I love a good party! And with a bunch of kids constantly in tow I so appreciate being invited to one where I can bring a kid or two (or four). So when I took on the task (along with the beautiful Yolanda of Your Unexpected Beauty) to plan the annual Christmas party for my Moms group (North Cobb Mocha Moms) I wanted to be sure it was kid-friendly. However, I also wanted to make sure the moms had fun and didn’t feel like everything was aimed at the preschool set.
We had 15 moms and 22 kids (yes…22 kids) and everyone had a blast! Since our bash was wildly successful (if I do say so myself), I thought I’d pass on some hints other moms might find helpful.
1. Focus on the food! We were lucky enough to have Zoe’s Kitchen bring some delicious food to us. My! Zoe’s provides wholesome, made-from-scratch Mediterranean-inspired comfort food. They hooked us up with trays of spinach and chicken roll ups, a huge bowl of pasta salad and a dessert tray with a sampling of cookies and brownies. Having some food catered took some of the stress out of the party. Lucky me…Zoe’s just opened a new location a few miles from me (on Cobb Parkway in Atlanta)! Since these foods were more geared toward moms, we asked guests to bring a dish to share for the little ones. Bottom line: Don’t be afraid have mom-centered foods and ask guests to bring something their kid will like to make sure everyone’s happy.
2. Keep it simple. Since it was a holiday party, we bought some ornament making kits as a craft activity. With every child under 5 years old, we had to keep things very easy. Putting stickers on foam ornaments worked well. It kept their interest for about 20 minutes and they had something to take home. For the other two hours, the toys of the home we invaded worked like gold to keep the kids occupied. We also put a bunch of giveaway coupons from McDonald’s, Disney and Dole in a grab bag and picked winners throughout the day. We called it our “Naughty or Nice” bag since some things were better for us than others. It was a fun way to give out the freebies and give the Moms something to take home too. Bottom line: You don’t have to have tons of activities. Just give kids some blocks, cars, and/or dolls and let the kids go at it.
3. Party with a purpose. Everyone loves going to parties but adding an altruistic angle to the party can make it fun and also teach kids a great lesson about giving back. At our party, we decided to collect toys for Toys for Tots. A Marine was dispatched to our party to mingle with us, take pictures with our totally on awe kids, and pick up the over 40 toys we collected. We were able to help some deserving kids somewhere else in Atlanta have a very merry Christmas because of our soirée. Bottom line: Kids need to learn to give back too so pick a charity and incorporate it into your theme. Just keep it simple.
So the main idea is to keep the kids in mind but also remember to cater to adults too. Pizza and chicken nuggets are great for kids but a nice platter of spinach roll ups will be more appreciated by the moms. Thanks to Zoe’s Kitchen for the food and McDonald’s, Dole and Disney Store for the giveaways. Leaving with a little something special is always appreciated by guests. Happy holidays y’all!