So my close friends will confirm this, I am not much of a planner. I usually make last minute decisions about commemorative dates, such as um, cough cough, my son’s birthdays. So over the years planning last minute birthday parties has been my specialty. Lucas and Josh have birthdays less than two months apart and some years I have made birthday parties of them together as well as separate and I am planning one for Josh this Saturday, and it was all planned in less than a month.
So here are my tips for planning a last minute birthday party for your child.
1. Have a budget. Yes write that number down and accept your reality (this is hard for someone like me from Brazil because we love decorations and elaborate kids’ parties). Discuss with the dad what the budget will be and you can split certain costs. I usually spend more on my half with trips to A.C Moore but Max does not have to know that.
2. Pick a theme- it is so important to have a theme for your child’s birthday party. When they were too small to have their own opinion, I picked it for them but now they get to choose, with our approval of course. Themes are so big in Brazilian birthday parties that the kids think that even when it’s the adults birthday, there will be a theme, at least that is what they ask me on my birthday. (they voted Princess Peach for mine). If you can’t decide on a theme, or need ideas for your party: KARA’s PARTY IDEAS.
3. Once you pick a theme, then the internet is your best friend. My absolute favorite kids party supplies website EVER is BIRTHDAY IN A BOX. Their items have great quality and come very fast. I also love their customized banners. For Josh’s birthday this Saturday we picked Mario Kart Birthday, which birthday in a box did not have so we used another great website for birthday supplies, CELEBRATE EXPRESS. When ordering online check the shipping dates so your items arrive on time. Last but not least try Oriental Trading, it is so cheap!
4. DIY Invitation- so I love doing photo invites. It is very easy and it is very cost affective and I am not just saying that because I am a photographer. Now that you have the theme, maybe your child has a toy, stuffed animal, or even t shirt of that theme. Choose a white background leaving some space to the right or left of them and snap away. If you are into digital scrapbooking, you can find some digital pages matching your theme and print 4 x6 ‘s at your local store. (I do like Target for last minute personal printing). You can also do the photo cards like the holiday ones but pick a different template and just add text, your child will be dressed or have something related to birthday theme.
5.Back to the internet is your friend, you can search on google for images related to them to get ideas.
6. Hand Deliver your diy invitations if you can and mail out asap. Or, make a short video and do digital invite via email. You can use online websites such as Evite even for your kids party.
7. Keep in mind location. If it’s at your home, keep your invite list small. If you are doing it last minute, expenses will add up quickly, so plan accordingly. This year I have it to only 10 kids. Last year I did Lucas birthday at jumping jungle and it had about 22 kids but still was planned very last minute.
8. Kids only party- If you are doing it at home and you live in a small apartment, consider having kids only and tell parents they can drop the kids off. It might sound weird, but parents love it because they get a few hours to themselves. Of course don’t be alone with 10 kids, get some adult help as well, aka siblings in my case.
9. Have some kind of entertainment or schedule. Play games, change things quickly. Kids need activities or they will say they are bored. A wonderful entertainment option I found but wont be using this year is mobile game stop where this pick up truck with a game room comes to your home and kids go inside to play many video games. I thought it was super cool.
10. Set up a photo booth- This can be really simple. Pick a corner, have props and tell the kids for them to take snap shots there,. You can also find wall decals at Party City where kids just put their face in and take a photo with theme.
11. Keep food simple. Since it will be at our house, we are doing pizza, having a cool cake and maybe some of Josh’s favorite candies or the marshmallow pops he wants.
12. DIY- tags. A big hit at parties is getting custom tags. Nowadays you can purchase templates on Etsy, download and customize and print at places like Kinkos, just punch a hole and tie to your favor or table.
13. Since it’s last minute call your guests to make sure they are coming, this way you will know how many favors to have if you are doing favors.
14. Have fun. It won’t be perfect but as long as your little one is pleased, it is all good.
P.S another great alternative to birthday parties is getting handful of kids and going to places like build a bear, spa, robot galaxy then eat at food court and take cup cakes and you are done.
Happy Birthday Planning and of course we need some photos of my cutie Josh and if you want to see a photo of what his final invitation looks like then be sure to follow me on Instragrm. @feuza.