It is March and next month it will be my daughter’s 4th Birthday. Whew, I can’t believe it that my teeny-tiny baby is going to be 4 years old. She is growing into a fascinating person and every time I doubt my skills as a parent, she does something amazing to make me feel that I must be doing something right.
You might have already read about how we had a simple princess birthday party at home for her 3rd Birthday and while it was SO much fun I need to plan a little something more elaborate for her 4th Birthday. It will still be an at-home birthday party but just a little well-planned (hopefully). So as I am planning my daughter’s birthday party through the month, it was natural for me to choose Kids Birthday Party as the theme for the blog posts all through March. That means you can look forward to the complete guide on How to plan a birthday day in India for your kids.
Planning a Kids Birthday Party in India
What’s a kids’ party without a theme!! And boy are you spoilt for choices! From their favorite book to animals to the TV show they like the best, you can go to town with party themes. Do consider your child’s personality while choosing the theme. Also keep in mind whether the decorations and party supplies for the theme you have chosen will be easily available in India.
The theme will help you in deciding what kind of party space you need, the decorations you will require and also the return gifts can be theme based. Some of the most popular birthday party themes in India are Farm animals, Under the sea, Princess or Barbie, Chhota Bheem, Angry Birds, Fairy, Hello Kitty, Cars, Dora the explorer, Madagascar, Beach party, Doraemon etc.
Set A Budget
While it easy to go overboard while planning your child’s birthday ( been there done that), it is very important to set a budget and stick to it while planning a birthday party. Remember, you will be having birthday parties every year for many years to come ( for more than one child too) so set expectation levels accordingly. Once you have a budget in mind everything else can be strategized and planned accordingly.
Select a Location, Date and Time for the Party
While we are going ahead with a party at home it might not be the choice for everyone. Popular party locations are Clubs with parks and pools, Banquet halls, Kids’ activity centers, local restaurants like McDonald’s or Pizza Hut etc. Keep in mind your child’s age, the season and weather and of course your budget while choosing the location.
While ideally the birthday should be celebrated on the day of the birth, it is not uncommon for parents to defer it to a date which is convenient for everyone like a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon. The duration of a kids’ birthday party should not be more than 3 hours especially if you don’t them to end up being cranky or moody in the middle of the party.
Guest list and Invitations
You need to narrow down whether you are going to invite relatives, friends, school friends etc. In my experience for toddlers it is best to have a guest list of around 10-15 kids. You can invite their moms also so that you can mingle with them. You are not obligated to invite all of your child’s school friends but do ask around other parents to know what is the common practice.
You can either make handmade invitations or order them according to the theme. You can also find many online printable party invitations and if you find one that suits your theme then you can print them off. Don’t forget to mention the RSVP details so that you have a better idea of how many people would turn up which will help you in preparing food and return gifts etc.
Kids Birthday Party Menu
Unless you are using caterers for the party it is very important to sit down and write down the exact menu you would be using for the party. Having a menu will help you in planning your grocery list and shopping list for the party and will save you both money and time.
You can either order or make a birthday cake according to the theme. Keep the food simple, non-messy and definitely kid-friendly. Think bite-sized, simple flavored finger foods. Keep the menu a balance of healthy and junk food, after all it is a party! Mini Pizza, Fruit kebabs, Chicken/Soy Nuggets, Shaped sandwiches, cake pops, cupcakes, juice boxes, french fries etc are loved by kids. If you are also expecting adults at the party then keep 2-3 food items which will be liked by them.
Decorations, Activities and Return gifts
Once you have your theme in place you can accordingly select decorations, activities for kids and party favors or return gifts. For decorations you can go for theme colored balloons, streamers, table clothes, party hats, plates and cups etc. You can also go for character cutouts, centerpieces, tableware, confetti and lots more.
For children in the age group of 1-3 years, it is best to go for impromptu activities like dancing, blowing bubbles, coloring, pretend play etc rather than organized activities. For older kids you can plan activities like treasure hunt, DIY kits, musical chairs or statues, passing the ball, tug of war, prepared dances etc. Most importantly keep it short, simple and fun!
Return gifts are a recent trend and although as children we used to get an occasional chocolate or some sweets as party favors, now the birthday have gone crazy with return gifts. From board games, art kits, personalized cushions, bags, custom cupcakes, the choices are unlimited. But as with everything else, stick to your budget and create goody bags that are age appropriate and at parity with other kids.
The next few posts will give you more details, tools and helpful kids birthday party ideas on how to plan a perfect birthday party. So keep watching this space.
For her 3rd birthday we had planned to have a grand party at our new home but as the saying goes “While the man is planning, God is laughing”. The house work is still not complete and we are looking at another three weeks of staying put at my parent’s house.
With all the running around choosing stuff for the new house, I was not in the mood to have an elaborate birthday party like the previous two years. Simply because I didn’t have the energy to pull off a party which would involve loads of planning, sending birthday invitations, buying return gifts, deciding the catering and making small talk with umpteen number of guests.
So, we decided to have an at home birthday party/playdate with Samaira’s closest cousins all of whom happen to be girls. When I was thinking about the theme my daughter mentioned that she wanted a princess birthday. That was it and I got to work. In fact it just took me two days to get the whole party arranged. It was so much fun that I kept thinking why didn’t we do this earlier. Here are the details:
Although most of the dresses are quite blingy I found one which was subtle yet princessy. I also bought matching shoes, hairband, bracelet and necklace. Oh, I might add that Sam herself chose the necklace.
The same day we received a wonderful surprise from my in-laws who sent loads of presents for Sam and which included this angelic dress in white which was just perfect for a princess birthday. The dress has pink cloth petals strewn inside the net of the dress which made it look so wispy and quaint.
I bought a princess birthday banner and put up some paper birthday decorations and pink and white balloons. The result was a simple but cute ambience. My dad called it quite 80s but Sam loved it and I think it is us parents who want to shove these extravagant birthdays with huge cutouts, bouncy castles and outrageous decor. Kids just want balloons, lots and lots of them.
I also made a small indoor princess den using chairs and my duppattas, in which the kids could go into and have princessy talks. It was such a hit with the kids and Sam made sure that I didn’t pull it down for the next two days.
I didn’t keep any planned activities for the kids. I just gave them small kits with crayons, pencil colors, stickers, cardpaper etc and asked that each kid make a card for the other two. The kids made beautiful designs and decorated them with stickers for each other. It was lovely to see all these little cousins bonding.
I also gave them coloring sheets, I had a jumbo coloring book for Samaira which I bought at the World Book Fair and I photocopied three different sets of various coloring sheets.That kept the kids busy and we moms got to gossip. Everyone was happy.
Although I wanted a disney princess photo cake but that didn’t happen because of a goof-up at the bakery. We settled for a simple but beautiful barbie cake. It also taught me that next time I must go for one of those personalized birthday cakes by a home-based baker.
Since it was a small party with less than 15 people we just bought the food from outlets. Mcdonald Happy meals for kids (Junk food allowed on birthdays) and Indian snacks for the adults.