The Foolproof Perfect Party

We all want to throw the kind of birthday party that will delight our child and have all their friends talking about it for weeks after. There’s a way to do that and not lose your sanity in the process.

Party planner Kara Allen, from Kara’s Party Ideas, shares a template for the elements to include in a birthday along with a timeline of what to do when.

There are some key elements to have for a successful party. Some of them are more obvious, and some are ideas that might be overlooked. To have an impressive party, try to include the following elements:

Party Theme
Party Color Scheme/Colors
Main Party Table
Welcome Activity
Photo Op
Party Surprise

Themes– When it comes to themes you can be specific (ice cream, super hero, etc.) or just chose color schemes.

Invitations- Invites set the tone of the whole party. Fill in the blank are just fine, or have someone design them for you. It’s fun to think outside the box and include something party related with the invite if you can. A small balloon, a treat, a little trinket (if you’re hand delivering them). If you’re mailing them there are also fun ways to dress up and invite.

Decor– These can be something as simple as tissue poms, lanterns or paper rosette flowers can work for any party (changing out colors). Pennant banners are also a must. They can be made from fabric, or from paper.

Main table– Parties are so much easier & look really well put together if you have a main party table set up. Use it for the cake and desserts or food. Also place party favors or other related party items/decor on it.

· Cake stands make a party table look it’s best with little effort. They don’t have to be used just for cakes. Desserts, food, toys, etc can be placed on them.

· Apothecary jars are also a great thing to use on your tables. If you don’t have apothecary jars and don’t want to spend the money on them you can use regular glass jars from around your home.

Welcome activity– This is a great thing to do for children’s parties. All the kids usually don’t arrive on time so have something the kids can engage in when they first get there. Color something party related (birthday hat, favor bag), have their face painted, play a game, blow bubbles, blow up balloons, etc.

Cake– You can go all out and hire a cake decorator to make a cake. Or you can dress up a homemade one or store bought one with simple items like candy, tags, paper toppers, etc. There are simple ways to dress up store bought cakes.

Food– If the party is for a child I like to have my birthday parties in between meals. So a full meal isn’t necessary to serve. This makes the party so much easier. But serving a meal/food can still be great, too. It depends on how much work you want to put into it. If you do decide to serve food, chose food that can be prepared beforehand. If you decide to not serve a meal then have desserts. Cake, candy, etc.

Music– This is something that is often overlooked but can add so much to your party atmosphere. Make an easy playlist on your phone or iPod (with songs that go along with the party) and have the music playing in the background during the party…but not too loud, unless it’s a dance party. J

Activity stations– If you’re the only one manning the party then rotate all the children at once throughout the activities doing one at a time. Or invite parents or family members to help out and have all stations going at the same time and separate the kids into groups to rotate through. You can move from room to room for the different stations or have them all in one room if it’s large enough. Stations can be anything from craft projects, eating cake (sing to the child beforehand. I really like this. It makes it so it’s not as big of a mess and you can watch the children more making sure they don’t spill, etc.), games, photo booth, pinata time, bounce house fun, etc.

Photo Op– Photo ops are really popular now. Make an easy backdrop with fabric or a sheet and have children stand in front of it. Silly hats and props are always fun. Or have the guest of honor be a part of it, and take a pic of each guest with the birthday child (1st Birthday- baby in high chair, etc.). Or, if you are doing a superhero party or princess party you could have someone dressed as a superhero or princess there at the photo op.

Surprise– Have some sort of a big surprise at the party. The surprise can be for all of the guests, or for the birthday child (still wowing guests, too). A real superhero, princess, or clown arriving. A magic show. A cute and cuddly animal to pet. A fun outside activity (kids are kept inside throughout the party then the back door is opened to a big treasure hunt, a bounce house, a slip n slide, fun game, etc.)

Party Favors– These are a big deal to me. I’m all about saying thank you to the guests who come. Favors don’t have to be expensive, but can go a long way. Make them personal. Tie cute tags onto bubbles for example. Package something cute. I like to match my favors to the party, so the kids can take something home that will remind them of the party and how much fun they had.

To download the printable party timeline, CLICK HERE

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