Thursday, August 22, 2013

How To Throw A Child's Party

I love to celebrate.  I enjoy throwing parties.  When you're throwing a party for a child, things are different than your average party planning.

Plan for the child
Too many times people get wrapped up in making sure that the guests or parents of other children will have things to do.  It's not their party, this is celebrating your child.  Focus on activities they'd like to do.  
Plan developmentally appropriate activities
If you're doing a theme party, you don't have to do every activity that you find on the Internet that fits your theme.  Find activities that your child can do and will enjoy doing.  This will put less stress on your child and you as they play.
Invite friends of your child
Don't get caught up in having everyone under the sun in attendance.  Inviting friends of your child allows for fewer activities planned as they'll simply spend most of their time simply enjoying the company of friends.
But, the adults are bored
It's your child's birthday.  Would you rather have to split yourself between enjoying the moments with your child and entertaining adults?  Focus on your child and the party will come together smoothly.
I've got to feed everyone!
Plan for the party to occur during a time that's generally in between meals.  Provide light snacks and drink.  Then, families can do lunch or dinner after the event.  Don't over-stress yourself worrying about preparing a filling meal for every person that may or may not show.
Someone didn't come!
Don't focus on the people that didn't come.  Help your child to appreciate the fun and the people that are there spending time with you.
You're not MarthaStewart
It doesn't have to be perfect.  It doesn't have to be huge.  It doesn't have to have matching table cloths.  Roll with it.
Plan ahead
Think about what you're organizing and putting together.  Get a little done every day and you'll have more time to enjoy the moments of the party.
Have a weather plan
If it's outdoors, try to include in the invitations details of what the inclement weather plan is.  Without this, people will look at grey clouds and keep their children at home.  Plan party activities for the outdoor party that could be moved indoors.
Simple is fun
My daughter's first birthday had a room filled with pink balloons.  You don't have to recreate every amazing idea that you saw on Pinterest.  
Keep it kid-friendly
I shouldn't have to say this but: Alcohol has no place at a children's birthday party.  If you'd like to have Jell-O shots with your friends, get a sitter and do it then.
Take pictures
LOTS AND LOTS OF PICTURES!  Memories for when they're older and for family not able 
Short and sweet
Kids have short attention spans and get moody.  No need for a party over two hours.  Anything more than that and you'll have irritated children and parents (mostly because they're kids are becoming moody).
But someone is on the way
Again, this is your child's party.  Your initiation gave clear start and end times.  Why should your child and other guests suffer to wait for the single person that couldn't be on time?  


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