how to plan a birthday party
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How To Plan A Birthday Party: Planning Your Child’s Birthday Party When You’re Neurodivergent

There’s nothing worse than the impending doom of knowing you have to plan ahead for the onslaught of adorable tiny terrors causing chaos in your house.

But for many neurodivergent parents, especially those with ADHD and ASD, the anxiety is often unbearable. As a result, spending weeks obsessing over a birthday cake and candles only to forget to buy anything to light the candles with is a headache we can all relate to!

So we’ve compiled a few tips that’ll help make the planning process a piece of cake for everyone involved! What’s more, you can use many of these tips as a party checklist for other events too like baby showers and even grown-up birthday parties!

Start by Deciding on a Date for the Party

One of the first things you’ll want to do when planning a birthday party for kids is deciding on a date. This can be tricky because you’ll need to work around kids activities that are already scheduled, but it’s important to consult with at least 1 or 2 of your child’s friends’ moms to get a good idea of what date works for everyone.

Once you have a few potential dates in mind, pick the one that would work best for you and your family and go from there! Don’t worry about finding a date and time that works for everyone-this is usually impossible. Just try to find one that will work well for most people (well, the ones you want on the guest list to actually turn up!)

Before booking a venue, make sure that the date is available. Venues tend to fill up quickly, so it’s important to reserve your spot as soon as possible! One thing to keep in mind is that if the party is going to be held on the upcoming weekend, it might be a good idea to order extras the venue has to offer in advance.

Decide on the Theme of the Party

After picking a date, it’s time to start thinking about party themes! Your child may have ideas of their own or they may not be interested in having a theme at all- either way is okay. If they’re not interested in any themes, consider going with something general like ‘Jungle Animals‘ or ‘Outer Space’. But if they are interested in specific themes, take their suggestions into account and go from there.

When planning your child’s birthday party, it is important to decide on the theme before you start shopping. This will help to guide your decisions and make the process easier. Plus, it can be a lot of fun for your child to choose a theme that they love!

Some popular themes include superheroes, pirates, undersea adventures, princesses/castle parties, and trains. You can also go with a more general theme like “birthday bash” or “celebrate.” Once you’ve decided on a theme, start looking for party decorations and supplies that fit the bill. Amazon offers a variety of decorations and party games to keep your guests entertained.

A themed party is a great way to get the ball rolling and set the tone for an exciting celebration. It can also make things easier for you when it comes time to decorate–you’ll know exactly what look you’re going for! And don’t forget about personalized touches; monogrammed napkins and creative photo ops are easy ways to make your guests feel special.

Bunting birthday decorations on a yellow wall
Birthday decorations add that little extra atmosphere to your special day!

Send Invitations

The best way to send invitations is through a mix of methods. You can send snail-mail invitations, email invitations, social media invitations, or text messages. It all depends on your audience and what you think will be most effective.

If you want to make the invitation more personal and cohesive with the event, consider sending out themed invitations. This can add a special touch that people will appreciate.

Another option is to use digital invitations. They are more environmentally friendly than physical invitations and they take less time to create. You can also track RSVP’s and send reminders through digital invites via special party planning apps and websites with built-in guest lists. 

Two young brothers smiling at the camera with their arms around each other celebrating at a birthday party
Everyone has that special someone that makes their birthday a day to remember!

Plan the Food and Drinks

When you’re planning a birthday party, one of the most important things to think about is what food and drinks you’ll serve. You don’t want to be running around at the last minute trying to price out items or scrambling to put together a meal.

One way to make sure everything goes smoothly is to plan out your food and drink options in advance. That way, you can shop for groceries and have everything ready to go when the party starts.

Here are some tips for choosing food and drinks for your child’s birthday party:

-Price out all the food and drinks before the party begins. This will help you stay within your budget.

-Plan for last minute purchases like bags of ice. You never know when you might need them!

-Select foods that can be prepared in advance or easily put together on-site. This will save you time on party day.

-Food for a kid’s birthday party should be interactive, such as making your own pizzas or decorating cupcakes. It’s more fun that way!

-Food for a kid’s birthday party can also include juice and water served in fun straws that bend or have stripes on them!

Young girl in dungarees blowing out candles on a birthday cake with cherries on top
Don’t forget the all important birthday cake!

Plan the Games and Activities

When planning your child’s birthday party, it’s important to have a few extra games or activities planned in case things go more quickly than planned.

That way, everyone can enjoy the party! If you are hosting a birthday party, it is best that you get creative with the game or activity name – they don’t have to be Pinterest perfect! Remember that all parties should be fun for your guests – the kids!

Games, crafts, and activities are a great way to keep guests entertained, whether you’re having an outdoor party or an indoor one. Take note of the weather on the day to adapt for any last-minute changes (hello Summer rain!).

Also don’t forget the all important party favors! No party would be complete if party guests didn’t have a bag of treats to go home with!

A bouncy castle always goes down a treat!

Set Up a Gift Table

When you are setting up your gift table, make sure to have plenty of wrapping supplies on hand. This will include paper, bows, tape, and scissors. It’s also a good idea to set out a few large baskets or bins to collect the gifts as they are opened. This will keep the wrapping area neat and organized.

It’s also a good idea to set out a few large baskets or bins to collect the gifts as they are opened. This will keep the wrapping area neat and organized.

table of party favors for a little girl's birthday party
Themed party favors are an excellent finishing touch to a kid’s birthday party

Consider Hiring Party Planners

If you find you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – there are ways to make this process easier. One option is to borrow decor from another event and simply style it to suit the mood and feel you want to create for the perfect party. Another option is to put out all the decorations beforehand so that guests will be able to enjoy their meal before final touches are put on the venue.

Another option is to hire a party planner. A dedicated event planner can organize the whole day for you from start to finish so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing! It also means you can become the ultimate party host and enjoy the special day with your loved ones without having to worry about burning the pizza in the oven!

Young adults enjoying a birthday party, amazed at the chocolate birthday cake that's presented to the birthday girl.
Adults can enjoy birthday parties too, remember!

Final Touches

The final touches on planning the perfect kids birthday party are non-negotiable. This means that you should have everything prepared before the guests arrive. Whether this means putting out centrepieces and flowers beforehand or setting up the food table, these details need to be taken care of ahead of time.

Creating a timeline for every 10 to 15 minutes can also help take some pressure off the planning process. This way, you’ll know what’s happening and when it’s happening without having to constantly check in on things. And if something does go wrong, don’t worry – as long as you’ve planned well, your guests will never know!

Keep reading for more amazing tips to make your neurodivergent life that little easier!

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Neurodadversity
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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