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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tips for Planning Your Child's Birthday Party!

Birthday in a Box
 Tips for Planning a Kids Birthday Party!

Invitations should be sent out 2 weeks before the date of the party. Sooner if possible.

Plan With Your Child ~ Not For Your Child
  • No little kid wants to have a birthday party that momma planed and they didn't like! Let your child help you make decisions. It'll be fun for the both of you!
  • Make sure the child gets to help you pick out the party's theme. Along with the games and activities.
  • Letting the birthday girl/boy decorate their own party invitations makes them feel useful and important. They'll feel very proud of their design and enjoy handing the invitations out to family and friends even more. If they're to young to write clearly, you can do the writing while they do the decorating or help you with the design. For Example : Cut out pictures and glue onto blank invitations and let him or her color, or add some stickers.
Integrate the Theme
  • Once you choose a theme, make it run through every portion of the party.
  • For Example : A Pirate Party may have Boat Shaped finger sandwiches, eye-patch party favors, along with napkins/decorations with skull and cross-bones. Or a Princess Party with flower cookies, Tiara party favors, you can lean a tall mirror against a wall have a basket of dress up clothes and let the girls do the rest!!
  • Have a Guest Book where everyone (parents of small children or older kids)can sign and put their phone number along with adress so they can recieve a Thank You Card and be invited to the next party.
Keep it Short and Stick to plans
  • Keep the kids busy from the time they get there till the time they leave.
  • The "Main Event" should start as soon as all or most of the guest have arrived. (Main Event can be any Special activity, pinata, Etc.)
  • Food and Cake is best served in the last hour so no one gets sick during activities.
  • 2 hours is a good length for a children's party of any age.
  • You can tale when the party is comming to a natural end when the youngest guest start getting ill and sleepy!
Plan Activities around Age of Guests
  • Don't pick games with hard directions that would either be hard to understand or take to long to learn.
  • Toddlers are to young to do alot of games that older kids enjoy doing, plan your games around the age of the birthday kid and his or her guests. If there are 1 or 2 young kids and the others are older, have an activity just for the younger ones so they can enjoy the party as well.
  • Try Familiar games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or maybe a treasure hunt if they match your party theme.
  • Kids over 5 (school age) need more excitement than toddlers. You can hire a magician or dance teacher or take the party to a bowling ally or something of that nature. (Cheaper options below)
Entertain Kids with Simple Activities
  • Being Creative comes natural to children. Why not bring it to the party??
  • You don't have to spend alot of money to entertain any age kids, use your imagination: For Example using "Carnival Style" activities, with or without the carnival theme. Meaning having more than one activity going on at a time, a small group of kids at each activity table.
  • Have kids decorate their own cookies or cupcakes.
  • Fill buckets with crayons/colored pencils, stickers, stamps to decorate party crowns/hats or scrapbook pages.
  • Have bowls of buttons, colored sand, glitter, other small crafting supplies to glue on plain picture frames. If you have a digital camera and able to print out pictures you can send each guest home with a picture from the party to remember the fun they had.
  • Collect old un-mated socks before the party, let the kids decorate them and make sock puppets, They can put on a Puppet Show. (If your able to video-tape the puppet show, it would make a great keepsake)
  • A Disney party can have ~ 1 activity where Captain Hook's Treasure is hidden from Peter Pan in sand and the kids get to keep what they find; While at another table kids can be making Princess tiaras for girls and Prince crowns for boys. You can have 3 or 4 activities going on at one time depending on how many guests you have. Set a time limit at each table/stand and switch to make sure every child gets to do every activity. Any unfinished craft can be taken home to complete.
Themetastic Simple Food
  • Keep the food simple but don't forget your pick theme!
  • Use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches to match the party theme.
  • Use cookie cutters on Jello for a jiggly treat
  • Make finger foods small enough for small hands.
  • Don't have any food that needs to be cut
  • Make a Monkey Platter of snack foods like different fruit sliced up; crackers with cheese, jelly or peanut-butter; nuts or raisins or veggies (Check for food allergies in the guests)
  • To keep kids busy while waiting for the food to be served, cover the table with paper and have buckets or flower pots of crayons in the center.
Birthday Cake Fun
  • A good time to serve cake is after the food, within the last 45 minutes of the party. 
  • Once the cake is cut, serve the youngest kids first. (They don't like take good to waiting!!)
  • Cupcakes are a good choice because it lets all the kids be served together, you can put one candle in each cupcake, if wanted.
  • If you use cupcakes, have a small personal cake or a larger cupcake for the birthday girl/boy so they can feel special. Try setting they at the head of the table, if possible.
The Decision of Gifts ~ "To Open or Not to Open"
  • Before you decide if your child is going to open the gifts during or after the party; There are 2 questions to ask: What are the ages of the party guest?? & How many people are coming?
  • For younger kids, a lot of parents think it's best to wait til after the party to open gifts due to other children having a melt down and/or getting jealous of the presents.
  • Older kids (school age, including kindergarten) seem to understand that the party is for the birthday boy/girl and they are the one who gets the presents.
  • Most kids are okay with watching the presents being opened, some part is due to knowing that everyone will have party favors!
  • If the party has alot of guests and the gift pile is quite large, then opening all the gifts can be tiresome and kids may get bored and want to stop unwrapping and play with what they have already. If thats the case, then waiting til after the party is very reasonable.
  • If you have a small party and a small amount of gifts then opening them in the last half hour of the party would make a great way to slow the party down as guest start to head home.
The Parting Treat ~ Goodie bags
  • Stick to the party theme when making the goodie bags.
  • You can add bubbles, toy jewelry, stickers, small notebooks, etc.
  • Make sure all the items in the bags are safe and age-appropriate.
  • Get creative with what you put the goodies in. It don't have to be a bag. For example ~ Use small pocket books/cloth bags for girlie parties, Chinese Food Take-Out boxes, A large hand-towel with art supplies folded up inside for Art or Pool parties, etc.
  • Add guest's names on the Goodie "Bags" to add importance.
Thank You Cards
  • If everyone signed a Guest Book, or if you know everyone's address; Your child can write Thank You Notes for enjoying the party with them and for their presents. If your child is to young to write the notes, they can help you decorate them while you do the writing.
  • Thank You notes should be sent out within the week after your child's party.

    Fun Facts!!!
    May 22nd is the least common Birth Date other than February 29th
    August is the most common birth month!!!
    The most common Birth Date is October 5th! (The Day before mine!!)
Written by Autumn Banks
References from

Birthday in a Box

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