I spent the equivalent of one day in hours on planning this party; One afternoon and another morning. And guess what? Enid was completely satisfied and happy as a lark.
After all these years of planning parties for my kids, I’ve sort of developed a “keeping-it-simple” party formula. There have been parties where I have gone all out (like Tristin’s Alice party and her craft party), and those were tons of fun, but sometimes life calls for something quick but equally celebratory. It’s not rocket science or anything, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the Pinterest birthday party boards that are existing out there. So, with that being said, here are my 10 tips to throwing a low-key but enjoyable birthday party for your little one.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #1:
Rather than getting bogged down in Birthday Party Theme world, make the theme the child. I had this idea when I saw this banner over at Small Fry. Enid wanted an Australian themed party because of her love for koala bears. Yikes. No thank you. So an Enid theme it was. Her face, sparkles, pink hearts, and a koala bear or two = Enid theme. Make them the focus of the event.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #2:
Rather than getting overwhelmed by decorating a big space, concentrate on the central location of the party. Create a backdrop for photos. Outside the confines of these cropped images wasn’t picture perfect. But a couple banners and some festive wrapping paper taped to the wall provided a little deceptively party perfect space. Looking back on these images years down the road, this is how she and I will remember the event.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #3:
Don’t serve a meal, and buy the cake. Seriously. I bought this one at Kroger, and it was delicious. Look for something simple to which you can add your own personal touches. I added these sprinkles and found these letter candles at Party City along with the cut out hearts. And the koala bear toy is Safari Ltd. and was a gift from Grandmaw and just happened to top off the cake perfectly. So that cake took me probably 10-15 minutes to put together. If that.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #4:
The fewer kids at a party, the better. Enid invited cousins only. Three cousins couldn’t come, so aside from the grandparents and aunts and uncles and siblings that were there, she had three cousins to come. Her cousins Violet and Posey just happen to be her bffs. And her cousin Catcher, in attendance but not pictured, has been known to make it onto her list of boyfriends. Weird.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #5:
If you don’t invite a lot of kids, you can send them home with something fun instead of junk (though we did include a little of that). These cardboard letters I found at Hobby Lobby for $2.50. Each kid got the first letter of their name to take home and decorate.
Keep It Simple Party But Good Tip #6:
When in doubt, pinata. Enid actually requested a koala pinata, of course, but I bought this ice cream cone one at Hobby Lobby and she was just as happy with it. Who has time to be making pinatas anyway? Pinatas seriously are great cheap fun for this age. Everyone gets a kick out of it.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #7:
Pom Pom banners are always right. And they are so easy. I blogged about making them a loooong time ago here. And the heart banner I made with baker’s twine and cut out hearts from Party City (which I lucked into since it’s close to Valentine’s Day).
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #8:
Think of a fun way to incorporate the guests with the theme. For this Enid themed party, I incorporated everyone by creating these Happy Birthday Enid lapel pins. EASY. And awesome, if I do say so myself. They were my favorite part of the party planning process.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #9:
Create a fun, personalized hat for the party girl or boy to separate and elevate them from the guests. This particular hat was easy peasy. I just unfolded an old party hat I had in my past party stash and covered it with this sparkle wrapping paper I already had. You can learn how to make the tissue paper pom here.
Keep It Simple But Good Party Tip #10:
Remember what you are celebrating. I wanted Enid to feel special on this day. I wanted her to know how thankful we are for her little life. You don’t have to put on a spectacle to accomplish that.
And so it was with much ease and little preparation that we celebrated this five year old’s birthday. Five. Five whole years. She was about as thrilled as I about her growing up, as she shed actual tears and declared she didn’t want to get bigger. Oh, sweet Enid. Sweet, overly dramatic Enid. Hopefully five will last longer than four did.
Hannah Alexander is the founder of Sundry Mumsy and an illustrator, who lives in Arkansas with her family.