Happy Day! (a blog), Hip Hip Hooray! (another blog), or Pinterest. Some tried and true themes would be a ball party (best for boys aged 1-6), an art party (girls or boys ages 5+), a homemade pizza party (ages 6+), a medieval party (ages 4-8), party by color (any age/gender), or a pool party (6+).

STEP 2: Select theme colors and invitation. If you don't find an invitation you LOVE, get creative. E-mail me when you are actually planning a party for great resources. I also share some throughout this blog.

STEP 3: Order the invitation NOW. It should go out to your guests at least two weeks before the date of the party. Have someone else proofread it. Children's parties have a great rule of thumb for limiting guest numbers: no more than eight kids for someone turning eight, six for a six-year-old, ten for a ten-year-old, etc.

STEP 4: As soon as you have a theme, keep your eyes peeled for decorations, napkins, party favors, etc. Chances are that the birthday child/adult has their opinions on the games, food, and schedule. Keep them involved in the process and keep it simple! Whether you go roller skating, painting at an art workshop, or conduct a scavenger hunt, the place and activities should be something that really interest the birthday girl/boy.

STEP 5: If you are wanting to give out party favors, select simple ones. Think:
  • Gold chocolate coins for a pirate party
  • Stationery for a girls' elephant party
  • A banana at a monkey party
  • Cupcake holders for a girls' baking party
  • A pop-up bowl of popcorn at a movie party
  • A tiara/wooden sword at a medieval party
  • A chocolate at a tea party
  • A bookmark at a book party
STEP 6: Set up! The week leading up to the party, spend your time cleaning (if it is at your house), arranging decorations, ordering food, setting the table, etc. (This is the time to write out the clues for the scavenger hunt or buy bait for a fishing expedition.)

STEP 7: As guests arrive, make them feel welcome. A "coming in" activity like Apples to Apples, charades, keep the balloon (without helium) in the air, sipping lemonade, or beading jewelry will put guests at ease. Enjoy the party you have put together and DON'T STRESS. Hand out party favors if you choose to give them out.

STEP 8: After the party, send out thank you notes for any presents received. Keep these with the theme of your party. If you spot some you like while searching for invitations, all the better. Make sure these are ordered before the party, so afterwards you can send a prompt and sincere thank you.

     That's it, folks! Remember that for personal party assistance from myself or more ideas, you can comment. We can get that party started in no time! :)

~Madeline

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Thank you for reading! Also, thank you for making my day brighter with your encouraging words. I cherish each and every comment. If you check back in a day or two, I should have responded to your note. Thanks for dropping me a line!

~Madeline