Birthday parties are an opportunity to celebrate the love you feel for your child. They’re also a fun event for everyone involved – hopefully. To make sure the party you throw is a celebration of life, rather than a collection of tear-filled mishaps, you need to do a little planning beforehand.
How Many Guests
Decide how many children to invite. Younger children may have more fun in smaller groups. However big or small the party, though, make sure you invite your child’s best friend – getting this wrong could ruin the day.
Consider giving the party a theme (pirates, fairies, dinosaurs etc.). Themes give structure to a party and help you decide what type of food, decoration and entertainment to provide.
Short and Sweet
Limit the length of the party. The younger the children, the shorter it should be – you don’t want anyone going home in tears.
Fun and Games
Prepare your games in advance and make sure you have plenty of them – children have short attention spans so be prepared to change activities often. Have a kids’ video, a short story or a craft project like face painting or necklace making ready in reserve.
A Helping Hand
Get help! Supervising a party of young children requires more than one pair of eyes and hands. Enlist the help of a friend, guest parent or babysitter – you’ll retain a little more of your sanity.
Consider spreading the load by hiring an entertainer – clowns and magicians are always a hit with kids.
Use the party as an opportunity to promote good manners. Ask your child to say thank you for any gifts received and involve him or her in writing thank you notes the next day.
What food will you serve? Finger food is best for little hands, but whatever you put on the table be prepared for a mess. Check with parents about allergies beforehand.
Pets and young children don’t always mix – do Fido a favour and shut him away somewhere safe for the duration.
Safety is your responsibility. If parents aren’t attending the party make sure you have their contact numbers in case of emergency. Confirm pick-up times at drop-off and never send a child home with someone you don’t know.
And most of all….have fun sharing this milestone with your child. The mark of a good party is not whether everything goes according to plan, but whether everyone has a great time. Or at least doesn’t go home crying.
Interested in a princess party? Get some great ideas in this video.