This was the first time I had tried this and I thought it worked really well, so I will share it with you. I don’t personally like long birthday parties…you know the kind. You think the party will be 1.5 – 2 hours and 3 or 4 hours later the party is over and you wonder where your day went and think of all the things you needed to get done during that extra hour or 2. I don’t want to sound all complain-y, but I am going to guess there are some of you who will agree with me. So, I always try to keep the party fun and on the shorter side (1.5 to 2 hours at the most). For this party, I put 1.5 hours on the invitation, so I really needed to be organized and keep things moving. (I really should have said it would be 2 hours.)
I made a ‘staging’ area, that makes me sound so official so we will call it my ‘staging’ area. My oh so fancy official staging area was my laundry room…now it doesn’t sound nearly as neat, does it? But it is easily accessible from my kitchen which, since ours is an eat-in kitchen, is where most of the action was going to take place.
|My Staging area – all ready for action!|
What I did to be ready for quick turns (a term from my flight attendant days…I’m sounding so professional today…haha) was to put all the things I needed for 1 activity on a cookie sheet ready to go. Our first activity, after coloring, was decorating the cookies.
On this tray, I had the bowls for the frosting, the frosting, sprinkles, knives, the cookies, a spoon for getting the frosting to the bowls, and in the 1st picture you can see that I added some containers for them to put their cookies in while they were sprinkling. Everything is together on 1 easy to grab tray, ready to go when needed. It worked great also because the person helping me knew to just grab the next tray or the tray for the cookies/craft, etc. While I was helping little girls with something he could set up and didn’t need to find out what we needed, etc. It felt so much easier and less chaotic this party and I think these trays are one reason why.
In the middle of the 2 trays, I placed the bean bags since they were my 2nd activity.
The last activity that I made one of these trays for was the Pascal Party Blower Craft(site is no longer available).
You can see that I had all the pieces and parts as well as the markers and glue sticks.
All in all, I really think having my official staging area helped keep me organized and on track with the party. I think we went over our 1.5-hour times listed on the invitation, but I know we did not go over the 2 hours. Now the bonus was that mommy’s friends who came wanted to stay and chat for a little while after the party. Being organized I felt like the house wasn’t a total wreck and it was easy to sit with them and enjoy some mommy time for a bit after the party. I also knew they knew the official party was over and they were free to go anytime…no waiting around for the cake at my house….so we got to relax and enjoy the great company of friends after the party! Sounds like a great success to me!