Wednesday, November 9, 2011

At Home Party Tips

Thank you for your kind and gracious comments about Harris' detective party, each one made me smile and appreciate the fact that I get to share special moments in our lives with you.  Thank you for reading. 

We have hosted almost all of our birthday parties at our home, and both the children, for now, prefer that their parties are home based.  Certainly that could change, but for now we are content to keep them here.  I know that throwing children's birthday parties at home can be stressful and overwhelming but it can also be wonderfully fun.  At home birthday parties also lend themselves to all sorts of imaginative things that can be hard to do elsewhere.  I'm certainly no expert, but I've made a list of tips that I've learned about throwing at home parties and I thought I would share them with you, maybe they will be useful to someone! 

1.  Pick a theme.  I could never have a party without a theme.  Having a theme helps pull together every aspect of the party and helps you to make decisions about every element.  Everything from favors, to cake, to activities are easier to come up with if you have a jumping off point.

2.  Keep it small.  Our house (and my nerves) are not large enough to have a whole class party in our home.  We've always loosely gone by the rule of age- you can invite as many guests as you are old.  The exception to this rule is the first birthday party- that's for the parents as much as for the child!

3.  Keep the food simple but fun.  I love Amy Atlas type food tables, and the past couple of years I have loved putting together a little food table.  However, I've learned that going over the top doesn't pay off because the children cannot possibly eat all that food!  Those tables make for a great gathering point and for terrific pictures but they aren't the party.  The party is the children having fun together and celebrating a birthday!  

4.  Keep it short.  We make almost all of the parties an hour and a half.  It's enough time do some activities and eat cake! 

5.  Plan every moment of the party.  I know that sounds over the top but having a timeline can help keep things from getting crazy.  I plan enough activities to fill our time so that the children are together and busy the whole time.  For me this is not the time for the children to run off and free play (remember that our birthdays are during the colder months so we are almost always inside!). 

6.  Send out themed invitations.  Evites are huge and for good reason but it's nice to send out a themed invitation to get the children excited.  Plus, the children don't often see the evite on the computer, it's exciting for them to see the invitation!

7.  Don't worry about how clean your house is.  The children do not care.  Really.  

How about you?  What are some of your tips for a fun and smooth party?

P.S.  The above picture is from Harris' first birthday.  The house was a wreck.


  1. Your parties are over the top Amazing..with every detail accounted for! I loved all your wonderful tips! For me, I follow a theme...and yes, it makes it much easier to plan...but I am not gifted with details, (as much as I wish I was), so I do my best and then just relax and have fun! If the host is having fun the kid will have fun, no matter what! It doesn't even have to be picture just want to have FUN!!

  2. I,too, have had each of my 5 yr old son's birthday parties at home. I love home parties! All the tips you gave are good ones. The themes we have had:
    1st: Baby Einstien
    2nd: Elmo
    3rd: Dinosaurs
    4th: Baseball
    5th: Science
    I, too, love the planning, the details and the invitations! I am already thinking of what we will do for his 6th birthday in June...
    You can see pics of the 4th & 5th parties on my blog,
    PS: I love that you have a painting of each birthday cake!!

  3. Sherri- You are totally right, when it is time for the party you have to relax and have fun! And children don't care if it's perfect in any way (I think that is more for the parents!).

    Kathy- Thanks for sharing the links. Your details are amazing.

  4. I totally agree with you about the dessert tables. I love Amy Atlas, but those tables get really expensive and although they have a great wow factor, kids enjoy doing more than seeing.
    My fave tip that I always share is top pick 3 colors, and make sure everything falls into that scheme. From a design standpoint, the impact of that simple decision will make even a small and simple party seem well thought out and elaborate.

  5. Great tips! I had Daniel's 7th birthday last December with a sports theme. It was on a Friday early evening and it was the perfect at home party. Now we are
    trying to decide what to do this year!

  6. Do it for the children, not their parents is my one and only tip :)

    but 1,5 hours? :( our last one was all day long, that's what i call fun:) and the next to last one was 5 hours. after those my daughter (2,5at that time asked - why did it end so fast)!

  7. All your tips are GREAT!!!! My favorite part about parties are the INVITES-- especially YOURS!! Invites set the stage for any event and get the anticipation going. My tip is that even if you don't have the time, energy or money for a party you can still do special things and just call it a "party!". Xoxoxoxxo

  8. I should say only that its awesome! The blog is informational and always produce amazing things.Thanks for sharing.


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