“Party Time!” is what probably many kids scream with excitement when the day of their birthday comes with a big celebration. Planning a child’s birthday party can be very fun yet tiring. Working as a host for children’s birthday parties, I realized how good I am with children. Part of my duties as a host were entertaining the children for two hours without having the parents feel that they had to do everything. Now, for those who have experience working with children know what I mean when I say that I really had to entertain the children.
We are talking about playing games, dancing with them, playing with them, and even just imitating them was entertaining enough. Children love to have the attention from other people because it makes them feel special, loved, important! Therefore, when it comes to planning a child’s party I recommend the following, according to lifetimemoms.com:
1. Don’t plan your party during the “bewitching hour”, 3-5pm. Plan it when your child is usually at his/her best. If that is 10am, then have it at 10am.
2. Remember the children’s birthday party is a sprint not a marathon! Limit length of party to 1.5 – 2 hours for toddlers and preschoolers, once they hit school age you can start extending the length accordingly.
3. “Plan to Party” for the entire party. Create a timeline beginning to end of all activities. However much time you allot for each, cut it in half, as kids whiz through everything and then everyone is left standing there looking at each other for about two seconds before the chaos begins. If you don’t get to all the activities you plan that’s ok, better to have a few extra rather than to run out. The goal – keep the children busy and keep the organized activities going at all times!
4. Be realistic about your child’s likes/dislikes – it is a day to celebrate them, so make them as comfortable as you can. We can all get overwhelmed at a party in our honor, so think about how toddlers/preschoolers may feel. If your child doesn’t like crowds, then don’t invite a large group of people, keep it intimate with a few playmates and parents. Or, if your child is afraid of giant costumed characters, don’t think it will all of a sudden be love at first sight since it’s their birthday party.
5. Inform the parents. The more details on the invite, the better: will there be a meal served or just snacks and cake (parents want to know whether to feed their child before coming); are the parents expected to stay; if siblings are welcome, then note it, etc.
6. Enlist a friend or family member to take pictures, you will have your hands full. Birthday party pictures are the sweetest keepsakes, so don’t miss capturing the moment.
7. Save the sugary treats for the end of the party and the exit! Candy bars are very popular at parties, if you choose to create one for your party, be mindful not to include candies that are potential choking hazards (small round hard candies). Instead have a Sweets Bar featuring sweets that are age appropriate. Treats such as animal crackers and cheerios are always a safe bet for the younger set. Offer the treats on the exit, each parent can fill a bag with a few goodies for the way home or another day.
One very important tip to add is, don’t forget it’s PARTY TIME!!!