Last year, I scoured the Internet for "Curious George" party paraphanelia, including monkey-themed favors such as bracelets and temporary tattoos. We spent days cleaning our house, and even hired a balloon artist to make balloon animals.
The day before the party, I panicked that the storebought cake wasn't enough to feed the guests and whipped up a batch of homemade cupcakes.
The end result? The children ignored the balloon artist and went outside to play. Half the guests forgot to bring home the meticulously-curated favor bags. We also had enough cupcakes to last a month.
This year, I dialed it down a notch and held the party at a local community center with a pool. We had pizza and another storebought cake. I didn't do favors, and nobody complained. Nobody missed the homemade cupcakes, either!
Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.