Party-Planning Basics for Kids’ BirthdaysRich Stark
When planning your child’s birthday, the first thing to remember is that parties are meant to be fun! Equally important to remember is that your child’s birthday party is the most exciting and personal celebration of their year! So, before the stress sets in and panic takes over here are some tips to help make your child’s next party a fun occasion for all!
- Make Planning a Fun, Family Activity: Involve your child in the entire planning process- from selecting the theme and guest list to choosing (or creating) the invitations, decorations, activities, foods and favors.
- Create a Guest List: Remember that a smaller party is much more manageable. The tried and true rule of thumb is to invite as many children your child’s age.
- Plan ahead: Give yourself as much lead-time as you can so you don’t feel rushed.
- Keep it Simple: This is a child’s party and what matters most to them are the activities, favors and gifts so don’t fret over the little stuff.
- Length of Party: For toddlers and preschoolers less is more. One hour is plenty of time for them. For older children, one and a half to two hours is perfect.
- Create a Party Game Plan: Structure the party with a beginning, middle and end. When children first arrive have welcoming activities like creating nametags or decorating their own party favor bag. The middle is where games & action rule, such as themed scavenger hunts, line dances, musical chairs etc. The ‘end’ helps to calm them down with food, birthday songs, fond farewells and the eagerly anticipated party favor.
- Join the Party! Children enjoy seeing their parents participate in their big day, so once the planning and serving is under control, party hearty! It’s always a good idea to have at least one more adult there to help out.
- Pick Fun Party Favors: Party favors are like presents to your child’s guests, so choose wisely! Favors don’t need to be expensive, but they should be fun, cool and provide immediate gratification.
- Say Cheese! Most kids love to see themselves in pictures and love to have their pictures taken so shoot or record away! Bear in mind that you can never have too many pictures. Be sure to include yourself in some as well, so you’ll be able to share the memory!
- To open or not to open gifts: It’s better to wait until all the guests have gone. It’s less chaotic, it makes your child’s special day seem longer, and, most importantly, since children react very honestly, you can avoid hurting anyone’s feelings with your child’s look of elation or disappointment with any of the gifts.
- Expect the unexpected: With all your planning it’s inevitable that something unexpected may occur. Fret not! Just be sure to have mostly everything you need such as food, activities, games and favors. If you’ve planned an outdoor party, be sure to have an indoor party plan or rain date set.
- RELAX! Once the big day arrives there’s not much more you can do except relax and enjoy the celebration; and the smile on your child’s face. Remember that the key to a successful party is the amount of fun everyone has, so don’t stress over spills or simple mishaps that will probably have everyone laughing anyhow!
- Say thank you: The party’s over, the gifts have been opened and it’s time for your child to send their thanks. Have your child select and send fun thank you notes or create their own with the help of a computer or copier. It’s also nice to include a picture from the party or a small treat, sticker, or trading card.