Friday, May 26, 2017

Party Planning: Make a List and Check It Twice

You are cordially see the madness that goes into planning Grace's birthday parties. 

I will be the first to admit, I take party planning seriously.  The creativity involved in throwing a themed party feeds my soul.  I thrive on creating details that will make the party truly one of a kind.

After Grace picks a theme, I scour Pinterest for inspiration and start writing out lists.   

My list includes the following:

1. The guest list.  We generally include all the girls from Grace's class, a small selection of friends not in her class and anyone that invited her to their birthday party.  This year, including Grace, we invited 14 girls. 
2. Games/Activities.  I try and make sure all games/activities echo the theme of the party.  Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration.  Some themes are easier to find games to go along with where others may stretch your creativity. 
3. Prizes. When considering games, decide if you'll have prizes for winners. Some of our games resulted in prizes where others did not.  If you opt to give prizes, you may want to bring along additional prizes to take into account if there is a tie for first place. Though prizes are not necessary, if you do give out prizes, kids take the competition seriously, you don't want to find yourself with a shortage of prizes and a disappointed guest.
4. Time Frame. With 2 hours to fill, I like to  A.) Conservatively estimate how long things will take, i.e. how long will each game last, how long for snacks/dessert. This helps me determine if I have planned enough things to do for 2 hours. and B.) Consider the order of events.  What game works best when the girls arrive.  When shifting from game to game, will the girls need to go from sitting at a table to a different location?  Does the order of events flow and make sense? 
5. Time Fillers. Hopefully your party goes off without a hitch...and if it does, you are a better party planner than I am! I always build in time fillers in case a game/activity doesn't go as planned, I have more time than I expected OR guests look like they need to be entertained. My time fillers will include: extra games, maybe games that ended up on the b-list, a coloring sheet or opening presents. 
6. Food. Personally, I prefer to arrange Grace's parties so they do not include a meal.  Last year, I broke this rule and quickly realized in additional to considering allergies, kids can be selective in what they will eat.  I've vowed, now, to only serve desserts and snacks.  Food is an excellent way to continue reinforcing the theme of your party.
7. Party Favors. Party favors generally are loved by kids and hated by parents.  This year, in consideration of the parents, we gave out consumable {delicious} party favors.  Though, one of my favorite party favors Grace has taken home from a party was rock candy and a geode from a rock climbing party. Consider the theme when deciding on your party favors they can be such a fun way to send your guests home.

Then, the best part of writing out your list, marking off each task you've accomplished. Is there anything more gratifying?

Feel free to RSVP to see more details of Grace's party unfold over the next few days.

Can you guess what theme Grace chose?

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