Birthday’s are a time to celebrate and cherish another wonderful year gone by. Kay-Kay just turned “One” and I had the most amazing experience hosting a party for kids and parents alike.
It is but obvious that we as parents would want nothing but the best party when it comes to our kids and so we look to past experiences, books and the internet. But in a world of infotainment where there are so many suggestions, ideas and resources one can easily get bewildered.
I’m sharing my experience and some great resource ideas below. So let’s dive in :
- Start with a theme:
It’s always a good idea to start with a theme and work the rest of the party around it. This not only gives it the opportunity to be combination-perfect but it could save the arrangement from looking like a confused display of color and decoration.
Choose a theme that can be directly attributed to the special person celebrating it so that it’s relevant. Having a theme also allows you to close in on your colors, props and décor easily.
Check this link for some great ideas – https://in.pinterest.com/catchmyparty/1st-birthday-party-ideas/?autologin=true
I chose the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” theme because it has been my daughter’s favourite rhyme and is also much to my liking since some of the rhymes (including classics) can portray a lot of violence in their lyrics- bumping their head/falling off their bed/breaking their leg/a collapsing bridge- You know what I mean.
Also, my little one is my STAR and always will be, so it’s a great way to kick off the first of many more birthday celebrations to come!
- Choose your colors
The theme is a great start and now we can get to the décor colors. These will certainly depend upon the event itself but I would highly recommend a selection of pastel shades for a kiddie party. They will gently adorn your walls and space and not look too goddy at the same time. An added bonus is that pastel colors blend well with glitter or shine. Any parent would second the observation that babies just love sparkling and shining objects, it catches their attention over all other colors. So throw in a few metallic colored balloons or glittering stars here and there and the kids are going to be thoroughly amused.
If you are choosing a multicolor theme, sky blue, baby pink, lavender and mint green are among the colors that are most popular. If you are going for a single colored theme (I chose baby pink), then make sure you have an accompanying color. (Mine was gold but silver would work just as well too)
Remember not to overdose the space with any single color, but at the same time make sure that your theme color is advertised in some way or the other all around the place. That being said, the cake should prominently display the theme color as it will serve as a mascot for your theme.
- .Photo Booth
The whole point of putting in pain staking efforts, is to create memories that you could fondly revisit over time. And our best bet in making sure of this is photographs. So a photo booth is definitely a great idea.
Again, this should be prepared in accordance with the theme and colors. The aim is to have your guests take photos in the best decorated spot. So a photo frame works wonders. It will not require too much space and your guests will not be able to resist the temptation to have a click. A DIY photo-frame for an indoor party is what we did. Why I love make-at-home props is because in the process of producing them, you will already have many fond moments attached and every time you look at their pictures, it straightaway takes you down memory lane. So if you and your better half (or family member) are inclined towards craft, make as many items as you can yourself.
Some tips for the photo frame-
- Have it colored in shades, keeping in mind the spot in your house it is intended for.
- The size should be large enough to easily fit around two adult faces in it.
- It should carry with it, the essence of the theme.
Here are some great prop ideas too – https://in.pinterest.com/pin/243546292321975968/?lp=true
- Healthy Treats
The visual senses have been well taken care of thus far and now its time to treat the taste buds.
Remember it’s a kids party so the little ones are the chief guests and they must be catered to on a priority basis. Though the simplest way would be visiting the nearest supermarket and picking up products off the shelf, it is not always the healthiest. You need to try and avoid fried items, things with artificial flavours and coloring and excessively sweet or salty preparations.
To give you a gist of my menu-
- Home-made chutney sandwiches (I cut them into star shapes and the kids loved it)
- Popcorn (The best available option for something crunchy)
- A fruit salad
- Fruit Juice
- Mini cup cakes (I know I said avoid sweets but there were enough healthy foods above so a little treat at the end for the little ones is well deserved)
It would help to throw in a thing or two for the Mummies and Daddies. We had pattices, cakes and soft drinks available for the adults.
Remember to have all your food prepared and laid out before the party begins. Do not attempt foods that have to be freshly made during the party as your presence will be required more at the event than in the kitchen.
- A Noisy Affair
If all the above steps have been followed, the venue is beaming with vibrant colors and your table is laid with lip-smacking goodies, but its not like children to sit still through the two/three hours of the party so its best to be prepared to engage them in activity.
Have nursery rhymes playing in the background throughout, most kids will be familiar with them and will automatically participate in the action songs.
Plan a time for snacking and then soon after is a good time span to organize games. Have a couple of games at least. The simpler the better. We would want every child to participate and at the same time foster a spirit of healthy competition. Organize a tag-team game where the parents have an opportunity to get involved as well. This lightens up the mood and acts as a great ice breaker as well. Reserve a slot for this activity at about the centre of the party and you will see that beyond this point, it will continue quite fluently as the guests will start to mingle with eachother.
The only hurdle in this part is to get the children to follow instructions. Have someone in your family who is great with kids take over the games segment (There is always a charming cousin, aunt or uncle. In our case it’s my husband 😀 )
Tire the children out and allow them to make as much noise as permissible. In doing so, you will have had happy, tired children and grateful parents since it won’t be long before the exhausted kids will start asking to be put to bed 😊.
For some simple but great ideas for fun and activities check this link – https://www.thespruce.com/first-birthday-party-games-and-activities-2104655
- Thank you for coming!
Every good thing must come to an end. And in like manner, its time for the curtains to come down on your precious baby’s birthday party. I’m sure there will have been numerous moments that you will remember for a long time to come and maybe even some you will never forget, This emotion will also be shared by your guests so give them a little something to remember this day by;- The take-home present!
You will have to give each child one of these, so make sure you have arranged for enough (and a little more, in case) The present need not be an expensive one but it should be one the children can play with or use for a good while after the party is done and every time they do, it will be a fond reminder or an evening well spent!
One should avoid chocolates or consumables as they are eaten and then forgotten. I remember receiving a colorful pen stand at a party a while ago and just a glance at it everyday brings to mind the fun I had with my daughter at that event. I decided to go with a colorful photo frame! We packed these in home-made paper bags with a personal note thanking each one for coming.
Now that your party has concluded, it will be tempting to start cleaning up. But put that off for tomorrow, sit down with family over a cup of coffee or tea and relive the fantastic evening that was worth all the effort. The smiles that you put on all the little faces and the joy that your precious child was given are what you get as your take-away present!