Your child’s birthday is a special and wonderful occasion. You’re planning to have a party at home and invite all your child’s friends. You just need to gather some simple games, fun food, and a lovely cake–all of which the children will enjoy. Throw in some music and you have the perfect party.
It seems pretty simple and easy to pull together, but why is there so much stress associated with planning a kid’s birthday party? Does the thought of ten 8-year-olds scrambling all over your house make you distraught?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most moms are harried due to their hectic jobs and tiring housework, so it’s not surprising they find chalking out the details for a party exhausting.
Read on to find out how you can make party-planning a smooth and hassle-free experience.
1. Decide on a Theme
If your child is old enough, you can ask her what theme she would love for her birthday. If she wants pink balloons and all things princess, go with that. It makes it easier for you to plan other things and you have a pleased birthday girl.
Balloons, streamers, cut-outs, and ribbons work well to create the perfect festive and joyous atmosphere. So don’t stress yourself over the nitty-gritty. Have some fun and let your creative juices flow.
Birthday-themed plates, napkins, cups, and disposable tablecloths add to the occasion.
2. Keep It Kids-Only
If you want to invite extended family or friends, it will be wiser to have a separate party or potluck dinner planned for the grown-ups. Clubbing them together with your child’s party can make it difficult for you to decide on the food, the timing of the party, and the entertainment. Also, you may find it difficult to devote time and attention to all the guests, including the grown-ups and the important little people.
3. Be Realistic about the Number of Guests
This is a very important part of your party-planning and something which should be decided upon at least two weeks ahead of the party.
Your son may like to invite the whole class and all of his friends in the neighborhood, but it may not be feasible for you manage everybody in a house party. Don’t feel guilty about it and help your child understand the need for discretion.
The rule of thumb is to have as many guests as the number of candles on the birthday cake, but you may have to invite those kids whose parties your child has attended as well. So you will have to be flexible on the number.
If you don’t plan to invite the entire class then don’t distribute invitations at the school. Send invitations to your child’s friends via e-mail or paperless post. You can even create your own personalized invitation cards and mail them.
4. Offer Fun Food
The little ones need yummy visuals to prompt them to eat. So cute and colorful cupcakes, treats, and fruit bowls with ice cream will be great choices.
Throw in variety to make it more appealing. Mini pizzas and sandwiches are loved by kids. Also, don’t forget to add finger foods that kids really relish like popcorn, cheese, and crackers.
Keep in mind that children do not eat well when they are excited and having a great time. Food will garner the least attention. So if 10 kids are coming over, have food for 7-8 kids ready. This will reduce waste.
Keep your menu simple and tasty. Don’t overload yourself with extensive cooking, cutting, baking, or icing. The less burdened you are, the more you’ll enjoy the party.
5. Plan Games and Activities
Plan fun games and activities keeping in mind the age of your child. A simple painting activity, puppet making, or even a miniature golf or bowling session can provide the right amount of fun and entertainment.
Keep the games simple and prevent them from turning too competitive. Make sure the birthday kid enjoys them and has a fair chance of winning a few.
Don’t make a big deal of winning or losing and let every child have some consolatory gifts.
6. Make the Favor Bags Good
Most goodie bags come with coloring books or toys that children hardly use. So make sure you put in something thoughtful, maybe something the child made during the craft activity you had at the party. You can also order personalized gifts which are unique and not too expensive.
7. Not Having a Party Is Fine Too
Birthdays are occasions for celebration and fun, but you can choose to not have a party if your child finds it overwhelming or if you do not have the time or the resources for it. A simple family get-together, a sleepover with the best pals, or a day out at the park with close friends will make the occasion memorable for your child.
Birthdays can be made really enjoyable for your child and stress-free for you. Just be flexible, relaxed, and willing to go with the flow on the big day–and remember to be a part of the merriment as well.