Whether you are planning a large celebration with family and friends or planning to invite your child’s few closest pals, here are some idea’s to help make the party planning easier!
1. Decide whether you want to have a theme party?
Having a theme for your party will help you narrow down decoration and activity choices, but themed parties can be more costly. If you decide to go with a theme, ask your child what kind of party theme he or she would like?
2. Select a few dates
Before setting the date, check that your child’s favorite friend is available? If best friend Johnny or Jamie are going to be out of town, your child won’t be happy without their favorite friends attending?
3. Make a list of whom you are planning to invite?
The type of party and activities planned, will dictate how many kids you can host? For example: A backyard party (be sure to plan a rain date) may allow you to invite your child’s school room class of 30? However, if your child wants an inside tea party, the list may look a lot different?
4. Line up an entertainer for added party flair
Bringing in a professional entertainer will not only add unique fun to your party, but will create a little excitement of ‘what’s next’, while the children await the activities? Be sure to book in advance so you can be assured availability. Also, try to plan the entertainer’s arrival at least 30 to 40 minutes after the start of your party. Some ‘settling in’ time before the show begins not only gives kids time to greet each other, but add’s a buffer for any late arrivals.
5. Send out invitations
Written invitations may seem a bit old fashion, especially with the ease of less costly and less time consuming virtual communication? However, if you want to increase excitement about your child’s upcoming party, old fashion methods of paper to pen works very well! If you are pressed for time, think about asking your child for help? You may want to provide stickers, colorful pencils, confetti or even an unsolved riddle within?
6. Plan the order of your party activities
The average party runs from 90 minutes to 2 hours. If you hire an entertainer, remember to ask them how much time they will need? Most entertainers can organize activities for the full length of the party or will work with you if you want select services only? A good balance for a party will include both energetic and calmer activities with one or two special treats. For example; a food treat, like cotton candy or a character appearance for photo memories, perhaps your child’s favorite movie character ..or a special activity like hula hooping. Link to a website with hula hooping ideas. All of these will provide a unique touch and make a memorable party! Remember to charge phones and camera’s and if possible designate one person to be the ‘chief photo and memory maker’!
The best type of food for kids parties is simple or finger foods like pizza, cut up veggie’s with dips, chips, popcorn, fruit, and of course cupcakes or birthday cake. To satisfy thirst, make available small water bottles/drinks that little hands can grab. Keep it simple and in one place so kids can easily find to have easy clean up when the party is over.
8. Extra help
Ask friends, relatives or older children to help supervise during the party. Some entertainers can provide an extra person but you will usually be charged for the additional service. Planning extra help, even if you don’t think you will need it, assures peace of mind.
9. Remember to give your guest a party favor
A little take home treat after the party, gives kids a party memory and an opportunity to share the fun. They can even be handed out at the party end, as a thank you. Some entertainers will provide favors as part of their service, saving you time and follow up. Be sure to ask if they provide this service?
10. Lastly, relax when the day arrives
Easy to say when you don’t have 25, 6 yr olds pulling at your sleeve, asking you when the activities will begin ..and they all showed up 15 minutes early with the food now just coming out of the oven? Remember, part of the charm of an at home party, is a more personable and less formal approach with even a few unexpected twists and turns? Or if you decided to have it out, the excitement of a new space will make the kids curious as to how the activities will unfold? Additionally, have a few back up favorites if you want to keep things less ‘on the fly’. If having it at home, one or two popular childhood games, a handy pop in video of kids favorite movie or activities to keep an active group moving( balls, jump ropes, a few bubble bottles/ wands.) If having it out with a hired entertainer, most of the activities will be already planned. Either way, the most important thing to remember is to “relax” and enjoy the party once all the planning is complete.