We have two February babies. So, that means our toddlers share their well child visits, their birthday month, their Toys R Us store announcements, and their birthday party. It just makes more sense for us to have one party, instead of two separate parties just a couple of weeks apart. We would invite all the same people, because right now, they have the same friends. And it would just be ridiculous to expect all of these friends and family members to give up two weekend nights so closely together.
I only have two boy/girl parties under my belt, but here are my tips, based on what I’ve learned so far:
Make it a fun theme for each child. This year, I had a theme in my head of what the party was going to be, and then I let my son, Eli, look at pinterest with me one day and he talked me into a completely different theme. Luckily, I hadn’t done anything beyond browsing pinterest. So we switched to a ninjago theme and never looked back, see all the Ninjago details in this post. Since Ninjago isn’t something that our daughter is into, at all. I gave her a couple options for what her half of the party could be like, and she picked Cinderella, more on that here.
I could’ve made it easier on myself and just told them what it was going to be, but I knew that they’d be so excited over their separate themes. For their birthday party last year, I totally got away with one theme. Frozen. They both were super into (and still are super into) Frozen.
Seriously, there are so many party themes that would work perfectly together: Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, Pirates and Fairies, Under the Sea, Aladdin, Camping, even the Avengers could be for a boy and a girl! I found so many great ideas on pinterest! I will probably push a little harder for a theme that works together next year.
Pinterest is your friend. Personally, I really enjoy the planning. I love browsing Pinterest for ideas and then coming up with cute names for all the different foods. But I fully support moms who aren’t big into party planning and decor. I just know that my toddlers get excited over certain things and I love to make the parties something that they will enjoy and be so happy about. So I go (sort of) all out and make the most of the chaos.
Decorate as much, or as little, as you want to. The decor is the most fun for me. I did our family room all Cinderella-y and feminine and then our front room in the Ninjago theme. Picking color schemes that mesh well is helpful for a dual-themed party. I stuck with mostly blue, gold, and white for the colors, but snuck a little yellow and red in there, because of the Lego colors.
I made each room have little details that fit with their individual themes, and my husband made one invitation that had both themes on it as well.
My 4 year old would get so excited when he saw me working on his Ninjago decor, so I knew that letting him pick the theme was the right decision for us. Over the Big Moon had so many free printable Ninjago decor and ideas that we utilized more than anything else. If you have a Ninjago fan in your house, you need to head over to her post and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Have separate cakes. This year we did one cake for each theme, last year we did a double layer cake with a removable top–which was my girl’s smash cake. Having separate cakes lets them each have their own to blow out and then you can pick out flavors they each love. I love getting personalized cakes made to go with our theme–I feel like it really is the best way to pull a theme together. But you could easily get two supermarket cakes with each name, or a different color frosting so they each have something to blow out while everyone sings.
Personalize it. Even if you don’t let your children pick the themes, still personalize it to their interests and favorites. Make a bunting with their names on it. Let them be a part of the planning. Give out favors that your kids helped pick out or create favors using things they genuinely love. This year, we did DIY Lego Crayon favors and Oreo Cookie Pops–my son loves Legos, my daughter loves coloring, and they both love Oreos.
I know goody bags aren’t necessary, but I think its a nice way to say thanks to the kids for coming, and when a favor is food–adults can get a take home, too!
Serve foods that your kids love. This is another way I love to personalize the party to each kid. We did pizza–a favorite for both tiny humans in our house. And then all of the sides–with the exception of the salads because no child actually likes salad–were foods that each of my toddlers love. Cheese and crackers, oranges, fruit salad, chips, veggies and dip. Having their favorites helps make the party more about them.
Enjoy the party. This is the most difficult for me. I get stressed in the couple days leading up to the party, and super stressed the couple hours before people arrive. But this year, I was able to enjoy myself once the party was underway. I love how excited and happy my tiny humans were at the party. It reminds me that they are the reason why I put so much work into throwing the party.
I know it won’t be this way forever, but for now, we embrace the joint birthday party.
Do you give your kids a joint birthday party? Do you let your toddlers pick their party theme? Let me know in the comments!
All photos c/o Molly Grunewald Photography.