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P&K How To: How To Plan a Birthday Party

By Leah Kackley

Some folks are geniuses at party planning. Some are woefully inadequate (raising my hand here!). But all parents are likely to have to plan one at some point. To get the best advice, I went to Emily Myers Garner who has made a career out of event planning because of her immense talent with it. So, are ARE YOU READY TO (plan the) PARTY? Here are her tips:

1 Pick a Theme

What is on your child’s current “favorites” list? If he loves animals, consider a party at your local zoo. If he loves baseball, consider taking him and a few of his friends to a local ballpark. Another option is to plan an “active” party. Think karate, gymnastics, ballet, cheer.

2 Who to Invite

During the school year, invite classmates. Summer birthdays leave you more leeway. Include only boys OR girls to limit the party size. Another option is to limit the number of guests to the child’s age. For example, if your son is turning 9, he can invite 9 friends.

3 Make the Size Appropriate

See above. If the party is big and you still haven’t invited family, consider hosting a special birthday dinner in your home just for them. It allows for quality time with older relatives and can be better for the relatives as well. It can be as simple as having a pizza and popcorn-fueled Movie Night!

4 Budget Hacks

What’s most important? Cake? Activity? Location? Decrease costs that aren’t the priority and focus on the Focus. Creative hacks include purchasing a large sheet cake from the grocery store and personalizing it at home – let your child help! Combine the activity and the party favor. Limit food and beverage by not hosting the party around a meal time, or make the food and beverage the actual party! (Think ice cream sundae party.)

Last minute things for the checklist include birthday candles, cake knife and lighter. Check the guest list for food allergies. Get help from family and friends! And Emily sums it all up by reminding us that it’s just a two-hour party. Relax and Have Fun!


About The Author

Leah O'Gwynn Kackley

Leah O'Gwynn Kackley grew up in the Reservoir/Brandon and Jackson area. She holds a Mathematics degree from Mississippi University for Women where she was also a soloist with the dance department. Now, she lives with her husband, Jason, in the Rez/Fannin area and homeschools their busy kids. In her rare free time, she is also a photographer and owns Sanomo Photo, named for Sarah, Noah, and Molly - her favorite students ever. They all attend Grace Primitive Baptist Church.

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