Throwing a birthday party is both exciting and challenging, particularly if you’ve never thrown one before. Like any big event, planning can often take months but, unlike more stress-inducing parties such as weddings and christenings, the attitude is much more relaxed and laidback.
Do you want to throw the perfect birthday party for your child? Here are some top tips:
Are you inviting several very young children to the party? If you’re arranging a birthday party for a small child (under the age of three) then timing is everything! Arrange your party start time for either before 1pm or after 3pm, as this will avoid naptime conflict for most children.
You should also give your party an end time as well as a start time: one or two hours is generally plenty of party time for children of all ages, before the excitement becomes too much and the behaviour descends into chaos! Having a formal finish time on the invitation will also make it easier for those parents that like to hang around to get the ‘time to go’ hint!
Choosing the perfect guest list: some parents love throwing big and elaborate parties, while others dread the crowd and prefer a more intimate affair. It’s also important to remember that big birthday parties can be overwhelming for small children (particularly if it is their first party) so err on the side of caution and choose fewer children if possible.
You may also want to consider having a separate party for grown-up family members (such as grandparents and aunts) so that your child isn’t distracted by their friends, and has a better opportunity to give their time to everyone.
No one wants to be bored at a birthday party, so make sure you arrange plenty of activities from the very start of the party! Why not set up a table where children can make their own party hats or badges as they arrive? This is a great quiet activity to keep everyone occupied until all the guests are present and the real party games can begin!
Kids of all ages love to receive party bags, and don’t really care what’s inside! For children over the age of three, ensure you include a balloon, a slice of birthday cake, and something small they can play with straightaway. Bubbles, yo-yos and stickers are classic choices that will suit every budget.
For smaller children consider organising an age appropriate party bag that won’t cause parents to panic about small parts! No need to buy too many things, one quality gift will be better received. Soft toys or books (particularly those that match the theme of the party) are a great pick.
Organising a children’s birthday party can be a lot of hard work, but there’s no need to be a martyr to the planning. Accept any help that is offered from family and friends so that you can relax and enjoy as much of the day as possible with your little one – and that’s surely the most important tip of all!