How To Plan a Simple Birthday Party

So, your little one is having a birthday! Are you excited? Stressed? Reminiscent? I’m usually all of the above – excited for a celebration in honor of one of my most favorite people, stressed about the planning and execution of a party, and reminiscent about their actual birth day. Yeah, that last one always gets me a little extra as I flip through birth photos and relive the extreme joy and pride I felt the day they were born and I first held them in my arms.

Let’s pause there a take a peek at the little cutie who is turning two on August 9th …

max birth to 2014 comparison:: weeping, so in love, ALL THE FEELINGS :: Mostly LOVE!!!

Then I remember that 20+ people will be arriving at my house soon and I need food and favors and games and what if Max has a pre or post nap meltdown in the presence of his guests? And and and … yeah, parties can feel a little stressful.

So, this year, for his second birthday I decided to simplify things and chill out. Parties are for mamas too, right?

Anyways, here are my few tips for simplifying your child’s birthday party!

Plan a Simple Birthday Party(1)Choose a Theme Early

I bet you thought I might say, don’t even worry about a theme, but that’s not the case. I’m a big believer in themes because they can guide your location food plan and more. Most of all, choosing a theme early allows you to slowly collect decor, watch sales and work on DIY projects without the pre-party scramble.

This year, Max is having a shark party. We decided on it this past Spring and having so much extra time has allowed me to pin many ideas, order his invitations with a promo code, find Shark slippers for one of his gifts (love Costco!) and snag some sharktastic decor during our beach trip. Had I waited until the last minute to pick a theme I would have missed out on most of these things!

Pick a Non-Home Location

No one will be knocking at my door this year! We’re having Max’s party at the park so my only set-up is a picnic table of food! Soooooo simple! No vacuuming or making sure the dishes are done for me. Yippee!

The park is probably one of my favorite non-home locations for a birthday party. Other non-home locations can cost a pretty penny (i.e. the children’s museum, bounce place) so my other non-home favorite is a grandparent’s house or backyard. Let them be the shining star and host with you – I’m sure they’d be absolutely honored to take on such an important role in your little one’s celebration.

Encourage a Specific Gift

Birthday celebrations can be fun with no gifts … especially for younger children who don’t have the patience to open presents. Or, make things really simple by asking guests to simply bring a favorite book. Even better, help your child choose a charity and ask guests to bring a contribution for that. You can even tailor it to their interests and “re-gift” peanut butter and jelly to the food bank or dog food to the local animal shelter.

Be Focused With Food

Gone are the days when you can simply serve just cake and punch! But are they really? No, no they are not. Even if Pinterest tries to convince us otherwise. You can absolutely go simple and note that simply “dessert will be served” on the invitations. But, if you’d like to offer more, consider having a 9am party and serving breakfast or a bedtime gathering with a combination of sweet and savory snacks – almost like a kiddo happy hour! One of my best friend’s hosted a favorite things party for her son’s first birthday and simply served an assortment of his favorite foods. It was random, delicious and simply! Plus, she didn’t have to worry about leftovers getting eaten!

What are your tips and tricks for planning a simple birthday party?

Truly, as long as your child feels loved – no matter the location or gifts – they’re sure to cherish their birthday party! Sometimes simplifying things allows everyone in the family to focus more on the special person rather than all the hubbub related to hosting a big event. Agree?

This post was sponsored by Silhouette. Stay tuned for details about this fabulous product and a neat DIY! No compensation was received, but I did receive product from the Silhouette team.

(Visited 446 times, 1 visits today)

You May Also Like:


  1. says

    These are great tips! My boys will be 4 and 2 coming soon and I've planned all of their parties myself! I can really relate with picking a theme (especially doing it early!) Thanks for sharing these!

  2. Erika says

    I’m a big time planner here, so I’m in complete agreement with picking a theme early and going from there. However the older the kids get I realized this isn’t as easy. My soon-to-be three year old changed her mind three times last year on a bday theme and was very adminent once her final theme was chosen. Thankfully outside of pinning tons of ideas I only had purchased one item for the party so I rolled with it. After all I wanted her to love the party.

    Parties at parks are the best! With two of three of my kiddos as summer babies we have done 5 out of 7 of their birthdays at parks with splash pads and love it! Since we now live on a lot of property we have some parties at home and just direct traffic to the backyard and keep the party outside with the exception of the accessible bathroom of course. I will still do some moderate cleaning but nothing like I do for an indoor party.

    • says

      Jem's birthday is October 2nd and it rarely rains then so we may even consider something outside for her too! I hear you on changing ideas though … first it was Hello Kitty so I grabbed favors when Target had the $1 bin of Hello Kitty things and now it is 100% a pony party, hahaha!