Many parents dread throwing birthday parties. Having a bunch of sugared-up kids running around seems like a recipe for disaster. The good news is that it is possible to throw a well-organized and fun party with a little bit of planning.
The Basic Party Planning Rules
Start planning the party about a month in advance. This gives you plenty of time to order everything, enlist the help you need, and get everything ready. Even busy parents can plan that far in advance; a well-planned party is less work than a party that is thrown together at the last minute.
The best party times are mid-afternoon. The children have had lunch but are not hungry for dinner yet. You should have some finger snacks but you don’t need to worry about preparing a meal.
The easiest birthday parties have a theme. With a unifying idea like pirates or a luau, a lot of the details fall into place automatically. Even something as simple as decorating around your child’s favorite color makes the decisions easier.
Activities are the most important thing at a child’s birthday party! The kids forget the food, the decorations, and even who was there but they always remember fun party games.
Second only to party games, the birthday invitation is one of the most important decisions for a memorably party. It gives the first impression and if the child has fun, it can be a keepsake.
Even if you are opting for home crafted decorations and party game, it is worth getting custom invitations printed. They certainly are a great choice for parents who don’t have an artistic touch, but even those that do can benefit from the sophisticated look of a professionally crafted birthday invitation.
For young children, the number of guests should equal the child’s age plus one or two. As the child gets into double digits you might need to bring this number down; you are the best judge of your limits. Invitations should be sent out as early as possible as other parents have their own schedules.
Keeping Kids Entertained
Plan several activities for the party and set up each in advance. For a typical two-hour party, four should be enough, though you might want one or two others if the children get bored with what’s planned.
Children don’t like to lose so plan ahead to avoid tears. For competitive games, have small prizes for kids who don’t win. Better yet, have the group participate in a cooperative game like a treasure hunt and split the prize. Crafting activities eliminate competition and give each guest another memento.
Before you know it, the time has passed and you have survived another birthday party.
Prepare theme-appropriate party favors as parting gifts. Have your child hand them out as the guests leave and thank each one for coming.
Follow these tips and you’ll find birthday parties really aren’t hard to carry off successfully.