Mother Daughter Date Tradition for Birthday Party Planning

Her Birthday is a Big Deal

If you take nothing else from this birthday party planning guide, make this mother daughter date, to plan her birthday party, a new annual tradition.

Let’s face it. Our kids are going to be grown in a blink and these magical years with them are limited. Enjoy the unicorn and princess themed birthday parties because they are numbered.

Mother Daughter Date Tradition for Birthday Party Planning | Memory in the Making
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To a kid, their age is a big deal. If you ask my identical twin daughters they’ll proudly announce, we’re “SIX AND THREE QUARTERS!” in a sassy and synchronized voice, no doubt! Birthdays can be so special and are a huge opportunity for precious mother-daughter memories. I refuse to squander it.

Even though Pinterest didn’t exist when I was a little girl, my mom would have been a Pinterest Queen! She was creating Pinterest-perfect-parties before that was even a thing! We would always talk through what I wanted my theme to be. Beanie Babies sleepover!.. need I say more?

Thanks Mom!

Starting at age 3, I’ve carried on this tradition with my 3 daughters and we ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! We’re in the process of preparing for my oldest daughter’s 10th Birthday! Keep an eye out for a post about her afternoon tea party themed slumber party. It’s going to be soooo cute, you’re going to love it!

Whether or not this is your first attempt at planning or you’re looking to brush up on your skills, I believe you’ll find this birthday party planning guide will help add that extra magical fun, stress-free!

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin

A Little Prep Before Your Mother Daughter Date

The familiar phrases “Birthday Week” or “Birthday Month” are a reality, unless you’re lucky enough to hit the celebration trifecta.

For many, your daughter’s birthday will be three-fold:

  1. The birthday party with friends
  2. The birthday party with family
  3. The actual birthday with only parents and siblings

To start, review your calendar a couple months in advance. Pick a few date options for both the kids birthday party and the family birthday party. Now, here’s the most fun part:


I recommend the mother daughter date happen 1.5 – 2 months in advance. This way, the birthday is right around the corner, yet plenty of time to enjoy the process, stress-free!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through & make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

The Annual Birthday Pinterest, Mother Daughter Date

Build the anticipation of your upcoming date. She’ll love everything about this! Start by making a few suggestions of where to go on the date with her and let her choose.

My daughter and I just recently went to a local coffee shop to plan her birthday party. Lemme tell you, it was so much fun!! I brought my iPad with so that after we chatted over our tea and hot cider, we could scour Pinterest for inspiration!

While she’s Pinning ideas to her heart’s content, be sure to also take notes. My personal favorite note taking app is Notability. I do a side-by-side view on my iPad. The Notability app synchronizes with my phone so I always have those notes with me. Incredibly helpful when out at a store because there’s no shot I’d have a clunky paper notebook in my purse.

Up next, here is the ground you should aim to cover on your birthday party planning, mother daughter date!

Who’s Invited?

Talk to her about who she really wants to come. It could be a small, intimate group of best friends. Or it could be an invite to all the girls in the class, or even both girls and boys! Don’t forget any other friends of the family, sports, neighbors, cousins. There are both pro’s and con’s of each variation of course, so discuss it with her. I find it interesting to talk with her like a grown-up. It’s adorable what can come out of these little girls’ mouths 😊

Spitball Different Venues

This tends to guide the answer on how many kids to invite. For example, you’re not inviting 30 kids to sleepover at your house and you’re not renting out the gymnastics venue for only 4 kids. Pinterest of course has many great ideas about places to host a kids birthday party, such as this one from @experiencedbadmom 25 Great Places to Have a Children’s Birthday Party.

Likewise, sometimes the venue can guide your decision in the next step: What is the theme of her birthday party?

It’s Pinterest Time!

Create a Pinterest Board or a separate Section of your Pinterest Board, dedicated to Pinning any/all ideas. If you’re not familiar with organizing Pinterest Boards into Sections, it’s incredibly easy; here’s a tutorial.

Start by searching for “kids birthday party themes for girls” or “birthday party ideas for girls” and give her the reigns to scroll! (It will be okay my Type A moms, I promise!) She’ll feel super cool. I can guarantee you will get a big ‘ol smile.

Once you start narrowing in on a theme, narrow your search. For example “girls unicorn birthday cupcakes” or “girls unicorn birthday party invitations”.

Next, you can search for other things like “games to play at a girls unicorn birthday”.

I also turn to Etsy to narrow in my search. A great example the inspiration you can find on Esty is by starting with “unicorn birthday invitations for 6 year old”. You’ll get an endless number of spins on the unicorn theme, from elegant to silly cartoon versions, and oh-so-many cute puns.

I may even head to Amazon for “unicorn birthday decorations”, but typically that’s a little too far down the rabbit hole for this step with her.

Select a Theme

Before you leave your mother daughter date, decide on the winning theme! Make sure you have enough notes and Pins to refer back to, for your next steps.

If you found other items on Etsy, you can also click to Pin those to your board in 2 or 3 clicks. At the very least, save yourself the links (Notability app). Do not make yourself have to scour the entire internet and find that one thing! Such a waste of time. Trust me… I speak from experience! You do NOT need to have the venue selected. Leave it opened ended so you can check availability and budget.

Don’t Forget Dessert!

Last bit of info I like to gather is, what kind of birthday cake do you want?!

Give options, such as:

At this point, you’ve gathered enough intel. Time to just enjoy the rest of your mother daughter date!

Next, it’s time for you to start getting to work.

Take it From Here, Mama!

The Birthday Party with Friends

If you allow yourself enough time in advance, following these steps will be stress-free. More times than not, this will be a great order for you to continue this birthday party planning guide.

Call the venue

If you still need to do a little research on where to have the party, start here. Find out if your date(s) are available, and if so which time(s)? How much is it going to cost? What’s included? When do they need final headcount?

Check with the bestie’s mom

If her party would be completely ruined without her bestie(s) or cousin(s) there, throw a feeler out first before locking in the date. Avoid a mini heartbreak.


Surprise your daughter by creating an invitation using Canva or find an easy-to-customize invitation on Etsy. Check out my tutorial on how to create a tea party birthday invitation in less than 5 minutes using Canva for free.

If you can’t decide which direction to take the theme, just ask her! I’m SURE she’ll have an opinion. You’ll need to decide how you want to distribute the invite. Printing and mailing? Texting it to the other moms? There’s also always the route of an e-invitation if that’s what you’re used to.

How to Create a Birthday Party Invitation in Less Than 5 Minutes using Canva for Free by Memory in the Making


Carefully choose an RSVP by date. For the obvious reason, a venue will have a date where final headcount is due. But what’s most important, from my personal experience, is when I will want to have ordered supplies by and I’ve learned this the hard way. Anxiety. Why?

  • I don’t want to over/under buy for goodie bags, plates, cupcake toppers, etc.
  • I want enough time for me to assemble goodie bags, decorations or anything DIY.

If the RSVP date comes and goes and you still haven’t heard from someone, shoot the mom a text. Especially if you’re on the bubble of ordering 1 set or 2 of unicorn napkins (and everything else!)

Get the invitation out ASAP

The sooner the better, but not more than 6 weeks before the party date.

Read the Pinterest Pins

It’s one thing to save a cute Pin for confetti balloons inspiration, but it’s another thing to read all the blog posts. That’s where ALL of the goods are. Call me biased, but I wasn’t always a blogger. I’ve been a Pinterest mama for 10X longer, literally. A quick tip in there could save you hours or $$!

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If that cute table setting is going to take you hours you don’t have to shop for and/or DIY, skip it! I tend to lean more towards assembling and very infrequently DIY things. But for you, that will depend on your level of craftiness, patience and budget. If something is “critical” to the theme and you and your daughter are both obsessed, can you actually make the time? If so, go for it! If not, it’s not worth the stress.

It’s decision time

After you’re done with all of your research, it’s time to make your final to do list.  Nail down these couple of things:

  • Decorations
  • Food and drinks
  • Supplies
  • Dessert
  • Games/activities

Don’t forget to search for printable freebies! This is a really easy way to entertain (or quiet down!) the kids. This is a perfect example of one I’ve done before.

Free Printable Unicorn Name Game for Girl’s Birthday Party by @chicfetti

Start gathering supplies

Just because you’re waiting for the final headcount doesn’t mean you can’t add things to your Amazon cart and click to “save for later”. Or “heart” your favorites on Etsy. However, start ordering or shopping for what you can get, as early as possible. I find peace of mind in that.

Go through all of the supplies you already have at home. A bunch of leftover pink napkins, check! A sparkly serving dish, check!

Put the RSVP date on your calendar. As soon as that day hits, finish ordering the rest of your supplies.

Collect all the supplies in the same box or spot in your house. It’s very helpful to keep it all together for two reasons:

First, reveal to your daughter all of the cute stuff you’ve gathered. She’ll actually appreciate the hard work that you’re putting into it. And realize all these things don’t just magically appear at the venue on the day of her party! She’ll get pumped up for the party! Second, talk her through the details. The act of talking through what you have, in a chronological order of events at the party will help you remember the small details. “Then we’ll sing happy birthday and have ice cream…” (Oh crap! I forgot the candles, lighter and plastic spoons! Add to list.)

Prep as much as you can in advance

Assemble the goodie bags. Blow up a few balloons. Box up everything.

Tip: I always throw scissors, a sharpie, a pen, tape and lighter in the box first. You just never know! 17-year-old Gymnastics Jimmy isn’t going run and find you those scissors in their back-office quickly. You’ll end up with a broken nail, ahem… trust me!

Make a list of any last-minute things you need to throw in the car. Fruit bowl! Cupcakes! Juice boxes!

Set a calendar reminder to order those pizzas the day before the party. It’s not easy to get 3 cheese pizzas delivered at noon on a Sunday when the pizzerias open at 11:30am… (definitely failed at this the first kid’s birthday party!)

The day of the party

You already asked the venue how early you can arrive to start setting up. Shoot to be there 5 minutes earlier than that.

Consider leaving Dad home with the siblings, while you and your daughter go early to setup. Take 2 cars. You’ve got to stuff all those birthday presents in any way!

Snap a few pictures before her friends arrive. Take a few of her with her decorations. After all, she did design her party! Get a selfie of the two of you, too! (You’re never in any pictures, amiright?)

If the party room isn’t super spacious, after everyone arrives, have Dad load up the presents in the car. No one ever has kids watch opening presents anymore. There’s no reason to wait until cleanup time.

The Family Birthday Party

I’m sorry to tell you Mama, but there’s more planning to do here. But don’t worry, I have some tips for you so you can have fun with it!

  1. Whenever you pick the date(s) for the family birthday party, send an informal save the date to close family that same day. Earlier the better.
  2. Think about where you’re going to host the party. How many people did you want to invite? Easier to meet at a restaurant or entertain at home?
  3. Outline the menu and drinks.
  4. Gather some birthday gift ideas because you know that will be everyone’s first question!
  5. Send out a “formal” invitation confirming the final date, time, and place. It can easily be a simple text message or BCCed email. Or create a little graphic on Canva to send out, in less than 5 minutes.
  6. Continue the same birthday party theme. Don’t bother coming up with something else. Re-purpose some of those cute decorations you already spent time planning out. Maybe order a few extra unicorn cake plates to carry the theme through. Make this as easy as possible for yourself.
  7. Gather all the supplies you’ll need. More dinner plates or plasticware, for example.
  8. You’ll need another birthday cake and candles.
  9. Remind her to say “thank you” for her gifts.

The Actual Birthday

Again, if you’re lucky enough to hit the trifecta of the kids party, family party and actual birthday on the same day, kudos to you! I can’t say I’ve ever been so lucky.

All of this party planning was a labor of love and certainly cost you a pretty penny. My daughters all know the parties are their birthday present from us. They don’t need more “things”. Keep the handmade card or little something from her siblings for the actual birthday.

Since I already, as you can tell, go over the top on the birthday parties… I like to keep this birthday simple. It’s usually breakfast that we’ll throw a candle in; easiest ever being yogurt with a few sprinkles on top. I also let her pick what she wants for dinner or go out for ice cream. And most importantly, just enjoy this memory in the making.

Now That You’re Mama of the Year…

Ha! Spread the wealth of your experiences, tips on both successes and failures with everyone! Please comment below. I’d love to hear about how your mother daughter date and birthday party extravaganza went for you both!

You’ll soon see how I most recently put this birthday party planning guide to use on my daughters (upcoming!) 10th birthday. Be sure to check out the adorable afternoon tea and slumber party inspiration!

If you found this birthday party planning guide helpful, I bet you’ll love my The 14 Fundamentals of Personal Project Management for planning fun, lifelong memories!

The 14 Fundamentals of Personal Project Management by Memory in the Making
Mother Daughter Date Tradition + Birthday Party Planning Guide by Memory in the Making

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Follow Me For More Ideas Like this Mother Daughter Date

Find me on Pinterest @memoryinthemaking and be sure to check out my Fun Mother Daughter Dates and Kids Birthday Parties boards for more tips and inspiration.

Other Memory in the Making Pinterest boards of mine you may be interested in are: How to Be a Fun Mom, Tips for Entertaining, Family Fun Day, Party Planning Apps, Halloween Party Themes, Christmas Traditions for Kids, Holiday Planning and Ultimate Staycation!


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