Tori Spelling is the crafting queen! Not only does the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum continue to act while balancing her hectic household and family of six, she plans epic parties and arts and crafts projects to boot! Recently throwing a flower-themed fifth birthday bash for her oldest daughter, Stella, Spelling, 40, is sharing her top tips for busy moms to plan DIY parties and after school activities for their brood -- on a budget!
1. The kids are always right. "Listen to your mini guest of honor. If you involve your child it actually makes your job easier creatively and helps them feel a part of their big day," explains Spelling, who posts other crafting, recipe and style tips on her ediTORIal blog. "I ask my kids simple questions. Like what theme they want and what colors they picture at the party and what activity they want to do with their friends. They might be small but kids have great fun imaginations!"
2. Keep an eye on the clock. Though two hours seems like not enough time to hold a bash, Spelling tells Us it's just right for young partygoers. "Longer seems to be too much for little ones. [Hosting in the] middle of the day works perfectly," explains the busy mom. "It gives you the whole morning to set up."
3. When planning activities, set up stations for each activity to minimize traffic and maximize fun. "I like to provide several stations around my party with various activities. There's always so much to do that no one station is bombarded by kids. Everyone gets a turn," Spelling explains. Stella and her friends celebrated by decorating flower pots -- a gender-neutral activity Spelling favors. "Pick a craft that boys and girls will like and something that's not so labor and time intensive that they will get bored and lose interest. A simple fun craft that reflects the parties them is the way to go. It's something hands on for them to do and they get a take away from the party that they made!"
4. Develop a signature treat. Serving kid-approved dishes like mac 'n cheese and sandwiches at her family's soiree, Spelling let Stella create her own party dessert: Stella's Rainbow Treat Jars. "Stella, a mini cook and baker herself, came up with a special recipe for a treat for her party. She wanted mason jars filled with strawberry yogurt, Fruit Loops, and whipped cream layered cutely," Spelling recalls. "She worked the whole morning of the party making them with me."
5. Involve kids in set-up and clean-up! "Stella's such a little planner. She said, 'Mommy, thank you! This was the best party ever! Should we start planning now for next year?' She also is a good cleaner. She helped clean up her party, too. That's important to teach your kids!"