When it comes to planning your kid's birthday party, some parents would argue that less is more. While other parents prefer to go all out for their child's birthday with bouncy castles, petting zoos, and over-the-top decorations, for the rest of us, sometimes we just need a little less. If that sounds like you, here's a handy tip: there are so many kid birthday party ideas that you don't have to do.
Personally, I've hosted several kid's birthday parties and at this stage, I am at the point where goody bags are even too much. So if skipping the craft table and party favors is what you're thinking, you are not alone. Let's simplify our kid's birthday parties for our own sanity, but also because some things are completely unnecessary. Taking out some of the "extras" when it comes to party planning can save you on time and money, while still giving your child a special day for them to have fun and celebrate with their family and friends. If it's more your style to go big with all kinds of party rentals, then go for it. But if you're looking to make the party planning as simple as possible, check out these party ideas that are totally OK to skip.
1. An Extensive Guest List
Having your child pick a few friends to invite is totally reasonable — you don't need to invite their whole class if your party venue can't accommodate that many kids. Just make sure to do an email invite if your child is school age and avoid sending invitations into class to bypass hurt feelings. If your child is younger than school age, they may not be old enough to have a large group of friends yet, so just inviting a few of their favorite people will make them perfectly happy.
2. Goody Bags
If you're looking to cut costs and leave the planning to a minimum, here's one you can knock off the list. Goody bags just add to unnecessary candy and toys that kids don't need and parents don't want. I've done goody bags for my kid's birthday party but honestly, it's an added chore and expense. On the flip side, when my kid comes home with party favors, it's just added junk in my house that we didn't really need, so I'm totally good without the party favor bags.
3. Opening Presents
I always save present opening for after the party. Usually the kids are having such a good time playing that my child never even asks about opening his presents. Unless a child specifically asks for their present to be opened, I save the present opening for after the party. Not only does skipping this cut down on time, but it also avoids any fighting over new toys or jealousy and hurt feelings among the kids.
4. A Full Meal
Don't feel obligated to provide your guests with a full meal if your party is not during a typical meal time. Light snacks are fine, but let your guests know what's being offered so they know whether or not they need to eat a meal beforehand (or wait until after). Plus, chances are most of the kids won't be interested in sitting down for a full meal anyway, so you might as well save yourself the hassle and expense of providing a full blown meal.
5. Over-The-Top Decorations
We all want to be like those Pinterest moms with the whole Instagram worthy set-up and color coordinated decorations. But going over the top for decorations isn't really necessary. For starters, party decorations can be expensive and you're only going to be using them for literally a few hours before you wind up throwing them out or putting them in storage knowing you'll never use them again. Save yourself the time and money and keep the decorations simple and to a minimum. Kids love balloons, so just get a few in their favorite color and call it a day.
6. An All-Day Affair
Don't feel the need to make your child's birthday party an all-day affair. You can make it as long or as short as you want, but dedicating the whole day to it isn't necessary.
If I've learned anything from hosting kid's birthday parties, it's that the crafts are always a waste of time. Most of the kids do not have the slightest interest in participating in a craft activity that you worked so hard to include in your child's party. Which leaves you with a ton of craft junk that you'll save because you intend on doing the activity with your child, but know you'll probably never get around to it. This is oddly specific because I speak from experience — take my advice and skip the crafts.