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Planning a child’s birthday party can be a daunting task, especially if they’re at an awkward age. How do you avoid any meltdowns? How do you keep a room full of children entertained? Should the party last 2 hours or three? Or where you can get the best birthday cake for example?
They’re all valid questions and ones that can send your mind into overdrive if you ponder them for too long. Here are some tips on planning the perfect birthday bash for your little one.
The first thing you need to do is lock in the date. Get in touch with all of the essential guests and make sure they can make it before sending out any invites.
When you’re sure you have a date for the party, think about whether you want the party to be themed. You may want to add the theme to the invitation. Adding the theme could give people attending ideas about gifts or if they should wear a fancy dress.
If your child is young and you want parents to stay with their children during the party, make that clear on your invite. Young children can only manage a few hours before getting overtired and grumpy. Put a start and end time on your invite too!
You don’t have to plan a three-course meal for a children’s party. The best idea when it comes to food is a buffet. That way, you don’t have to worry about your child’s outfit getting ruined.
Put out things like pizza, hotdogs, sandwiches, and chips. If you have young guests, you may want to include softer foods like PB&J or ice cream as well.
Of course, when it comes to birthday parties, the most important food group is cake. There can never be enough cake because the kids will always come back for more. You may want to think about getting a giant birthday cake to save for family and sing happy birthday, and getting mini cupcakes for eating at the party.
You’ll be surprised by how entertaining a balloon and some music can be when you have little ones. You won’t need much more than that, but if you want to plan some extra games just in case, pass the parcel is a great one.
You could also try musical statues or musical chairs. If you have access to a Wii or a dance mat, that’s an excellent option for older kids, and even adults get involved sometimes. If you want to go above and beyond, you might consider hiring someone to dress like your child’s favorite TV or movie character.
It’s always nice to give a little parting gift to each child as a thank you for attending. Party bags are the ideal thank-you gift. You can include sweets, a small toy, a piece of cake, or a party popper. There are plenty of options, but it’s really up to you to consider what would be appropriate for each child.
In the end, all you need to do is take a breath and enjoy the day with your child.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.