Part 3 of the Party On series!
Planning parties is my life. Ask my sister. She knows that as a birthday party wraps up I'm already thinking of a theme for the next kids' birthday party! I help her plan my nephew's party every year. I just get so into it. It has nothing to do with being super mom, it's all about making my kids and nephew smile. I have fun with it. I love trying to be creative, too, because naturally I'm not a creative person. I like to try things, but ideas don't always come naturally to me. I'm a hard worker though so I'm able to pull off things I find online! Gotta love idea sharing!
Pinterest and Etsy!
For me, the go-to place for party planning is Pinterest! I LOVE everything on there. I find such cute ideas. It's a fun place to start gathering ideas for future parties, too. It's easy to follow also. Basically I start a board as soon as I think of a cute idea for a party. It's a good place to keep new recipes, too. It's all in one place so you won't lose it or forget something also, which of course any busy mom would like.
I start seeking party ideas a year in advance sometimes. I know, crazy! My kids are 4 and younger... so they haven't had too much say in their party themes up until recently, so it's been easy to think ahead of time of ideas. Of course now my son is old enough to tell me what he wants more so I can think up an idea and we'll see if it's what he wants next February.
I suggest searching for a party theme at least two months before the party. This way you have plenty of time to slowly look for things in stores and online for ideas. It gives you plenty of time to change your mind, get creative and carry out something fun for your child.
Here is my Mommy Stories Pinterest party board:
Another great place I find awesome ideas is on Etsy.com. I made a board on there recently for my children's parties. It was so fun, especially knowing if I wanted these items I could purchase them from someone who homemade them. Love that!
Using these sites is helpful when searching for:
food ideas and labels for foods
goodie bag suggestions
activities, games, etc.
To theme or not to theme?
Here's the thing, I do NOT think parties need a theme. Whatever happened to just having cake and ice cream, maybe some party hats and balloons, and calling it good? Why do we have to go all out with homemade cakes and goodie bags, decorations on every chair and table in the room? You don't! Nobody said you do! I personally find it fun to get way into it, making food labels, and finding things that match the theme. But there is no rule that says you have to do this.
I don't think kids expect goodie bags. I don't think buying store bought cakes is bad. I don't think you have to have party hats. If you aren't into it, don't do it. This is one area nobody judges anyone else, as far as I can tell. EVERY party is fun, no matter what you do.
Just make sure whatever you're doing is mostly for your child. Sure, it's OK for the mom to have fun in planning the party, but yes, it should be about your child.