Go With Disposable Cups and Plates
This should be a no-brainer, but disposable cups and plates are absolutely essential for a kid's party if you don't want to spend hours washing dishes afterward. Not only do they make cleanup possible with just a garbage bag and an extra hand, but they're entirely replaceable -- no need to worry about breakage or loss.
If green guilt is getting to you about disposables' eventual landfill destiny, remember that plenty of paper and plastic plates are reusable these days, and plenty of varieties can actually be recycled. Give yourself a break, and think of all the water and electricity you're saving by not running the dishwasher.
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