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Help! My Kid Wants a Birthday Bash!

Help! My Kid Wants a Birthday Bash!

Little kids’ birthdays are easy…when they’re really little. Think pre-preschool age. It’s your choice if you want to throw a party. You get to pick the theme, which they’re likely going to think is amazing no matter what it is. You can decide how much effort you want to put in. Cake is cake at that age. You can buy it premade. You can make it from a box. They’re going to be grateful for its delicious cakey goodness either way. Decorations are optional, and again, amazing with minimal effort. You get to decide where you want to hold the party, and who you want to invite.

And then they start school…

Their knowledge of birthday parties starts to increase. They find out that birthday parties at Chuck-E-Cheese are a thing. They discover some kids’ parents rent bounce houses. They hear about the lavishly decorated cakes that tie into the amazingly decorated theme party. They find out about the supermoms that go over the top. Now their little brains start spinning with ideas. They want a giant, singing, robotic mouse as part of their party. They want a Disney themed party with an accurate recreation of the scenery from the latest animated musical nightmare.

Don’t panic…

You don’t have to be supermom. Few moms are, and that’s okay. You don’t have to hold their party on a jet or a private island. Take a breath and decide what you can do, and what you’re willing to. What can you afford? What do you have time for? How many kids can they invite? How are your decorating skills when it comes to cakes and décor? Once you have that outline in your head, ask your child what they want. It may not be as bad as you think. Even if it is, they can be scaled back to reality. Sorry, kiddo, but your Moana party isn’t going to be a destination event at the beach. But, dollar store grass skirts are more than manageable. If it’s summertime, even better! I’ve found a lot of tiki-themed décor and plastic dishes that time of year at the dollar store. If it’s off-season, Oriental Trading is an awesome place to shop. They’re an awesome place to shop either way. Check out their website. It’s chock full of bulk party décor, favors, and costumes at inexpensive prices.

Remember: cake is still cake

If you want to make a simple cake, or if that’s really the only option because of your skills and/or finances, they’ll be fine with that because it’s still delicious. But, don’t be afraid to get a little more adventurous. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve actually made some pretty cool cakes that looked pretty impressive without a ton of difficulty. I’ve made a snake cake that consisted of two of two bundt cakes, some Rice Krispy treats, a few tubs of frosting, and a package of Reese’s Pieces arranged into stripes. It also required one piece of flat, gummy candy for the tongue. I lucked out on the eyes because I’d bought a container of candy eyes at Halloween time and still had plenty of them. But you can improvise. I’ve made a guitar shaped cake with red licorice strings (that recipe is floating around Kraft’s website somewhere). I’ve made a mermaid themed cake with graham cracker sand and beach-themed Barbies as decorations/gifts. I’m not gifted at cake decorating. But I am a master Googler.

Plan ahead…

Obviously this can be easier said than done if you weren’t prepared for your child suddenly deciding that this is the year they want the first birthday party that includes their input and their friends. Shockingly, six year olds aren’t great at forethought and have no clue what goes into party planning. Just do the best you can. If it’s on a lower scale than they’d hoped for, it’ll likely teach them to think ahead next year. If you’re making reservations, the earlier the better. You might simply need some time to save up the money. Don’t beat yourself up for that! I’ve certainly had to do it. Plus, you want to make sure the parents of the other children aren’t caught last minute if they’re buying a gift or simply planning their kid’s schedule. People are busy. They appreciate ample notice.

Enjoy yourself…

Stressing yourself to make the perfect birthday party isn’t doing anyone any favors. If you’re stressed about the party, you’re going to be cranky and that doesn’t make for a good day for anyone. At the end of the day, your child just wants to celebrate and have fun. They have fun all the time, so you know that fun doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Applaud yourself for what you accomplished and don’t criticize yourself for the things that didn’t work out and didn’t go as you’d planned or hoped. And most importantly, enjoy a large slice of that cake.

Want some Party Planning Ideas? Check out some below:

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