How to make joint birthday parties for kids work
Organising birthday parties aren’t always easy, coordinating everything, hoping you get all the RSVPs back. And then the cost. Because even doing a DIY old fashioned birthday party at home can be pricy. But not everyone wants birthday parties held at home which means the costs rise again. And with many parents both working it’s hard to find time to organise them. So a joint birthday party is a great way to half the costs and half the effort.
We’ve done a few joint birthday parties over the years. Ranging from full class parties to just a handful of friends. There’s so many benefits for the parents, the birthday children, and the party goers.
Benefits of having joint birthday parties for children
1, You half the cost, meaning you might be able to do a bigger party than you might be able otherwise.
2, There’s usually half the effort involved if you can split the work evenly
3, It means party goers only have 1 day taken up instead of 2 days for individual parties
4, Better party bags – there could be economies of scale buying more for a bigger party, or sharing the cost means better party bag gifts.
5, Less cake eating up afterwards because both birthday children can share the leftovers
6, If the children have mutual friends, you might be able to invite a broader choice of children or you might be able to have a smaller party because you’re not having to invite as many individual friends
7, Friends get to share being a birthday child together
8, Children sharing a party learn that a birthday party isn’t always just about them
9, More chance of getting photos because it’s not just 1 parent doing everything at the party.
10, More creative ideas as there’s more people inputting
Tips for organising and hosting a joint party
Joint birthday parties still take a lot of work, and unless you never want to be friends again, both sides organising the party need to get on and both share the load.
To avoid the children wanting totally different themes, discuss ahead of agreeing, and if they don’t like the same themes, then decide for them. One year we had N wanting a farm party and his friend wanting a car party but we ended up with a science party instead..
Think out of the box. One theme can have lots of different directions. Avoid a really specific party theme or activity unless you only want them inviting a handful of children.
2, Have a clear plan and tasks
So you know who’s doing what task you need a plan and a way for both to access it whenever needed.
Work up all the tasks, group them into topics, and split the work between you.
Spreadsheets are your friends. I always use excel and just email it round, but Google Docs are great for sharing online.
3, Keep communicating
Joint parties mean you have to let the other parent know what you’ve progressed. There’s not much excuse now there’s fast free messenger services as well as email, text and phones. But there’s no point doubling up.
4, Be friends
There can be frustrations when things don’t progress, or if one side can’t do as much as the other. So doing a joint party with someone you hardly know isn’t a great idea. As for the children, if they’re not friends you lose many of the benefit
5, Use your strengths
I’m not that creative and the OH never helps with parties, so having joint parties mean I can stick to the logistical tasks like organising the food, or researching party activities, leaving the heavy work to the other dad and creatives to someone better than me (or get the kids involved).
6, Give the children options rather than free reign
Like any project, if you give too many people choices, it can get unwieldy. Ask the children what they want, then provide options for final decisions. And make sure they know that sometimes they have to let the other child win a decision over their own.
So far our joint parties have been a success, although we now tend to opt for smaller parties with just a few friends going out to something like bowling. But if your child has a birthday day around the same time as a friend, it’s worth discussing the possibility of doing joint birthday parties.
Have you done joint birthday parties for kids?
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