Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
Birthday parties for our kids are a lot of work, which is something that often takes new parents by surprise. It’s no wonder either. The chaos of kids running around screaming misrepresents the reality that a children’s birthday party is closer to a formal event concerning planning than a casual get together.
The whole process can feel overwhelming, but watching our kids have fun with their friends is worth it. The trick for parents is not getting too frazzled.
Plan it With Your Child
While not exactly a checklist item, it is ultimately their party. Make sure it’s something they want to be part of, even if it’s based on that cartoon character or movie you’ve grown to loathe. This includes making sure any potential venue is available for the date, and that there aren’t any other significant events that would cause a scheduling conflict.
Getting your child’s input will let them know that their opinions and views are valued, and having them help during the planning and setup will be a learning experience for them.
Pick the Theme
Ask your child what they want for the party’s theme, and then work on seeing this theme come to life. This can be as easy or as challenging as you want. There is a wide array of favorite cartoon character and superhero related party merchandise to chose from.
The same goes if your kid would rather have a party’s theme based on their favorite extracurricular activity. You could end up with a gymnastics party complete with gymnastic party supplies.
Picking the right theme gives the party a sense of cohesion, and sets the stage for planned activities.
Make and Send Invites
Have your kid tell you who they want to come to the party, and then make up some invitations that match the theme then send them out. Remember to include an RSVP, and keep a few extras handy. Kids often forget friends they wanted to invite or make a new friend they suddenly want to come.
Make Sure Any Special Needs Are Met
Statistically speaking, there will be at least one child on the invitation list who doesn’t conform to what is considered normal. It could be severe food allergies, autism, or physical disability.
Accommodating children with special needs can be a little challenging, mainly if you aren’t used to children with special needs. There is no one single way to do this. Talk to the parents, and see what special considerations their kid requires.
Pick the Right Venue
The two central questions when it comes to picking the right venue is, will it accommodate everyone on the guest list, and is it appropriate for the season – i.e., no outdoor parties during a Minnesota January. Accommodation isn’t just a question of numbers. Everyone should be able to get in and out and use the bathroom without a problem.
Make sure to have a backup location as well. Lousy weather, unforeseen maintenance problems, or simple over-bookings can make the first choice in venues unavailable at the last minute. Chances are it won’t be as grandiose, but as long as the kids can have fun there, that’s all that matters.
Teach Your Kid to be Gracious
Out of the mouths of babes is a cute saying about kids, until something comes out of their mouth that makes them look a snot-nosed little brat. You don’t want that awful feeling a parent gets when your kid yells something like, “This isn’t what I wanted!” every time they open a present that wasn’t from their wish list. Make sure your kid understands to be gracious and say thank you for every gift they receive. It will be a lesson that will serve them well all of their life.
The safety of our children is more important than anything else at the party. Make sure that any performers or entertainers you hire pass a background check.
Don’t take the word of friends and family that Buzzo the Clown is a good guy because he hasn’t killed and eaten anyone they know. Verify that he is.
Some party supply places include this in their packages, but not all. Ask and be sure. Background checks are relatively inexpensive and can prevent tons of pain and regret.
Send Thank You Notes
We love our kids and enjoy seeing them have fun with their friends, but let’s be honest here. Going to these birthday parties don’t exactly top the list of things adults like to do. Send out postcards that tell all your guests, kid and adult, how much you enjoyed having them at your kid’s birthday party. It will be much appreciated.
Birthday Party Pack Giveaway
Discount Party Supplies is providing a FREE party pack to one Moms of Faith reader! Winner can choose either the standard package or deluxe for up to 16 guests.
How to win:
Comment below a birthday party tip (anywhere from planning, to during, to after), using your correct email in form. Then, on or about October 23 I will choose a random winner, and announce in a comment below. I will then forward the winner’s email and name to Discount Party Supplies, and they will take care of the rest!
Kelly McGrew says
I like the tip of using baking soda & vinegar in a big 2 liter soda bottle to blow up party balloons instead of helium!