10 Tips in Planning for Your Child's Birthday Party Posted on March 13, 2014

If you live in the Philippines, you know that your family and friends always expect you to celebrate your child's 1st and 7th birthdays. However, after attending numerous birthday parties of your friends’ kids, planning for your own party may not be as easy as it seems. 


1. Plan with Your Child in Mind.

The 1st Birthday Celebration is mostly about you and your husband since your baby will be too young to decide on things like the party theme, souvenirs, etc. As such, most of the decisions for the 1st birthday party will be based on what you & your husband want. However, always remember that your child should at least enjoy the party. As such, prepare a party where he/she will be able to participate. Having entertainers may not be the best option for your child since he/ she will not be able to interact with them and some end up being scared of entertainers such as mascots and clowns due to their young age.  Planning activities for your child maybe more apt for the 1st birthday party. Having interactive games, game stations, opportunities for play are best at this stage.

It is important to consider your child’s personality and preference and plan a party where your child can be comfortable, be himself / herself, and have fun. It is important to plan a birthday party that will fit your child’s age and temperament and considers your family’s style and budget. What you saw in another party may not necessarily fit your child’s personality. Involve your child in planning his/ her party if they are old enough to join in the decision making process.

2. Stick within your Budget

Don't be pressured into throwing a huge party just because your friends have done that. Remember that each person has a different budget to work with. Some will be able to afford over-the-top parties. Others will opt for simpler celebrations. Remember that it’s all about being with your family and friends and more importantly your child. It’s not about how much you spend.

Be creative to manage your budget well. You can get many ideas from the internet. From there, you can decide whether you have enough funds to hire someone to do it for you or you’d like to make it into a DIY project. Either which way, you can still keep your original ideas without breaking the bank.

3. Choose a Party Theme.

Party themes will help you narrow down what you would like to do for your party. This way, you will only focus on getting the things revolving around the theme. There are many readily available themed-party favors available in malls and party shops.


4. Be Prepared and Research.

Have your ideas ready before going shopping for your party favors and decors. That way you don’t end up buying more than what you intended.  It will also be good to have a draft of your guest list prior to your shopping trip so that you have an idea of how many kids you want to invite. This way you know how much prizes or favors you need to get. This will spare you from having to make multiple trips to the store.


5. Look for the Best Bargains

Many bargain hunters know that Divisoria is THE best place to find bargains for your party – from decorations, favors to everything else that you may need. So before your trip have a clear idea of your theme and which party favors you want to purchase. For ease in shopping, you can just go around 168 mall. There are a number of stores selling party favors of various themes and toys. You may even buy decorations at cheap prices to create theme decors. So research on possible party ideas before you begin your shopping trip.


6. Choose a Venue

Looking for a venue can be quite challenging since there are quite a number of options. Parties at home will be less expensive and you can hold the party at whatever date and time that suits your family and guests. Getting a venue, however, can be exciting for your child and will make your job a lot easier.

You have a wide variety of venues to choose from. There are clubhouses, country clubs, functions rooms, event venues, hotels and a whole lot more options depending on your preference.

For clubhouses, these are usually bare so you may end up spending more just to decorate the place. Plus side though is that you can plan the party from scratch and really tailor fit it to your theme. Exclusive village clubhouses also require sponsors if you are not a resident (most also only allow accredited suppliers to service parties/events).

Country clubs will require memberships or member sponsorships before you can avail of their amenities.  These places normally require you to order food from them so it may be more expensive than the clubhouse option.

Various condominiums and office buildings have function rooms available for rent. These are like village clubhouses and are usually bare.

Event venues may be more expensive than the clubhouse or function room options. However, they usually have all the amenities you will need for your party which means that you only have to spend for a little more. Some event venues will require you to get their accredited suppliers though so it’s important to ask for a quotation based on your number of guests and other party requirements so you know up front how much your total bill may be before you book with them. Also check their policies and house rules as there may be some things you want for your party but the venue cannot accommodate them.

Take your time to canvass and study the pricing of different venues. Don’t be afraid or shy to ask questions. Some venues quote low prices but when you add on their extra charges, you end up paying more.

It’s important to choose an event venue that will be able to provide you with most of what you need. It may be a more expensive option than the clubhouses or function rooms but it will provide you with less hassle since most venues are a “one-stop shop”.

Hotels will be the most expensive option for you but they can also provide you with all the services you need for your event. If you have the budget and don’t want the hassle, the hotel option may work for you.

Most importantly, show your child the venue. If he / she is comfortable in it then chances are he/ she will have a blast during the day of the event. Some parents even have their less than 1 year-olds “choose” the venue for them. Babies are actually quite capable of letting us know if they like a place or not.


7. Choose your Menu

The beauty of throwing a children’s party is that you can get away with feeding people “kiddie party food” – spaghetti, fried chicken, barbeque – food that is more affordable than a full-blown catering menu. However, more and more people are being pressured into servings their guests rice and heavier meals. Remember to stick to your budget.

You may do the following options. You can serve everyone the same food. If your menu is the kiddie party food then that’s what everyone eats. Another option is to order food for the adults and prepare the kids food yourself. If you are only expecting a few kids, it may be easier to cook spaghetti and chicken or hotdog at home and bring it to your party. That way you are able to save on this expense. Others choose to order the food for the adults from a caterer and order the kiddie meals from their favorite fastfood provider. That way you make both the adults and kids happy.  Just make sure that the venue you have chosen will allow you to bring food from other suppliers or will allow you to bring your own food.

It is always better to order more food than the expected number of guests – bringing home leftovers is a better option than being stressed about running out of food during your party.


8. Confirm Your Guests’ Attendance

Yes, very few people in thePhilippinesknow the meaning of RSVP. However, it is important to confirm their attendance as Filipinos have a penchant for not showing up despite the invitation, showing up without confirming their attendance, or bringing extra people with them especially for children’s parties. Not many realize how this will cause you undue stress since they were not originally counted for your food orders and seating requirements.

Remember that with children’s parties, people tend to bring their yayas with them. Unfortunately, there are some who have a 1:1 ratio for their kids and yayas. As such, if you invite a family with 3 kids, tendency is they may bring 3 yayas as well. So it’s ok to ask how many they will be so you can plan accordingly. It’s even better if you can inform them how many seats you have reserved for them (yes, just like at a wedding) for better planning on your part as well as budget management.

9. Prepare for the Unexpected

As you get closer to your party date, expect the unexpected. These may be in the form of more people confirming than you had expected or there is bad weather coming in or the party date you chose may have been declared a long weekend. Regardless of what happens, keep in mind that what is important is for your child to celebrate the day with you. They will always remember the fun they had with you.

It is thus important for your venue to be located in a flood free environment and is equipped with its own power generator. Don’t be afraid or shy to ask about these important things. Contingencies will always be a good move.  

10. Relax

Remember the beauty of a children’s party is that it’s supposed to be fun and spontaneous. Therefore, don’t panic if you had prepared a program and it is not followed to the letter. This is not like your wedding where the flow of the program is very structured. Some families will be late, some will not show up. Some will even bring unexpected guests but at the end of the day, this is about your child and how much fun he/ she will have during the party. There’s nothing like hearing your child and your guests say – This is the best party EVER!