Planning a party for your children can be a lot of fun to do, but also pretty stressful. There is a lot to take into account and a lot of decisions to be made. Where should you have the party? What kind of food should you serve? How are you going to keep all these kids entertained? There’s no need to get too stressed about a kid’s party. Children are usually quite easy to please. In most cases, your kids just want to play with their friends, and the other details of the party are just a bonus. Don’t panic about trying to make everything absolutely perfect. Chances are, your kids won’t notice if some things go a little wrong. Here are some top tips to throw the best kid’s party ever, without the stress.
Set A Budget
The cost of a children’s birthday party can soon add up. Set a budget before you start planning anything, and make sure you stick to it. One way to keep the budget under control is to think of it as a cost per head. What would you feel comfortable spending, per guest, on food, drink, and entertainment?
Choose A Date
Make sure that the date you choose works well for all the important people who you need to come, such as important relatives like Grandma, or your child’s best friend. If they can’t make it, and you know your kid will miss them being there, choose another date.
Make To-Do Lists
Lists can be a big help to keep you as organized as possible while you’re planning and stop you from getting too overwhelmed by everything that you have to do. List everything, from ordering invitations to paying the venue deposit. Ticking things off the list is very satisfying too! Make lists for items that you need to do on the month, week, and the day before the party.
Decide Whether You Want To Use Your Home
This decision will depend on how much room you have available at home, and how much work you are prepared to put into your kid’s party. Home parties are likely to be a lot more work for you, with a lot more clean-up, but they can be fantastic if you are a creative person and like a themed party. Having a party at home can also be cheaper, as you don’t have to pay for a venue, and have more control over what you spend on the decorations and the food.
Book A Venue
If you decide to book a venue, look for one that fits what your child likes. Play gyms, bounce houses, and kids’ museums are all good picks. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Choose A Theme
Choose a theme that your child actually loves, not just something you think will be cute or easy. Ask your kid for ideas, such as a favourite sport, movie, or activity.
Create The Guest List
For little kids, invite the whole class, if you can, to avoid hurt feelings. For older kids, it’s ok to stick with close friends only. You could also keep the guest list down a bit by having an all-girls or all-boys party.
Choose A Time
Think about nap times and when your child tends to have the most energy. Toddlers are usually better earlier in the day, before their afternoon naps. Older kids can do better in the afternoon. Keep this in mind.
Keep It Short
For younger children, an hour and a half is plenty of time. For older children, they’re likely to get tired after two or three hours.
Include the date, start and end times, the location, and how to RSVP. Add on details like parking information or any requests, like bringing a swimsuit or not bringing gifts.
Decide If You Want Parents To Stay
Note on the invitation if parents should stay around or if they can drop off their kids and go, to avoid any confusion.
Send Invitations In Advance
If you send invitations too early, parents could easily forget about it, but if you snd them too late, people might already have plans and not be able to come. Send them a few weeks in advance.
Serve Classic Foods
The basics are best for kids parties. Stick with pizza, cake, and ice cream. For parties at home, finger foods are good as they can be set up in advance and served at room temperatures, like mini sandwiches.
Get Creative With Favours
Send the guests home with something that will appreciate. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Send little things like personalized snack containers. It’s a good idea to have some extras for kids to take home to siblings not at the party.
Consider Entertainers Wisely
Musicians are good choices. Stay away from clowns or costumed characters as some children find them scary.
Have Plenty Of Activities
Keep the kids busy. Choose activities that fit your theme, and add some classic games like musical chairs. For parties in the garden, you could add bubbles or look into foam machine rental.
Let The Kids Help
Activities that let the kids make their own food, like putting toppings on their own pizza or decorating cupcakes, are fun. It’s also less food prep for you!
Have A Team
Get friends or relatives to help you to take photos, lead activities, and clean up. A babysitter might be useful to take care of younger siblings while you’re busy.
Prepare For The Unexpected
If you are having the party outside, have a plan for if it rains, whether it’s an alternative venue indoors or a rain date. Be prepared for unexpected and minor disasters by having some backup plans and a first aid kit on hand.
Open Gifts Later
Don’t open gifts at the party. This can lead to hurt feelings, lost gifts, and kids squabbling over toys. Wait until the guests leave and you’re back at home, and then get into the gifts.