Do your kids birthday parties stress you out? I was talking to a mom from my sons class today and she said the location, logistics and food just about put her over the edge.
So lets talk logistics of a party.
Here are 6 things you should consider:
Location - Will the party be home or at an off site location? Think about what your child is in to, what he would enjoy and what you can handle. Some people like to create elaborate themed centered parties at their home while others are happy going to a bounce house or arcade.
Number of Guests - This depends on location and age of child. The original rule of thumb for a drop off party(which usually starts around age 6) is the number of kids +1 of the childs age; 6 year old invites 7 friends. For a one year and up party many people tend to invite extended family and entire families of friends. There are play group friends, day care friends and even neighbors, so there could be many ages and lots of people. If you have to whittle it down, try all one gender, just a school party and have the relatives over one afternoon for cake and ice cream.
A question I get a lot is should you include siblings - well this is nice gesture so you don't break up the family weekend time but sometimes the siblings being present isn't acceptable based on the activity, putt putt or a swim party. Address the invitation to the child or to the whole family - this should help get the message across.
Activity - Keep the kids busy. The party for very little ones is more for the parents anyway and the kids can just play with toys you already have or if you are outside they can enjoy a play set and run around. As the children get older you can introduce games or entertainment. A clown can make balloon animals, a music teacher can come sing songs or bring in a mini petting zoo. Games can include: pinata, pin the tail on something, scavenger hunts, water balloon toss, sack races etc.
Food - Depending on the time of day you should provide munchies for all guests, something to drink and of course cake. Dessert tables are very very popular right now. Check out my post here. Most off site places will include pizza or other food with their package. You might only have to bring in drinks and a cake. If you are at home, set up a table in a central location and make the food part of the theme. Are you on pinterest? There is so much inspiration on there.
Decor and Favors - This goes back to theme and location. Popular themes include cartoon or book characters but also firetrucks and lady bugs. You can go to the big party stores for your supplies or check your dollar store, oriental trading and etsy for lots of party supplies. My favorite favors are sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and of course cookies!!
Traditions - This is your childs special day so don't forget to involve them. Ask them to help with theme, pick their favors and tell you where to hang the balloons - after all it is their party! Include special traditions or rituals like serving special breakfast on a special plate, measure them on the growth chart, look at pictures from past birthdays, fill their room with balloons and of course tell them about the day they were born or joined your family.
I would love to hear any tips you have to share about keeping parties FUN but simple.