As your children grow older, their fascination with birthday parties increases. They want bigger and more extravagant birthday parties. Unfortunately, your budget shrinks. Birthday parties, especially theme birthday parties could take a big chunk out of your wallet, if done through event planners and caterers. But don’t worry, you can still wow your child with a instagram-able theme birthday party at home. Let’s plan it together.
Choose your theme
This is the most crucial part of the birthday party’s success. Choose a theme that excites your child. It could be a cartoon series, a movie or just a concept. My four year old son would go bonkers over a Paw Patrol Themed Birthday Party.
If your child is too young to be excited about anything, take the easy way out and choose a simple theme. When I was planning my nephew’s first themed birthday party, I chose the mustache theme.
If you are still confused about the theme, try Pinterest. The site has the most amazing theme birthday party ideas. Here are a few pins you might like:
Color coordination is the key. You can create the entire atmosphere of the theme party with just the colors and one icon. I did a Batman theme with just black and yellow balloons and the batman logo painted over the yellow ones. A simple trick but since the balloons are literally all over the place, Batman won big time.
The main attraction
…aka THE CAKE. What’s a birthday party without a cake?
The cake is the main unforgettable part of a birthday party. The first question I ask my son about any birthday party is, ‘How was the cake?’
The cake should not just be the yummlicious part of the party but it should also reflect the theme.
You have three options to get the cake: order from a bakery, order from a virtual Facebook bakery or get your hands dirty, and make it yourself.
If you order from a bakery, ask for the cake album. A bakery usually has preset cakes that they offer to their customers. Most bakeries require you to order for 7 pounds or more for a themed cake. Their rates are usually on the higher end, that is, the more famous the bakery, the higher the price would be. But you are mostly guaranteed a good cake done by professionals.
Make sure you place your order at least three days before the event. (Don’t be like my brother-in-law who complained one day before the event that no one had bothered to tell him that cakes had to be ordered beforehand).
If you order from a virtual Facebook bakery, get reviews first. Often the pictures on their albums do not correspond with the actual cake and you are left with a comical version of the elegant jungle themed cake. Many of the Facebook bakeries are quite good actually, and they don’t charge a lot. They are also willing to make minor tweaks in the design, if possible.
Or if you are decent baker yourself, then go for it! Make that cake. There was a lot of videos on Facebook on making different kinds of themed cakes. These days molds are also available for different characters and theme to make life easier. However, I don’t recommend investing in cake molds for a one day event, unless you plan to resell them.
Add 5 more Theme Elements
For a theme to register on the guests, you need to have five more theme elements- apart from the cake. This could include:
Balloons can add charm and buoyancy to any birthday party. Fill your home with as many balloons as you can. But don’t forget your theme since balloons are all over the place. Choose two or three dominant colors from your theme and only use those balloons.
The backdrop can really make your theme pop even though it may not be fully visible in photos. Even a simple HAPPY BIRTHDAY with a few balloons could be enough.
Nowadays every cartoon character has its own video game and there is a good chance you can adapt it to your birthday party. But if that is difficult, add a twist to the classic birthday games by infusing the birthday theme. For instance, passing with pillow could become passing the bone in a Paw Patrol birthday theme (play the Paw Patrol theme song instead of regular music).
Cupcakes or Cake Pops
A birthday party is a time of indulgence. Most times when kids see the cake, they either ask for it outright or keep zoning in the area. To avoid a secret finger lick of the cake at a quiet time, keep cupcakes and cake pops handy. And sugar in the cupcakes keeps up their energy levels during the party.
Birthday Caps or Masks
Even if you are buying the regular caps, doesn’t mean you cannot add your own special element to the cap. Once I spray painted cheap wholesale birthday caps for my Frozen theme.
Ah… The Goodie Bags- reminders that you created a fun birthday party. Goodie Bags can be live savers for a birthday that is otherwise threatened by restless and super-charged toddlers. A mini sized coloring book (with crayons) inside the Goodie Bag would take care of small army of toddlers. To make the goodie bags extra special, add elements of the theme on your bags. But make it very simple since you would be making a number of batches for these.
A big large photo frame makes for great likes on Facebook photos. Dig out a large cardboard sheet, cut it into a frame and paint it to your theme’s color. Add more theme elements on the sides of the frame. Prop it near the party table and wait for the guests to pick it up and click away.
The Party Table
This is the center point of the party- where the guests will gravitate most. It is here that most pictures would be taken. Make it the star of the show.
The cake should be placed in the middle of the table. Fill in the rest with party hats, cup cakes and other snack-able treats. Make sure these compliment the theme of your party. Using the right colors could be just enough if you don’t want to put too much effort.
The party should ideally be higher than the average dining table- it should cut off at the waist (for times that we forget the tummy tuck during the cake cutting ceremony). If you don’t have one, use your ironing board (really). This video shows how.
How to plan a theme birthday party at home