9 Quick Tips To Plan A Last-Minute Kid’s Party
by Ann Mifsud
Whatever the reason for your last-minute party plans, your kid deserves to take center stage, even if just for one day. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes, despite the bestest of intentions, things happen unexpectedly and your plans get postponed to the very last minute.
What are the must-dos for a last-minute kid’s party?
Quick tip 1: List the names of kids you want to invite.
Quick tip 2: Go for evites.
Quick tip 3: Choose a color-scheme for your decorations (if you have a theme, go with those colors).
Quick tip 4: List the rooms you will be using and that need cleaning.
Quick tip 5: Decide on the food you want to serve. Consider outsourcing.
Quick tip 6: Plan cake and/or cupcakes. Consider outsourcing as well.
Quick tip 7: Choose games.
Quick tip 8: List items for favor bags.
Quick tip 9: IMPORTANT: Get your kiddo a gift.
Looks easy, doesn’t it? Well, it had better be if your little one is looking you in the eye asking you when he or she can have friends over to celebrate that special day.
Fortunately, it is possible to throw a successful last-minute party for your kid. And if you don’t know where to start from, you are exactly where you should be. We at easykidsparties have got you covered with 9 super easy steps, that will get you to save time and worry.
1. Don’t fret! Plan instead!
If you have the tendency to panic and fret when pressed for time…DON’T…it won’t get you anywhere.
Instead, sit down, make yourself your favorite cup of tea or coffee and put your brain to work. Switch off any devices that may disturb you or put them on silent for the next 20 minutes or so…don’t worry you can survive this!
Start by deciding on a realistic number of guests you would like to have and list down their names. Seems simple right? But it has to be done. Keep in mind that this is a last-minute party so don’t go for big numbers as this may complicate things and compromise your success.
Also, think of guests who are more likely to accept your last-minute invitation!
2. Sending last minute invitations? Send Evites!
Planning stage over… you can switch on your devices! So you can get to send your evites! Probably your best bet is to personalize one using sites like evite.com that give you the possibility of choosing from a number of free evites.
Don’t forget anyone on the list who isn’t tech savvy though. Give them a call; they’re sure to appreciate a warm and personal invite.
Do acknowledge that this is short notice. Don’t pressure anyone to attend. Nobody likes it.
3. Quick party decor
Try and go for a color-scheme that includes the colors chosen for the evite but don’t be bound by them. Consider different hues of pink decorations and pink balloons for your girl, shades of blues for your party boy, or a mix of pastel or more vibrant colors if you are stuck. Add a touch of white, gold or silver for neutrals and you are sure to hit the mark.
Tips for quick party decor
Tip 1: Re-use or adapt decorations. Think of what you may already have available around the house that can be re-used or adapted, such as a generic ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Congratulations’ banner, buntings, balloons, plates, centerpieces, vases, tablecovers and fairy lights. Dig them up and get the rest of them from your local store…most would have in stock.
Tip 2: A vase of flowers and photos. Get your hands on a bunch or two of sweet-smelling flowers. They work magic and bring any vase to life. A couple of cute photo frames in the room will make anyone who notices them smile.
Tip 3: Dance to the music. Choose some music to set the tone. Be it a baby-shower or a Disney-themed party, you are sure to find song lists online that you can play in the background or during games’ time.
4. Cleanup? Everybody clean up!
Don’t clean all your house!
It’s impossible and will only get you to look tired by the end of it, allowing you very little energy or zest to enjoy the party itself. Not worth it! Your guests will want to be welcomed by a smiling host…we all know it…genuine smiles (not fake ones), work wonders and put party guests at ease.
You are probably going to be using the ‘party room’ (be it the living, dining or combined), the kitchen, hallway and very importantly…the bathroom. So…
Quick house clean up for last a minute kid’s party
Step 1: Set yourself on tidying any toys and things running around these rooms that should not be there. Store them in a box to put away later. Kids can help with this. Make it fun and competitive and consider rewarding whoever manages to pick up the most items.
Step 2: Vacuum or sweep the floors. If one of your kids is old enough or you have family who can help, you can delegate this too.
Step 3: Clean the kitchen: countertops, stove and oven. Tuck away anything that can go in the dishwasher.
Step 4: Whizz through the bathroom, scrub bath/shower, sink and toilet. Make sure there are extra rolls of toilet paper handy, refill any soap dispensers and prepare fresh hand towels.
Step 5: If you plan on having a backyard party, you would also want to have that looking presentable, albeit not spotless.
5. What food should I serve at my last-minute party?
Probably your best bet if you are pressed for time is to order a handful of pizzas from your nearest pizza place and have them delivered to your door. Practically all guests love pizza, young and old. They somehow always do the trick. So a handful of Margheritas for the kiddos and a few assorted ones for the adults will soon have everybody all smiles with full and happy tummies.
If outsourcing food is not your thing, then go for some easy-to-make finger food. Don’t complicate things. Mini hotdogs for kids and larger ones for the adults, bowls of popcorn, colorful punch, ice-cream, jars of sweets, cupcakes, cake pops and cake will delight all your guests.
Should you want to provide something healthy, present your guests with a peanut butter or avocado dip, and a combination of carrot, celery sticks or broccoli florets for dipping. On another serving plate, offer tomato, basil and mozzarella on sticks.
A nice bowl of fresh fruit salad will satisfy sweet tastebuds too. Superlicious and super easy! Win-win!
For drinks, buy soft drinks from your local store. Or have guests avail themselves from homemade flavored water by adding some lemon or orange rinds to a jug of water. You could also serve a second with strawberry and mint leaves. These will not only quench their thirst, but will also look lovely on your table.
6. What about the cake for my last-minute kid’s party?
It is advisable to check your local stores. Some would be happy to have you send them a picture of how you would like the kid’s cake to be and have it ready for you to pick up within 24 hours. Worth the try!
And while you’re at it, order a dozen cupcakes to go with it. Hassle free!
If you would rather bake your own, remember to keep it simple! This is key! Time is not on your side, so go for a basic cake recipe and straightforward decorating.
It’s amazing what melted chocolate and a packet or two of colorful hundreds and thousands can do. Cut out a large number of your kid’s age or his/her name and sprinkle the jimmies around.
Alternatively, cover in fondant and cut out hearts, balloons, animals, sea-life, cars, stars, flowers using a different colored fondant to the background. It may look simple but surely equally amazing just the same.
Don’t forget the candles!
7. What party games can I plan for a last-minute party?
Fortunately, we at easykidsparties.com can help here too and save you wrecking your brains on how to entertain your young guests.
Go for a handful of classic ones, that don’t need hours of preparation or special tools, like pin-the-tail on whatever, musical chairs, musical statues, pop my balloon before I pop yours and egg-on-the spoon relay. Go here for the best 10 classic kids party games.
If your budget is not an issue, you may also wish to outsource entertainment by bringing in a magician to wow your kid and the other young guests. You could also consider renting a bounce house. Click on our comprehensive guide here, that includes all the details you need to consider and questions you may have on bouncing castles. Oh, wouldn’t the kids have a ball of a time? It’s true it’s short notice, but there’s no harm in trying your luck.
8. How do I make successful last-minute favor bags for sweet goodbyes?
If you have some translucent bags, this will be easy too. Just fill them in with a handful of treats you can buy from any local store…a fancy pencil and a fancy eraser, party bubble bottles, a handmade bead bracelet or necklace which your own kid can prepare, a whistle and a pack of cards from the latest kids’ collectible album.
Another option is to have the little guests fill up their own party bag from the selection of sweet jars you would have presented on the food table. Make sure you have plenty to go round. Way-to-go!
9. Gift for the party kid!
You may have already thought of this before, but just in case, it’s worth reminding. Don’t leave your kid without a memento of the day. If you haven’t had the time, just pop in any toy store in the area while you are running around to get your other items.
Alternatively use Amazon if you have Amazon Prime and have it delivered to your door, provided there are enough hours before the party.
Final thoughts on organizing a last-minute kid’s party
Planning is always key, even more so if you are tight for time. A few minutes of fine and proper planning will make the difference on whether your last-minute party is a success or a flop. You really can do this!
Keep calm, think positive and act swiftly. Keep an open mind and consider outsourcing food and cake given the time constraints. Restrain yourself, if you must, from cleaning the entire house and just focus on the areas that will be used.
And after having been all revved up for at least 48 hours or so, it’s time for you to relax, sit back and enjoy some good time with your guests and seeing those ear-to-ear smiles of your little one and invited friends. Make sure to take plenty of photos on the day.
And one last thing, give yourself a good pat on the back, for what seemed to be an impossible feat, has turned out into an ultimate last-minute kid’s party! Hip-hip hooray!
Hi I'm Ann
Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea. Discover more...
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