I've been planning to share some spectacularly exciting ideas with all of you, really I have. Unfortunately I have spent more time than I really have doing those wonderful things and have not had a chance to blog about any of them.
At the moment I am finishing the tenth 'cake' I have made for a party in the last month. One weekend I even had two parties, one of which I thought had been scheduled for another day. Thankfully it was brought to my attention a couple days ahead of time, and I had already done much of the planning and buying so it went well.
Instead of the few posts I had planned with lots of step-by-step how to and a bounty of inspiring pictures, here's a list of things I have kept in mind over the last month while planning my children's birthday parties and friends wedding/baby showers.
Decide on your colors first. They can be theme inspired (spring baby shower for a little girl~ pastel pink and celery green) or favorites of the guest of honor (bright orange and aqua blue for a thirteen year old boy).
Use chosen colors for everything: plates, napkins, table clothes, banners, food, ribbon, etc. Everything.
The table should be the focal point of the party. Drape a table with a white table cloth then use a plastic table cover in one of the party specific colors as a table runner. If you don't have platters and bowls in the chosen colors, use clear bowls or vases adorned with a ribbon in the party colors. Stick with one color of platters: white, silver or black. Use baskets or buckets and fill them with snacks placed in theme colored sacks.
Have a variety of heights to get the eye to travel across the table. This can be achieve with tall and short vases, cake stands, tiered servers, etc. Also, place balloons or streamers or banners above the table to attract attention to it.
Let your theme inspire you with food choices. You could choose foods that match the colors of the party; make a list of food items that would be similar colors or at least complimentary. Think of snacks and recipes that go along with the theme. For a bright orange and aqua blue theme: cheese balls, carrot and celery sticks with dip, chicken tenders with sweet and sour sauce, cantaloupe wedges, cheese cubes and popcorn colored blue. Adding a third complimentary color allows for green apples, green grapes, and kiwi.
Don't forget drinks. You can be even more creative with colors of your drinks. Not only the beverages, but straws and cups come in a huge variety of colors. My favorite are striped straws; you can find some here (along with other party supplies). I've ordered them in lime green, bright blue, and red. They make an instant party with kids.
For a great party all you need is an attractive table with a few snacks and something to drink and then have something simple but fun to do. When planning games or activities, keep the age of the participants in mind. Younger kids will need things that will keep them active, otherwise they will be jumping all over the place during your party. I have found Simon Says to be an excellent activity for preschoolers and the younger crowd. For slightly older traditional party games or board games work well: Twister, Telephone, 30 Seconds, etc.
Don't restrict your party to games, think of activities as well. For my 12 year old daughter's party, I had the guests help with cooking and cupcake decorating. They had a fantastic time. At my son's birthday party we set up a couple of chairs with a white sheet as a backdrop and left a bucket of props for a make shift photo booth. I raided the dollar section at the party store and found some neat things like plastic glasses for 10 cents each. The pictures make a nice party favor.
At the beginning of this post I placed cake in quotes because I haven't actually made ten different cakes. In all honesty my children do not enjoy cake. For their parties and actual birth day treats I made other goodies such as pudding cups, banana splits, brownies, and provided ice cream bars. We even did floats for the blue and orange themed party: orange soda with vanilla ice cream. It was a treat.
The most important thing is to keep guest of honor in mind and plan around his favorites and have fun with it.
Children's Party Games Ideas
Paper Party Supplies
Make Your Own Cake Mixes and Decorating Tips
Dr. Seuss Toddler Birthday Party
Bug Birthday Party
Any helpful tips? What has been super easy and turned out just to be a delight at a party you planned?