Once you become a parent, all of a sudden you are expected to become an expert party planner. Also, you will need to feed, entertain, and host memorable parties that everyone will enjoy. Honestly, my kids first birthday party was a flop. Instead of getting discouraged, I learned how to throw a fabulous party that I could be proud of by learning from other parents and party planners around me.
You need to start inviting people 3-4 weeks in advance. Before anything else you need to decide if your child’s birthday party will be unisex. Evites are very popular and help you by automatically sending reminders to your guest. When I planned my first party, I asked my husband to send the evite, but he didn’t notify people until the week before. Needless to say, only about 3 guests showed up. My advice is to, utilize a birthday party checklist.
2. Create a Theme
Decide on a theme that is appropriate for the occasion. Make sure the theme fits your guests and your child’s interest. For example, if you daughter is really into being a princess and you are inviting girls and boys, make it a King and Queen theme. Use royal colors such as Pink, Purple, Blue, and Gold. Some parents of boys, don’t want to bring their sons to be a princess themed party, so while you may not have a problem with this, some parents do care.
If you have a hard time decide what your child is interested in but appears to have a favorite color, let the color be the theme. For example, have a Red party. Let everything center around the color red.
Kid themes to consider – favorite book or cartoon character, favorite animal, etc.
You need to decide how much you would like to spend for the occasion. This is very important because you will need to decide how far you want to go creating your vision. When creating a party for kids this is very important that both parents come to an agreement about how much will be spent on the party. Your budget will also determine everything else; especially the location.
4. Location and decorations
These two go hand-in-hand. Decorations will depend on where you have the party. For in home parties you will need more decorations to transform the space. Standard decorations are balloons. Other decorations to consider are pinatas, table center-pieces, and themed plates, napkins, cups, etc.
If the party is for kids, something easy for them to eat on their own is great. Finger foods that are colorful and fun. Shy away from things with any types of nuts. So many children have nut allergies that it is best to stay away from these items. Bite size sandwiches are great depending on the age group. Make your own pizza is also great because both parents and children can participate. Just make sure they wash their hands and you have plenty of space and helpers :-). A timeless menu to me is fruit, sandwiches and theme-baked cookies, cake, or cupcakes.
This is one of the most important parts of the party to me. You need to develop a program that is organized and flows in a particular order. Parents and kids will enjoy a semi-fast passed party where they are continually entertained. Party ideas include fun music, art and crafts, and games, get the parents or adults involved too. Everyone likes to have a great time. Keep everyone engaged. Try not to have too much down time where nothing is going on. When guests arrive, have an ice-breaker, which will help everyone get to know each other.
Your party favors should be for whoever attends. I think something practical and theme centered is nice. A gift for the kids as well as their parents should be nice, but most parents will not expect a favor. You don’t have to be a big spender on these items either, just creative. Favors could be anything from candy (be careful giving other people’s kids candy, because not all parents allow their children to eat it), to fruit, cookies, toys, calendars, balls, cds etc. Just keep in mind that the favors should follow the theme.
Reader Response: What else do you think help make parties enjoyable for adults and kids?
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