My goal with this online space is to always keep things functional and doable with a heaping side of style and fun. I believe it’s important to celebrate motherhood and family (the big and small things) but not at the sake of my sanity or relationships. A stressed out mom is no fun for anyone! Even if it’s all for a good cause, like say, Birthday parties. Considering the endless amount of pinterest-y photos, it can be easy to feel completely inspired to throw a picture perfect party and I so admire the mamas that can pull it off and enjoy the process (teach me your ways!), but in my experience attempting to do so is not very practical for my bank account or my life and only makes everyone cranky. In an effort to keep things simple but also special, here’s my short list of kid party must-haves that make the day of festivities so much easier along with a few pics from Poppy’s 4th Birthday party a couple weeks ago!

I would also really love to know what would make your must have kid-party list!


  1. BALLOONS | any and all balloons welcome because they add instant party vibes and are an inexpensive way to decorate. Sometimes I make a bundle of helium filled balloons and other times we grab a few packages from Target to blow up and throw around the party space for the kids to kick, hit and play with. Love these letter and word foil hanging balloons (here’s a gold version – party city also carries them) we used for Poppy’s party that don’t require helium (saves money) and doubled as a good photo backdrop…. festive, decorative and personalized! Rainbow pom-pom garland is from Target and will get used over and over again!
  2. ACTIVITIES | I mean, what good are decorations if the party goers aren’t having fun!? We were lucky to have the beach and water for endless entertainment but since the weather wasn’t that good we also put together a slime making station (Tilly’s idea and it was a huge hit!) and a “pin the sprinkles on the POP-TART” game (using a big chalkboard and paper ‘sprinkles’) which I forgot to snap a pic of and didn’t get played with, lol. There are lots of good games out there and you can’t go wrong with activity tables (so kids can participate when they feel like it). I’m a sucker for all the old school ones such as scavenger hunts, relays, duck-duck-goose, bobbing for apples, musical chairs, and anything that involves freezing :)
  3. SIMPLE BUT YUMMY FOOD | same goes with food as activities… if kids (or their parents) are hungry or you’re stressing out in the kitchen, does anything else even matter? I like to have a variety of finger foods and kid friendly snacks and then plan a crowd pleasing meal that I can either make or prep ahead of time (i.e. hamburgers + hot dogs, or anything that bakes in the oven or crockpot) or order (i.e. pizza) and for sides, anything that comes from a bag (i.e. salad and chips!). Bonus if I can get ALL OF IT at Costco which is how it worked out for Poppy’s party. Even the cake and drinks.
  4. ANYTHING THAT IS A BIG DEAL TO THE BIRTHDAY KID | maybe it’s a special theme or activity, but whatever it is I try to make it happen. Poppy didn’t have any requests this year but for Tilly it’s usually a cake request and special party favors, Ozzie was always about having his favorite foods, Espen wants to make sure certain friends can make it and Griffin LOVES a piñata.
  5. PARTY FAVORS | I usually go overboard with this because I love goodie bags and containers and helping the kids pick things out! But really a wand of bubbles and hand drawn signs are all you need to say “THANK YOU FOR COMING!”

(SOURCES | blue berry basket for the favors, kraft food boat, 1/2 lb size pictured)

Look at all these cute party animals!!! So thankful for all the sweet faces in this pic and their parents. We had so much fun celebrating Poppy!

Now, please spill all your tips, tricks and must haves for making birthday party magic… What would make your list?

XO, Rae


  1. Mary August 28, 2018 at #

    Do you give any “jobs” or special roles to your older kids for the party? I also have some bigger kiddos and littles. Sometimes they wander around a little lost at our parties for their younger siblings.
    Looks like such a sweet party. Great job!

    • rae September 1, 2018 at #

      Yes, not that they do them the entire party — they usually help with the set up and making goodie bags, signs, etc. Tilly really wanted to be in charge of the slime table for Poppy’s party which turned out well…. Sometimes we let them invite one of their friends too. Just depends. Hope that was helpful! It can be tricky! xoxo

  2. melissa August 28, 2018 at #

    Such an adorable party! I agree on the balloons and Target’s $1 section sometimes has some cute blow up word balloon options. My youngest is now 9 so my days of doing little kid parties has almost come to and end but here are some great ones I did and the kids has a blast. Painting party – my husband did a little ahead of time prep but it was pretty easy – he bought large pieces of particle board nailed them together at the top in the shape of an upside down V and we used this as the easel. We set several up in the backyard. We used large clips to hold the paper on the top and the kids could paint (or even color) their hearts out. About 3-4 kids could fit on one side so we used both sides. It was hours of painting, running around eating snacks, and outdoor messy fun.
    Halloween Themed party for my oldest son’s bday that is Oct 29. We had everyone dress in their costume. We bobbed for apples. Butternut squash bowling and painted small pumpkins for everyone to take home. I miss the days of planning a fun kids bday party!

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