It is that time of year again; your child’s birthday is just around the corner. There is so much to do to get ready for their party, but where does one begin? Planning a child’s birthday party can be fun, exciting and sometimes hectic. However, the anticipation that we as parents feel waiting for our child’s reaction outweighs most of the problems that might arise. When planning a child’s birthday party there are many important details to remember: the theme, location, guest list, decorations and menu. First, you should decide on a theme, it is very important to planning a successful party.
Without a theme there would be no party to plan. If the child is old enough they can choose what theme they want to have. My son has chosen his theme since he was three years old, so now we are starting to run out of themes. Otherwise, you the parent can chose something the child shows interest in. The theme is what the rest of the ideas for the party stem from including the invitations, decorations, cake design, and even the games. This helps make the planning and preparations simpler by narrowing down the choices. Next it is time to decide on a date, place, and time to have the party.
Most people have the party child’s party on the weekend for convenience of the parent’s schedule. Once you have picked a date and time you will need to check to make sure the location you want will be available. If you need to reserve a place, be sure to call at least a month in advance to better your chances of getting it. When you’re deciding on the location for the party try choosing a place that you know your child will enjoy, such as a favorite park, a familiar hang out spot or at your own home. Another important detail to keep in mind is the guest list.
Always be sure to only invite people that your child knows and likes. Have the child help you write out the guest list this helps avoid unwanted guests. Also keep in mind that you can never invite to many people because most likely only half of them will show up. At my son’s party we allow him to invite ten friends besides all the relatives. The maximum number of guests we invite is thirty people and out of those thirty people around twenty show up. Remember invitations should be handed out about two weeks in advance. Make sure to include an R. S. V. P. with a deadline of at least five days before the party.
This will allow time for you to make any adjustments if needed . Also be sure to include an end note to let your guests know if you will be providing food. It can also be used to tell the guests if they need to bring anything special to the party such as a swimsuit and towel, skates, a sled or whatever the case may be. Now it is time for you to choose the menu for the party. For children, finger foods work great because they are simple and provide a wide variety to choose from. Another option would be to have the food catered in; many grocery stores have delis that do this.
However I have found that children usually go for hot dogs, sandwiches and chips, or even pizza. At my son’s parties we have tried all of these choices and they all go over well with the children. Be sure to have plenty of drinks available to the children because they sure can drink a lot. Finally, in order for your guests to have a jolly time be sure you have great entertainment planned. Planning some games to play with the children is a cheap way to entertain them. Some things that I have found that the children enjoy the most are pinatas, charades, hangman, and for the younger children pin the tail on the donkey.
Not only do I give the winners a simple prize, but each child receives a goodie bag to take home with them. If you are one who doesn’t like games there are always other things you can do. My son usually has his party at the local YMCA having it there keeps the children occupied. They can either go swimming or use the gym, so that doesn’t leave much time for games. Just make sure to be creative and use your imagination. Planning a birthday party is simple it just requires a lot of time and dedication. Here is one last little reminder for you.
Before heading out to the location of the party be sure to make a checklist of the items that you need to take. I learned this the hard way; I once forgot the plates and the candles, how embarrassing. All in all if you follow these steps when planning your child’s next birthday party everything should go smoothly and hassle free. Just remember to go over a few last minute details, await the arrival of guests, relax, breathe and enjoy your child’s special day. Even if you make a mistake, there is always next year to get it right.