Last week we had our son’s 4th birthday and we had arranged a party at home. Being a crafter, this is the time of the year I look forward for the most. If there is one thing I love most about having a birthday at home, it is decorating the home for the party. Having done the birthday decoration for my son’s birthdays over the last 4 years, I have realized how easy it is to arrange for the party and decoration if one plans well in advance. Being a working mom, I start planning at least 2 months in advance so that we have enough time for shopping. Also, I do the decoration on my own so that the expenses are well within budget.
Here is a typical list of shopping items that would help you in planning for the party:
- Dresses for the birthday kid – Since a lot of people at the party will be holding, playing and lifting the birthday kid, it is good to have at least two pairs of dresses so that you can change once the dress gets dirty.
- Return gifts for kids – I take utmost care in choosing the return gifts for the kids. Ceramic/plastic mugs or stationary are definitely not on my list of return gifts. Over the last 4 years, i have realized that kids love puzzles . Also, puzzles come in a lot of varieties catering to different age groups. So, one can never go wrong with puzzles as return gifts for any age group.
- Disposable cake plates, water cups and tissues/napkins – this is a no brainer and needs no explanation.
- Party Decoration supplies– The must have items for any birthday party are balloons, birthday banner, non adhesive flagging tape / plastic ribbons. You can make wonders with just these 3 items. Make sure you buy them in complementing colors. Apart from the above, you will also need facemasks, birthday caps and party blowers for the guests and kids.
- Cake- Order the cake one week in advance. Before ordering cake from a baker, make sure you have tasted a few cakes or pastries from the bakes to be sure of the taste and quality. Also, it is good to ask the bakes to show you some pictures of the cakes they have made for orders which will give you an idea of how well the bakers decorate the cake.
- Garbage bags– A house party will generate a lot of thrash both recyclable and non recyclable. Make sure you have arranged for waste segregation and disposal of both the kinds of waste.
Apart from the above list, there is one more important list which is the guest list. Make sure you have a proper count of the adults and kids in the guest list. It is also good to invite the guests 3 to 4 days in advance so that they can plan to attend your party. If you wish to have lunch/dinner for the party, have a list of the items in the menu.
Arranging a party at home can be very stressful because you will be taking care of many things at the same time. Having lists for different purposes will be very helpful so that you can plan and keep track of the arrangements without forgetting anything.
To keep the expenses low, it is better to purchase supplies in bulk from a wholesale dealer. I usually buy all the decoration supplies and return gifts from the wholesale dealers in Chikpet and Avenue road in Bangalore. Check if you have any such area in your town/city where you can make bulk purchases at wholesale price.
How do you usually plan birthday parties at home? Is there anything else you would like to add to my list here? Do let me know 🙂