Parties are a core part of your kids’ childhood experience. In years to come, your little ones will recall the balloons or birthday cakes that you have long forgotten and will reminisce about the activities you organized and the snacks you served.
However, organizing a successful children’s party can be extremely stressful. Before the event even begins, you’ll need to book a venue, schedule the date, send out invites, and start thinking of activities.
Fortunately, you aren’t the first parent to throw a party for their little ones. By following a few practical tips, you can host a party that runs smoothly and creates happy memories that last.
Creating a Plan
A child’s party may sound like an informal event that — compared to an adult party — requires minimal planning. However, if you want your children’s friends to be in attendance, you’ll need to start planning at least a month in advance.
Before you start hiring venues, reach out to the other parents in your kid’s social circle. Find out when everyone is available and try to “reserve” a date so all your children’s friends can attend. The party will still be a success if a few of your little one’s friends can’t make it, but they’ll be much happier if their besties are all in attendance.
Once you’ve found a mutually agreeable date, you can start planning the finer details of the party. Start the process by speaking to your kid. Find out what kind of party excites them and try to accommodate their ideas. You may be surprised (and relieved!) to find out they just want to have some friends over to play games and eat pizza together.
After you’ve spoken to your child, you can start working on venues and activities. Reach out to a few potential venues as soon as possible, as some ice rinks and laser-tag arenas will be fully booked with other children’s parties.
You don’t need to break the bank when throwing a children’s party. Budget-friendly parties can be just as fun as expensive trips to the movie theater or jungle gym. You’ll be surprised by how many children simply love to play hot potato and musical chairs.
If you’ve decided to host the event at home, buy your decorations early and run through a “mock” party setup. This may sound like overkill, but seeing the party space in real life will help you better organize your space before the big day.
Organizing the Space
Throwing a children’s party is surprisingly fun. However, you need to properly organize the party space unless you want to spend the whole evening fretting about the whereabouts of the children in attendance. Start organizing the space by:
- Establish Rules: Some areas of your house should be “no go” zones. Keep kids out of the kitchen and try to corral them into a large open space like the garden or living room. This will minimize the risk of an accident and help you focus on the flow of events.
- Areas and Activities: Help the party run smoothly by designating certain activities to certain areas. For example, a scavenger hunt can occur in the front yard, while you reserve the back garden for food and drinks. Creating a positive space promotes healthy growth and will increase engagement at the party.
- Bring in an Attraction: Bouncy castle and trampolines are great entertainment that will last for hours. They also give kids a chance to embrace unstructured play with their friends.
Organizing the party space properly can help you maintain a degree of control while kids have fun in a safe environment. Just remember that the other children don’t have to follow your party plan all day. Unstructured play is a great stress relief for children. It can also help kids develop problem-solving skills that will serve them well for years to come.
Caring for Kids
In an ideal world, your child’s friends will abide by the rules of your home and have a great time playing with your little one. However, in reality, kids are chaotic creatures that will test your boundaries and choose to do their own thing.
While throwing a children’s party, try to build a respectful rapport with the other kids by embodying the values and traits of a childcare veteran. Be patient with your children’s friends and try to empathize with their points of view. Most kids aren’t malicious and will benefit from a gentle approach to discipline.
During the party, do your best to bring an enthusiastic mindset to the event. Kids can tell when your energy is off and may be a little unnerved if you seem to be disinterested or keen for the party to end. If you feel that your energy is fading, find a quiet place to take a breath and reenter the party when you’re ready to play along with the remainder of the day’s activities.
Children’s parties can be extremely stressful. Throwing a successful party requires plenty of preparation and a healthy dose of practice. Start the process by creating a plan that will ensure your little one’s friends can attend and organize a few activities that you know they’ll love. Try to embrace a patient mindset throughout the day and give the other kids a chance to play and express themselves without overbearing oversight.
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