Parenting multiples can turn everyday tasks into epic challenges – especially when it comes to planning their birthday parties. Reconciling distinct interests and personalities, honoring my twins’ individuality, and maintaining my sanity along with our family’s bottom line all require a bit of ingenuity, mindfulness, and the occasional leap of faith.

Here are the top 10 things I learned in my experience throwing parties for multiples

Photo Credit: iStock

1. Find something to make everyone happy

In anticipation of her fourth birthday, one of my daughters announced that she wanted a dance party. Her sister then declared that she wanted an exercise party. After the panic subsided, I decided to give them the best of both worlds and throw a Zumba! Party. Oftentimes you can find a happy medium between disparate interests.

2. Don’t overplay the multiples thing unless the kids are into it

There is an unwritten law that, at some point, every set of twins will be dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Super cute, but beyond first and second birthdays, theme parties that emphasize the multiples’ thing tend to undercut the birthday kids’ individuality. Unless your boy/girl twins actually want a Mickey/Minnie party or your quads are all over a Minions-themed celebration, don’t go there.

3. Give your guest list some thought

Unless your multiples are in the same class, you could be looking at a really big guest list. Either find a venue that can accommodate everyone, or consider whittling it down to close friends and family.

4. Wrap your head around a different economy of scale

Like everything else, things that seem outrageous for a singleton can suddenly make perfect sense when you’re dealing with multiples. An extra-large bounce house might be overkill for one birthday kid, but is perfect to celebrate for a triplet party. Determine what your per-guest budget is and that figure will help inform venue, food, and entertainment. 

5. Consider throwing separate parties or offering an alternative

If the birthday kids have radically different ideas of a good time then you might want to give them their own celebrations. If the life of the party wants a huge fete but your introvert prefers a weekend away with family try to accommodate both.

6. Don’t fall into the trap of throwing an exponentially bigger/more original/more expensive/fancier party

Just because you had multiples doesn’t mean you must subject your party budget (or proportions) to a multiplier. Do what makes sense for your kids, your family, and your budget. Trying to blow everyone away is an easy way to lose sight of what matters most: your kids enjoying their party.

7. Get input from the birthday kids

Talk to them about recent parties they loved and ones that they didn’t. They’ll tell you what kind of activities, entertainment, and food they liked best. Ask specific questions, like their top three favorite parties.

8. Don’t overpromise to the birthday kids

Wait until the big details have been hammered out before telling them party specifics. You might get sticker shock at the cost of delivering their vision, or your own Pinterest fantasies might prove hard to execute. Work out the kinks and save a few surprises for the big day.

9. Have something unique to each child

Take steps to make them feel celebrated as an individual. Think separate cakes, favors, or activities planned just-for-them. Try to work in any way for each child to feel special and represented.

10. Don’t forget to celebrate your family and your accomplishments as parents

Parenting multiples is never boring. Save a few moments after their party to relax, reflect, and acknowledge the part played by parents and other siblings. You deserve it!