Birthday parties are supposed to full of giggles, fun, friends and family. This is totally doable, but it’s also easy to end up stressed out, overwhelmed and exhausted if you are not careful. Today my mom friends and I are sharing our best ideas to keep children’s birthday parties stress-free.
As a mom, you naturally want to make your child feel special and loved on their birthday. When I was growing up this meant:
- I made invitations to pass out at school
- A few friends came over
- We ate cake
- I opened presents.
Simple and fun!
At some point within the last decade, things have gotten much more complicated. It seems like no child’s birthday party is complete without a theme, customized outfits and totally over the top decorations.
Talk about pressure!
I admit that when I became a mom I felt that this was something that moms were “just supposed to do”.
So for my daughter’s first birthday I went all out:
- We ordered customized pinwheels from Etsy that I spend over 10 hours putting together (seriously!).
- Tons of friends and family members were invited, which also meant that we bought a ton of food, party favors and decorations.
- We spent an entire week cleaning our house and prepping our yard for the big event.
And guess what…
- By the time the party started I was completely exhausted from all of the prep work
- We spent WAY TOO MUCH money
- I don’t remember much of the party itself because I was so busy running around like a crazy chicken
Definitely not the special celebration I had in mind.
Tips for a Fun and Stress-Free Kids Birthday Party
Maybe you have already experienced birthday party breakdown. Or perhaps you are getting ready for your very first kids birthday party rodeo. Either way you are going to love these simple kids birthday party ideas.
Plan an Experience Instead of a Party
Once my kids are past car seat age, I always give them the option to take three friends on a special outing in lieu of having a big party.
We have done bowling, the movies, local theme park, arcade, indoor rock climbing, and the pool.
It is much less chaotic than a big party, and almost no effort planning for me!
I also think the kids get to enjoy and bond with their close friends more when there aren’t 100 people running around. Caitlin @ Real Mom Recs
Keep the Food Simple
If you are serving lunch, and need a pizza alternative, buy the value-size box of PB&J Uncrustables.
No prep necessary!
If you do go with pizza make sure to ask for a school cut (smaller pizza slices) because you know most kids don’t finish their slice anyway and it could save you from ordering that additional pizza. Bridget @ This Mom Life
Skip the Theme
Themes are great but if you’re spending all of your time and energy trying to get matching party favors and decorations, it just adds unnecessary stress.
Instead of going for themes every year, I invest in a few classic party decor items that can be repurposed at each party in different ways. This helps save money and is eco friendly too. Ophira @ Easy Mommy Life
Limit the Guest List
Only invite kids your child actually enjoys to be around. Inviting a ton of kids to the party does not equate to the quality of your child’s birthday experience. L.C. @ A Life Of Authenticity
Let the Kids Help Out
Instead of buying a bunch of plastic crap to put in a goodie bag, come up with a fun activity that the kids will enjoy and can take home. You could:
- Paint or Tie-Dye T-Shirts
- Decorate Cupcakes
- Make slime
Re-Purpose Items you Already Have
Birthday parties don’t have to be expensive to be fun! Use things that you already have. You can create fun stations by sorting toys that your kids already have and allowing kids to play at each station. A few ideas would be:
- Sports station (basketballs, soccerballs, tennis rackets with balloons)
- Dress Up (set out play clothes and other dress up items that you already own)
- Water fun (squirt guns, water balloons, and kitchen sponges)
What Matters Most
Always ask yourself, “Will this make my CHILD have a better birthday?”
Sometimes we get star-struck by all the beautiful Pinterest pictures out there, but it’s important to remember that our kids don’t care about 90% of that stuff.
They would rather have a happy, present mom at the party than a burned-out mom who stayed up until 2 a.m. cutting out adorable food labels that the kids can’t even read.
Spend time on what matters to your child, and let the rest slide. Megan @ The Many Little Joys
Create New Traditions
One of my kiddos isn’t crazy about cake. We decided to break from tradition and instead let her choose a quick and easy treat. It was such a hit we plan to do it again next year!
She requested Root Beer Floats, which were so easy!
- We bought reusable cups to serve them in which were sent home as the party favor.
- I scooped the ice cream into the cups the day before and stored them in the freezer.
- Each guest chose their favorite flavor of soda to make their float
Related Birthday Posts:
- 10 Super Easy Birthday Cake Alternatives
- Easy Store Bought Birthday Treats You Can Send to School
- Easy Birthday Breakfast Ideas for Kids that are Crazy Fun
There you have it mama! The best Simple Kids Birthday Party Ideas for a Totally Stress Free Celebration.