As a parent of two
children I have had my fair share of birthday parties both at my home as
well as at some other location. Whatever you choose to do it does take
planning. So follow our helpful hints below and get your party off to a good
SELECT A LOCATION...
You need to decide what works best
for you a party at home or something out of the house. Having it
somewhere else keeps your house in order and will save you time however
it will be more expensive. Having a party at home either indoors
or outdoors is always fun because you can be very creative with your
CREATE A GUEST LIST...
When selecting who to invite to a
party you must consider the number of guests that you can accommodate.
If it is at your home how many will work and if it is at another
location is there a quota? If the party is outside your home you
may be able to invite more guests. Remember that when children are
young parents will normally stay at the party. So make sure you
can accommodate all of the people. Once this is determined work with
your child to select a list. You can always go with the
traditional formula of the number of guests is based on your child's
Give yourself a month or more to plan
a party. You will need more time if you are having the party
outside of your home because the places book quickly and far in advance.
By giving yourself time you can do things at a leisurely pace.
Be sure to include your children in on the fun. They can help
choose the place or the theme. Have them write or make
invitations, select decorations and plan games . You will find
that instead of it being one day event it will be a month of fun.
PARTY THEME IDEAS...
Barn Yard Party
Outer Space Party
Beauty Salon Party
Consider having teenage
siblings/neighbors/friends give you a helping hand. The young ones will
love the attention of the older kids and it will be a big help for you.
There are a variety of places that
you can go to for birthday parties. It really depends on your
budget. If you are just looking for a room/place to have the party
you could consider a park or playground, fire hall, or pizza parlor.
If you would like a place that organizes the party or will keep the kids
entertained consider a nature center, museum, kids gym, YMCA, swim club,
Chuck E Cheese, IMAX theatre, ice rink, bowling alley, tennis club,
dance studio, karate, gymnastics, Justice for girls, Theatre,
farm, orchard, bakery, magic show.
Your invitations should be sent 2 - 2
1/2 weeks in advance. This will give your guests plenty of time to
respond and will give you time to finalize preparations. Make sure
you include the theme, date, start and end time, location, special
instructions, whether food will be served and an RSVP date with your
phone number or email address. If you know that your guests check
emails regularly you can send the invitation via the internet.
When parents RSVP be sure to find out if they plan on staying at the
party and also if their child has any allergies or is lactose
DECORATE THE PARTY PLACE:
Kids love balloons and streamers and
they will go a long way. Put streamers around the tables and in
the door way like a curtain. Add bunches of balloons on the table
and strategically placed in the room. Be sure that you have enough
balloons to give every kid one to take home. Create or purchase a
"Happy Birthday" banner. Use props to help create the theme.
Purchase theme related plates, napkins and table covers. Make a
PLAN THE MENU
Keep things simple and make food that
is appropriate for your theme.
Don't try and introduce new foods
just add flair to the old standbys. Use juice boxes so that the
kids can help themselves. Remember to order a cake. If
you have a theme for your party carry it through with the cake.
Food ideas for the kids:
Make their own pizza
Create their own ice cream sundae
Make fruit or veggie kabobs
Use cookie cutters to create fun P B
Make ice cream sandwiches with graham
PLAN THE FESTIVITIES
Plan an activity that will keep
the kids busy when they arrive because guests all arrive at different
times. Remember activities need to be
appropriate for number of kids attending and their age.
always fun and will keep them outside running for a while.
Plan deal or no
deal with a spin. Set up three boxes on a table (vary
the size and wrap in cool paper). You will need the
space to hide your goodies so be sure to cover the table to the
floor. Hide prizes under each box - some prizes should be nice
others should be gag gifts. Have the first person select a box
show them their prize and then you ask if they would like to "deal
or no deal". Give them the option of trading their prize
for another box of YOUR choice -- make it sound appealing.
They get one time to trade and then move on to the next person. Gag
gift ideas: dog's rawhide bone, old sock, work glove, an empty
box of candy etc...
Karaoke is always
great -- the kids love to sing.
chairs or rug
Twister is a fun
game for kids of all ages.
Have them do a
craft such as something to wear sun visor, hat, T-shirt or create a
party favor bag.
Have a face
Plan some fun games
to keep the kids entertained. You want everyone to participate so
try and think of games that will work well with the age group. Have some
rowdy games as well as some calm games. Make sure you use the calm
games to wind down the party. Stick to games that everyone knows
or that have simple rules. If your games can reflect your theme
that would be great. You can rename the classic games to suit your
theme for example musical magic carpet for a wizard theme or pin the
patch on the pirate for a pirate theme. Always have one game that
is not competitive where everyone will win for instance a treasure hunt
or a piņata.
Sending each child
home with a favor is always a great way to end the party. You can
fill a bag with small favors or have them do a craft. It is best
if everyone gets the same favor. You may want to have some prizes on
hand for the winner of the games.
ENJOY THE FUN
In order to have a
great party go with the flow and remain as flexible as possible.
Make adjustments based on the mood of the party