How To Plan A Kid's Party For Today's Tech-Savvy Parents

Planning a party for your child can be a daunting task. How can you plane the perfect party, document the event, and share the memories? Luckily, with new innovations in social media, all this has never been easier. Check out these tips from PartyPail's birthday party planning experts.

The basic steps for party planning

Establish your budget
Talk to your child about what's important to them so you can prioritize costs. Calculate how much you can afford and stick it. Average party cost: $100 - $200.
Decide of a theme
Pick something your child is excited about; their favorite book or TV character, animal, or sport would be a good start. You could also choose an activity-based theme, like a tie-dye party.
Pick a location
Having the party at home is more convenient and affordable than facility rental. if your home is too small for all the guests or is not childproofed, consider moving the party to a park, pool, roller-rink, bowling alley or other fun place.
Prepare for activities
Make sure to plan enough activities to last the whole party, with extra time for socializing and eating.
Plan out a menu
Keep the cake and ice cream, but include string cheese, fresh produce, pretzels, etc. So sugar isn't the only option. if the party spans a mealtime, do something easy, like PB&J sandwiches or pizza. Make sure to check with parents for food allergies beforehand!
Send out invitations
Be sure to include any special instructions (like date, time, location, directions and whether or not to bring a present, or to dress up for the theme). Don't forget your phone number for RSVPs (répondez s'il vous plaît, means - Please reply/respond)!
Try an online invitation service like to distribute invitations and manage your RSVPs. No more searching for that scribbled list of guests on party day!. Use Google-Maps to pin the location of the party, then share the map electronically with invitees to prevent lost guests.
Party day
Be flexible. if an activity flops or a prize get broken, suggest an alternative and keep the party going. Recruit help from adult friends, parents, family members, or neighbors. Relax! This should be a fun day for you, too.

Help plan the party with social media

Use Facebook to stay connected and communicate with guests.
Out of ideas? Need chaperone help? Hit "New Message" in Facebook's messages tab and type the names of everyone who could help, then write up a brief message, asking people to "Reply All" when they respond. every one will know whether you've gotten the help you need or still need more!
Make a Facebook event from the Events tab, and include all the information you would on a normal invitation (date, time, etc.), plus an eye-catching picture and a descriptive paragraph about the party. Make sure to turn the privacy to "Invite Only" if you want the event to be exclusive. People can RSVP and ask questions right on the event page, and you can send updates easily and quickly!
Use Pinterest to brainstorm party ideas
Full of fun DIY (Do It Yourself) projects and inspiring photos, Pinterest is the perfect place to plan out a fun and invention party. Create a new board for your party ideas. Then search Pinterest for your party theme, or check out the "DIY & Crafts" and "Food & Drink" sections for ideas. Download the "Pin It" button onto your browser. Now you can pin any image on the internet that strikes your fancy! Check out party planning or DIY blogs for some great ideas.

Document the party using social media

Use twitter to talk about the party
During the party, you and your guests can tweet about the activities or any memorable moments. Use a party-specific hashtag such as #gwensbirthday2013 so that everything about the party is searchable, and use the "@" sign to talk to specific people. After the party, people can reminisce and post photos by using the specific hashtag.
Sharing photos from the party
Want to share party photos with family and friends? Here are some easy ways to do it with best photo sharing sites.
Facebook - Create a new album from your photo to, upload the party photos, caption them, add the time and place, and tag the guests that attended. Share, the photo album with your guests and friends on Facebook, or by email for people without social accounts. Always be conscious of people's privacy when sharing photos online. if you're posting pictures of other people or their children, please get their permission before sharing. You may also want to set up your social media privacy settings so that people you invite can see your party pictures.
Flickr - Instead of albums, Flickr is organized by tags. Select all you party photos and add a tag like "Steve's 7th Birthday". Use the "Add Note" button to put a sticky note on your picture that is visible when the viewer moves their cursor over it. This way, you can point out that cool DIY garland you made, or mention how delicious the cake in the photos was. Make sure to add your party guests. friends, and family as contacts so that they can automatically track your newest photos!
Instagram - Share photos in real-time by using Instagram, a free photo-sharing and editing program, which uploads your photos straight from your phone to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or the Instagram website. Add filters to make the photos more dynamic!
Tumblr - Upload your pictures to your Tumblr, tag them, and add a description! Again, you can make a party-specific tag so that people can search for images of the event, or use general tags to reach a wider audience.

Five amazing party elements you didn't know you needed until Pinterest

Hostess sushi : Use half a powdered donette, Swedish fish, and fruit roll-ups to make faux sushi that kids will love!
Watermelon shark punchbowl : A cunningly carved watermelon can serve as an exciting alternative to the traditional punch bowl.
Glow-in-the-dark cotton candy : Swirl cotton candy around a multi-colored glow stick for a treat that's delicious day or night!
Fruit balloons : Make realistic fruit shapes using balloons, twine, green paper, scissors, and tape. great for a garden party!
Rainbow cake in a jar : Separate out your cake batter, use food coloring to dye it, and then layer into one-pint canning jars and bake. Cute and simple!

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