You could say I'm your typical Latina especially if I tell you, I'm ALWAYS up for any kind of excuse that spells out P-A-R-T-Y. That love for everything that feels like a celebration is something I experienced at home as a child and growing up... That's why as a mom even planning birthdays is something I welcome and enjoy. In fact, I believe there is no better party for a boy or a girl than the one planned by mom, with the flavor of the family's culture.

Of course that only means more work for you and me, but when you set out to plan your child's birthday party the love and enthusiasm pull you through the ¨work¨ part of it, and it can actually be a lot of fun!


There is no doubt in my mind that you don't have to spend your life's savings to throw a good party, particularly when what we're talking about is a children's party. And that leads me to my first piece of advice for a successful party. First of all, please remember that your motherly pride and joy doesn't need to show off in the shape and size of a circus tent and an pony parade. Limit your concept  to a small reunion that you can easily have in your backyard without a mayor production, and have a budget, then think in practical terms about how much you are able to spend.

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Second and more importantly, think about the child and how to make HIS DAY special. Ask yourself what is he into, then pick a theme accordingly. For instance, when my daughter turned five, we had a teddy bear picnic themed party for her. She used to have a teddy bear that was like a best friend, so we suggested in the invitation that guests could bring along their favorite stuffed animals. We layed out blankets on the grass, served picnic foods, the kids blew bubbles, played tag the donkey, and did arts and crafts.

For one of my boys--who was all about play cars--we drew streets and highways on the driveway of our house. He and his friends loved ¨driving¨ their Matchbox cars and watercoloring printed pages with drawings of cars and street signs.

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The idea is to get creative from the get-go. Even the invitations can be personalized at home with pictures of the birthday boy or girl, decorated with stamps and glitter (easy things to do if you have access to a printer, markers and gluesticks). Ah! And have a children's playlist with the music that will keep everyone in the mood from beginning to end.

It's a time to celebrate and have fun! So avoid complicated plans, and remember to ask for help so that between you, your spouse and the family, the well invested efforts end up in laughter and joy and many great memories for your child to remember forever...