10 Steps To A Perfect Party For Children
April 13, 2007 3:59pm CST
1. Best Friends If your child has a best friend make sure they can come on the date you are planning for the party before you go ahead with bookings and invitations. The day just won’t be the same without their partner in crime by their side. 2. Involve the birthday party boy or girl in the planning If your child is old enough, sit down with him or her and offer a few suggestions for the theme and structure of the party, and let the birthday boy or girl choose from your list the one they want. Don’t ask your child to come up with the party plan because disappointment may follow when you say no to a petting zoo on your apartment's balcony. 3. Plan Plan what you are going to eat, play and give to each child when they leave. Start collecting party paraphernalia a couple of weeks prior to the big day and store it all in a plastic tub so it’s easy to access when party time arrives. 4. Guest list Use the Kidspot guest list to keep track of the who's who of your party. Big is not always best. The rule of thumb is that the number of guests should be the age of your child plus one once your child is aged three and over. If you are planning games make sure you invite an even number of children so no one is left out. Older children handle bigger groups better than younger children. 5. Invitations Order personalised invitations six weeks before the party. Send out invitations at least three weeks ahead of time. Many venues provide invitations so make sure to ask if you're holding the party away from home. There are also free electronic invitations that you email to all invited children and then receive RSVPs electronically. We love www.evite.com. 6. Timing Weekend parties are better for younger children and family can attend too, while older children will enjoy an after school party, if you can manage it. They love spending all day in anticipation of going home together, plus your party won’t clash with Saturday sport. If you are planning a Sunday party, keep in mind many people attend church in the morning. The time of day you choose to start your child's party depends on whether you want to serve a meal or cut straight to cake. If serving a meal, start the party between 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. If you plan to serve cake only, have your party two hours before or one hour after traditional meal times, for example, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 7. Venue Home parties are generally less expensive than hired venues and you are free to hold the party at whatever time suits your family and guests. Venues, on the other hand, can be exciting and make your job a lot easier. 8. Menu If you want to serve a small meal, keep the offerings simple. Familiar snacks like pizza or sandwiches work well and can be turned into special party food by using cookie cutters to make star-shaped sandwiches or heart-shaped pizza. If parents are dropping off children at the party, be sure you know about any food allergies. It's best to avoid anything with nuts (including peanut butter sandwiches) because so many children are allergic to them. Or order in to save time. 9. Games Sometimes old-fashioned games work best for the youngest children. Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Simon Says are exciting for four-year olds because they may be discovering them for the first time. Six year olds may like a twist on an old favourite such as Pin the tiara on the princess or the Eye patch on the pirate. Older children will be ready for simple crafts like making pirate hats or treasure boxes. 10. Present opening Do you or don’t you open presents with your party guests? Opening presents after everyone has gone home is much less stressful (there is no one to hear your child announce he or she doesn’t like the present) and you are less likely to lose bits and pieces if you are on hand. It is also a wonderful way to end a day that may well have been filled with both laughter and tears. If you open presents after everyone has left, it’s nice to send thank you notes. Ask your child to tell you why they loved each gift and include it in the note. Some editing may be required.
15 Apr 07
As you know my friend my children are well past the party stages and so are my grand children but it was really nice to read through and some brilliant tips , good idea about the presents to , my children and grandchildren loved to write thank you letters and I used to make small poems up for them to include in the note xx
• United States
13 Apr 07
I'm well past the 'children's birthday parties' stage of life but am going to save this for my daughter and future parties for grandchildren. These are great tips and several I never thought of like the timing for meals. I usually just had them when the best time suited me :( And the present idea is wonderful - we've always opened them during the parties and sometimes that gets really messy, all the other kids wanting to play with things (often ending in toys being broken before the birthday child even got to play with them).