LuCk {5 Simple Rules to Planning a Birthday Party}



There is an art to throwing a successful toddler party, and it has very little to do with Pinterest. I’ve been throwing grown-up parties for years and years B.C. (Before Chuck); however, a signature cocktail and a killer playlist are not going to win you any “mother-of-the-year” awards.  I have come to terms with the fact that a successful party now means something entirely different.

From September to June I manage to entertain and educate a classroom of children for 8 hours a day with relative success. However, even as a self-proclaimed planner, the very thought of entertaining a group of preschoolers (and their parents) for an entire 90 minutes terrifies me to. the. core.

Now that I’ve thrown a few birthday parties for my daughter and others, I’ve accepted the chaos that is the preschooler birthday party and embraced it. I try to pick our party themes based on things that my daughter likes. This year, the little lady LOVES pizza and mustaches – so, we decided to combine these two things and have a pizza chef party!

Here’s how I planned Chuck’s Pizza Party!

Rule 1 {Keep Them Happy}
A party is a celebration of your son or daughter. As such, the main idea here is to keep everyone happy. This should be your mantra.

Rule 2 {Keep It Simple}
Yes, I like to have a bit of fun with the details of my daughter’s parties. Yes, I may have or may not have made hundreds of pom-pom cupcakes for her second birthday party (it was a cupcake decorating party, after all), and I may have gone a bit over-the-top when I threw a “just because” Fairy Garden Party. But I’m not going to lie to you: I LIKE doing these things. I like adding homemade touches to just about anything. Yes, I also love to see the smile on Chuck’s face, but I’d probably get the same smile if I did something simple and just inflated a few balloons and sang “Happy Birthday.” I don’t do it FOR me, but I do it BECAUSE I am me.

With that said, I am a big fan of keeping things simple. At the heart of this celebration was a simple pizza party. Hey, it’s a classic for a reason.

We had a simple activity: Making pizzas
We had simple games: “Pin the Mustache on the Chef”
We had simple food: Pizza, fruit, & cake
We had simple favors: Chocolate lollipops


Rule 3: {Keep It Moving}
The teacher part of this mama knows how important having a lesson plan truly is. I pretty much treat a birthday party the same way. So, I lesson plan my kid’s parties. It goes a little something like this:

11:00-11:15: Entry Activity
11:15-11:45: Main Activity
11:45-12:15: Food & Cake
12:15-12:30: Present and Favors

Here’s how it worked for Chuck’s Pizza Party:

Entry Activity: Raw Pizza Dough & Coloring Placemats
Since no one ever arrives at the same time (hey, we all have kids, I get it) I love to have an open-ended entry activity for everyone to get involved with right away. Busy hands are happy hands.

I took a page right out of our favorite Friday night pizzeria. Using simple pizza clip-art, We created coloring placemats for each of the kid’s chairs. This got them right in, engaged, and entertained. If coloring wasn’t their thing, then each place also had a ball of pizza dough to play with. .

Main Activity: Pizza Making
Once all our chefs had arrived (and were properly attired in their chef hats and mustaches), everyone got their own pizza crust and toppings. We love getting kids involved in the kitchen for a whole bunch of reasons (some of them you can read about here.) I also had “Pin the Mustache on the Chef” set up as kids finished pizza making.

Food & Cake
Please see {Rule 4} below.


Presents & Favors:
As a mom, this part of the party always terrifies me a bit. Then I saw the look of disappointment at Chuck’s First Birthday from her little friends who wanted to WATCH her open up her gifts. Over time, I’ve realized that my fear was classic adult over-thinking. Kids love watching to see what their friends are opening almost as much as they love giving a gift. Its also a great time to practice our acts of gratitude and social skills in general. Do it, don’t do it.  It’s up to you. But, just don’t be afraid of it.

Rule 4 {Keep Them Fed}
Angry + Hungry = Hangry.  A room full of hangry preschoolers isn’t a pretty site. So, have something that you know will work for everyone. This isn’t the time for fussy foods, this is when you pull out the hotdogs, pizza bites, and mac n’cheese.

For this party we obviously had to have pizza! Just to balance things out a bit, we had some fruit salad and snacks to munch on as well.

Rule 5 {Keep Calm}
It’s a party, have a little fun! Someone doesn’t feel inspired to make a pizza today? That’s fine. Someone shows up 45 minutes late? That’s fine too. Whatever happens at the party is meant to happen at the party.GiftsCollage

So, Keep Calm and Party On! Do you have any tips to add?

Cupcakes: TK Cakes
Decor: Pizza Cutouts and Banners: Leslis Designs
Printed Materials: LuCk Original Design

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Hi, we're Karen & Ally. Karen is the proud mama of Lucas. Ally is raising a feisty little lady named Charlotte, aka Charley, aka Chuck. Karen and Ally have a combined total of over 20 years of working in Education. We love to play with {and occasionally without}our kids. We love to see our children messy, giggling, and covered in fun {except for glitter, that's where we draw the line}. We consider themselves LuCky to be mothers. And that's how we came up with our blog, LuCk (little bit Lucas, little bit Chuck). 3 Things About Ally & Karen If my life were a TV show, it would be titled : Ally: Make n' Mingle Karen: Eat & Run Or, 2 Moms That MAke More of A Mess Than Their 2 Kids Other blogs regularly followed: Ally: Scary Mommy, OhJoy, & Not Martha Karen: OmNom Favorite thing to do in your spare {ha!} time: Ally: Debate going to the gym until it's too late and I don't have the time to go to the gym, train for my next 5K, start a project I found on Pinterest that I'll never have time to finish. Karen: Think of a new way to include peanut butter into my diet, run, repeat. Together we take momcations to Target!


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