Birthdays may only come once a year, but if you and your child like to take the creative aspect to the next level, it’s easy to underestimate the workload involved. Take these tips for less time, tears, and tidying-up!

1. Don’t waste the day making it.

This is your child’s day, not the cake’s! If food isn’t the main focus of the party, don’t waste hours on it when you could be partying it up with your kid!

2. Plan for the age level of your guests.

Frosting-tipped pretzels
Fruit kebabs are great in theory. But if you give pointy sticks to a large group of six-year-olds, someone’s bound to lose an eye. Frosting-tipped pretzel sticks, on the other hand, make for much wiser snacking.

Picture from: http://torispelling.com/2013/03/foodista-weekend-recipes-the-kids-can-make/

3. Serve non-messy foods.

Is this an indoor party or an outdoor party? Plan accordingly. Sloppy joes are easy to make in bulk, but cleaning them out of your carpet in bulk is… less easy.

4. Make something you can prepare in advance.

Rice Krispie treats, for example (or Trix cereal treats, as my aunt recommends), can be made the night before, as long as you seal them up tightly with clear wrap.

5. Apply cookie cutters!

Mouse-Ke-Dillas

Mickey Mouse-shaped quesadillas, sandwiches, or watermelon slices are so easy to prepare, and so fun to present! By the way, ham and cheese sandwiches will keep in baggies much longer than PB&Js will (the sogginess factor), in case anyone wanted to know.

Picture from: http://itsybitsyfoodies.com/mickey-mouse-clubhouse-birthday-party/
 

6. Create wisely (and cheaply)!

Fruit Cone Cup

No need to spend hours decorating cupcakes! These fruit cones are satisfying and very inexpensive, depending on what you fill them with. And the mess is minimum!

Picture from: http://wheredowefindthetime.com/fruit-cones/

7. Disposables

At the end of the day, wouldn’t it be so satisfying to gather the mess up in a large, plastic, disposable table cloth, never to be seen again?

8. Let the kids do the work!

Mini Pizza Bagels

Seriously, just provide some ingredients for mini pizzas, lay out plain bagels, and let the kids go nuts! Easy as pizza pie.

Picture from: http://400caloriesorless.com/?tag=mini-pizza-bagel

9. Splurge a little.

If cooking just isn’t your thing, call in for pizza! You’ll get maximum satisfaction from your guests (of all ages), not to mention a few extra minutes to sit down and relax. No doubt your creative energy will be greatly appreciated in places besides the kitchen.

10. Get help!

Come on, someone in your neighborhood owes you a favor or two. If you know someone whose talents lie in the culinary arts, you can even offer them a deal: They cook for your kid’s party and you’ll supervise games come their kid’s party. That’s what neighbors are for, right?

 

Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:
In 52 School Lunches Torres shares new ideas, twists on old standards, and inspiration for your kids’ lunches. She turns leftovers into lunch, provides some make-ahead recipes, and re-thinks ...
52 School Lunches (App)

Laura Torres