how to plan an ok birthday party (including a cupcake hack!)

This year our little Joy requested a Paw Patrol party for her third birthday, and as it seemed easy enough to execute I was happy to oblige her. I love celebrating my kid’s birthdays!

Kid’s parties can be expensive and elaborate things which can be fun and wonderful but they really don’t have to be expensive and elaborate. Sometimes you just do what you can do and that’s ok too. Personally, I’ve chosen to keep the bar low for myself because so far our kids are quite easy to please 🙂 Here’s how I managed it:

Two nights before the party, Addison and I took a little trip to the dollar store to stock up on party supplies. After some discernment of exactly how little Paw Patrol paraphernalia I needed to purchase for the party to qualify as a “Paw Patrol Party” to the three-year-old mind, I opted for the blowing thingies, special cups and napkins, some stickers, and my mom contributed a bunch of paw patrol helium balloons. I also grabbed a box of cake mix, a bag of frozen chicken nuggets and french fries, juice boxes, paw patrol themed fruit snacks and some mini Smarties boxes from a nearby grocery store.

The night before the party I whipped up a batch of cupcakes (I love cake mix!!) and hung the Happy Birthday sign while the kids slept. I probably also did a bit of tidying. While not the queen of clean, I do try to make things relatively tidy before having a bunch of kids over as it increases my chance of recovery afterward.

The morning before the party I iced and sprinkled the cupcakes. I also made some nifty cupcake toppers using a hack I discovered while preparing for my son’s Spiderman party last year. All you need are toothpicks and a multipack of relatively symmetrical stickers. Just attach two of the same sticker to either side of a toothpick, insert into the cupcakes and voila! You now have Paw Patrol cupcakes.

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Then you can use the other stickers from the pack (the non-symmetrical ones) to turn brown paper bags into fun Paw Patrol party bags. This was actually a fun little activity for Joy to help prepare for her party.

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Joy also helped me pack the goody bags with smarties and fruit snacks. Around 30 minutes before the party I threw the french fries and chicken nuggets into the oven. I tend to plan our parties around a meal time because I’m not great at games and entertainment. Food keeps everyone busy for a good chunk of the time. The guests consisted of siblings and a couple of Joy’s little friends and their mamas and even though it wasn’t the most amazing party ever produced, I’d like to think it was still a fun time. We sure love our three-year-old!

joy bday

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