Birthday parties are stressful. There’s no way to avoid the pressure, but there are ways to reduce it. Here are some great tips which will help you in planning your child’s next party.
1. Family affair: Get the whole family involved in the party planning. Depending on your kid’s age he/she may be very motivated and excited to help you plan their party. After all this party is for the kids not the parents, so don’t leave out your most energetic helper.
2. Location: Plan ahead by finding a location. If it’s outside of your home make sure you find a location large enough for both the kids and the parents. Many party spots sell out months in advance, so be sure to plan ahead. If the party is outside, don’t forget to set a back-up plan in case of rain.
3. Party Basics: Make sure the party is manageable. Remember this isn’t a wedding, so there’s no need to invite the entire fourth grade class, if you do you’ll probably regret it. A one and half hour party is probably long enough for most kids under the age of four. Any older you may want to think about two hours.
4. Time: What time of the day is best for your party? Well that probably depends on your child’s age. For kids below one to two year olds, morning is best, as the baby will be most energetic. Two to four year olds are tricky as some nap and some don’t. Your best bet is to schedule a late afternoon or pre-lunch party to avoid the afternoon cranky times. Lunchtime is fine for four to ten year old kids who aren’t napping. Evening parties are great for kids over ten years.
5. Budget: Decide on the amount of money you want to spend on the party and then expect to spend 20% more than that. Birthday parties aren’t cheap even when they’re at your house the expenses add up.
6. Themes: Sports, dinosaur or princess themes are classics and always work. Most popular themes are available inexpensively in discount party stores or online, including themed games, decorations, balloons, stickers, and birthday party favors.
7. Active kids are happy kids: If you have a backyard party make sure you have plenty of activities for the kids. The last thing you want is for the kids to look for their own entertainment as it probably won’t be the kind you recommend. Relays, balloon tosses, sack races and pin the tail on the donkey never get old. If you’re having your party at a kids gym, make sure you meet with the manager before the party to discuss the activities. Also, try to find out who will be hosting your party to make sure they have experienced and energetic.
8. Food: The time and location of your party always dictates what you’ll need to serve. Of course pizza is almost always a winner. If your party is in the middle of the afternoon you don’t necessarily have to serve a lunch or a dinner. Many parents would prefer not having their kids fill up when they plan on eating dinner with them a little later. If you do serve food, don’t forget to include the parents. If the party is for toddlers you may want to avoid anything hot including, pizza, hot coffee or tea.
9. Birthday cake: If you have the time and enjoy baking then creating your own cake is always the best way to go. Especially if your older child wants to help out. For many of us working mothers this is almost always going to have to be left to the professionals. You can usually save money by going to your local grocery store. Ask your friends which bakeries are the best as they usually differ significantly. Don’t assume just because there’s a bakery it will be as good the one nextdoor. You’ll have many choices of decorations so try to pick one that fits the theme. Also, cupcake cakes are usually a big hit with the little ones and don’t forget the ice cream.
10. Birthday Party Favors: A great way to end your party is by giving every child at the party a gift. You can always find great kids birthday party favors at the many online party favor sites. Your favors could be related to your theme such as a but they don’t need to be. As long as it’s cute, within your budget and will put a small on each child’s face, that’s all that matters. Every child will appreciate receiving a favor and you’ll also be teaching your child proper manners by showing them the proper way to give a gift and thank their guests for attending.
Remember this is a special day for your child. If you’re stressed or frustrated your child will pick up on it. Since you’ve read these tips I’m sure you’re well prepared so relax and enjoy the day because it’s going to be a long one, but one that your child will remember forever.