Birthday party: tips from the trenches

birthday party

As a mom of five children I have had my share of birthday parties. One time I actually read the first two Harry Potter books to create an accurate Harry Potter theme birthday party.

But I have to admit, lately I've felt drawn to more of a Laissez faire, laissez passer theme.

I'm ashamed to admit we had my youngest son's birthday in February, even though he turned ten in August... In my defense, August is a difficult month, what with lots of people going on vacation.

Anyway, we finally had it and I would like to share some of my experiences.


I had created a timetable, like I always do. I like to plan birthday parties to the minute preferring to schedule too much activities rather than ending up with kids having nothing to do.

  • 13.00 Kids arriving
  • 13.15-13.30 hiding the presents, and then searching for them
  • 13.13-13.45 Decorating the cake and eating it
  • 13.45-14.00 Hunting for Easter eggs
  • 14.00-15.30 Playing 'Let's go to the movies'. I rented Frozen.
  • 15.30-16.30 Time to just play
  • 16.30-17.00 Dinner: pancakes
  • 17.00 Kids going home. My husband brought them home

First tip!

As it so often does, things didn't go exactly like I planned. For one thing our first guest arrived way too early. And the last guest arrived way too late. In the past I would make sure the early arrivers had something to do by laying out coloring pages. But I had forgotten this time! And it felt soo awkward. So I rushed to my computer to get me some coloring pages. But by the they were ready, the problem had solved itself. The boys were running around the garden!

So that's my first tip: give kids a chance to come up with an activity on their own! If you jump in immediately, how are they going to learn?

My Second Tip

My second tip concerns the cake. I know there's this whole hype of mom doing decorative cakes. And I have to admit some of them look like works of art. But in my experience kids also like to decorate their own cake.

So I always buy a cheap spongecake, a can of whipped cream and some smarties. And then I let the kids go wild. They can smother their cake in whipped cream and cover it with smarties.  Often they don't want to eat the messy end result, but that's alright with me. After all, it wasn't expensive. And I want them to have a good time.

Summing up

So to sum up: don't be afraid to let the kids find their own footing. You don't háve to be their entertainer all the time. And you don't have to be Buddy Valastro when it comes to cakes. A cheap sponge cake is fine too.

What would be your golden tip for a mom who has to throw her first birthday party?

Vergelijkbare berichten

2 reacties

  1. Yes, I remember a few children's birthday parties that didn't go exactly according to schedule! Thanks so much for sharing with the Let's Get Real party this week.

  2. I have five kids too, we've had plenty of parties in the past, although now they are older we tend to do something as a family instead is preferred. You have some great tips though, you've actually made me miss those days of all the planning and preparation and of course nothing ever goes to plan. I once had a party planned for my daughter's July birthday with lots of garden activities. But the neighbours also had a party planned with a bbq, lots of adults and alcohol and extremely loud music which even drowned out a garden full of kids!

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *