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How to Throw a Low Stress – Last Minute Birthday Party for Your Toddler

With 4 kids, birthdays happen often. Between our kids, friends, school mates, church circle, play groups, and family – we are always celebrating someone’s birthday!

While I love throwing a good party – the truth is, with 4 kids – it’s tiring. Especially with March, April and May (then August) birthdays. Over the last few years, I’ve tamed my inner-creative being and strategically eliminated the key stress factors when throwing birthday shindigs. Let me let you in on my little secret….

I throw last minute birthday parties, on purpose.

Next weekend, we will be celebrating our toddler’s 3rd birthday. I didn’t even think about the party until this past Sunday and planned it for next Sunday.  Last year, the invite for his party was emailed 2 days before the actual party. It’s how we roll. Everyone we invited somehow showed up.

While I want the birthday party to be fun and cute – it’s last minute and low stress, here is how I do it.

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  • How to Throw a Low Stress – Last Minute Birthday Party 1 of 11
    How to Throw a Low Stress - Last Minute Birthday Party
    Click thru to learn 10 tips for making the birthday party planning process easy!
  • Send Evites 2 of 11
    Send Evites
    I personalize evites with a cute photo. For my son's upcoming superhero party, I photoshopped him in as a superhero. Quick, simple and best of all - FREE.
    evite.com
  • Collect Ideas All Year Long 3 of 11
    Collect Ideas All Year Long
    I love to decorate and put cute things together, but I don't have time to do all of it! I collect ideas year round on Pinterest - then hit up the board whenever it comes party time and find what is realistic. I find items that I REALLY want and plan them out the week of the event.
  • Keep it Practical 4 of 11
    Keep it Practical
    Last minute party - don't expect to be able to book a clown or a bounce house with little to no time. Not saying it can't be done - but be practical and low fuss. Last year we ended up purchasing a bounce house for the kids. It's lasted us a year (4 different birthday parties!) and works as a great energy drainer during our party off-season.
  • Easy and Cheap Party Related Items 5 of 11
    Easy and Cheap Party Related Items
    While I love to throw in a theme for birthday parties - when it comes to tablecloths, plates, napkins and cups - I keep it cheap. I buy plain colored party items from The Dollar Tree.
    image source: dollartree.com
  • Invite List 6 of 11
    Invite List
    With as large of a family as we have, our invite list is a few close friends and a whole lot of family. It works well for us and they all get that we are last minute people throwing a last minute party.
  • Food 7 of 11
    Food
    Costco and Sam's are your friends, use them! Find pre-cooked items or easy to prep meals like pizza, thrown together a taco bar or cheeseburgers. Keep it easy and prep what you can ahead.
  • Birthday Cake 8 of 11
    Birthday Cake
    I use to be all over a nice fancy cake - now a days, a cake is a cake is a cake. It will be eaten and my kid just wants candles on it and a song sang to him. I typically order something simple from our favorite little grocery store the day before. Something else I do, is order a small decorative cake and then cupcakes. For some reason my kids choose cupcakes over cake every time.
  • Enlist Help 9 of 11
    Enlist Help
    See this person? This is my sister. I am thankful that she is always willing to help and lives close by. Come party time, I know I can always count on her for any last minute things that come up. Plus, she knows I'll always return the favor when needed. Find help and be help when you can!
  • Remember the Purpose 10 of 11
    Remember the Purpose
    While I would love to say, the purpose of the birthday party is to get cute photos - it's to celebrate my son's birthday. Keep the main purpose in focus when things seem overwhelming.
  • Relax Come Party Time! 11 of 11
    Relax Come Party Time!
    Anything that doesn't get done won't matter after it's all said and done. Relax and enjoy the party. Your toddler will be grown before you know - enjoy these times!

How Far in Advance Do You Plan Birthday Parties?

Read more from Molly at Digital Mom Blog where she blogs technology, parenting and geekery.

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