If you have school-age children (or nursery age children, for that matter!), the chances are your child has been invited to a party or two. And once they get a taste for it, they’ll likely want one, too.
Planning a children’s party seems like a doddle, right? Remember those pre-baby days when you used to host every good dinner or night out going…this should be a breeze, right?
But what looks like a piece of cake, may turn out to be quite a hassle, and a tad more stressful than you thought if you don’t have a proper plan in place….and you don’t want to be the flop of the year, do you? The last thing you want is to be completely exhausted and in need of a week’s holiday just to recover.
Fail to plan and plan to fail…
For your kid birthday party you probably have some idea of what you want, some things you want more than others, but one main thing is clear, in your child’s birthday party you want everything to be just right, and you want your guests to have a good time.
The key for a successful birthday party is planning and preparation, from the guest list to the invitations, decorations, menus and games â€“ you can do it all without forgetting any detail.
What’s your budget?
Do you want to plan an extravagant party or something simple? Every good event starts with a plan. And that is exactly where we are going to start, but before you put your plan on paper, you have to think through the basics. Start with a budget, how much are you willing to pay for this, do you think the birthday party should has as many parents as guests, or do you prefer a more intimate and small birthday party.
What kind of birthday party food do you think we be appropriate for this event? Do you want to stick to all party food or do you want to have some adult food for the parents as well? Would you consider having someone at the kid birthday party to entertain or keep an eye on the kids, or do you prefer to do that yourself?
Pick your date of the party carefully, so it does not conflict with family birthdays, anniversaries, school field trips, etc. if your child’s birthday falls during the school holidays, it might be an idea to have the party in the last week of that term or half term so they don’t get disappointed that friends don’t show up – travel, and just being extra busy during school holidays can make school holiday birthday parties less attended.
Is this party going to be held at your home, in a rented facility or a public place? Will it be within easy reach of the children attending – most children tend to live close to their school when in primary school, so holding a party 25 miles or more away may be pushing it…especially if it only lasts for a couple of hours.
DIY or party planner?
Will you do all the planning and work yourself, with help from family and/or friends, or will you pay a party planner to plan and execute the party?
If you’re doing it yourself, have a notebook dedicated solely to the party so you don’t forget anything, and write your to-do list somewhere that you can refer to as offend as you need to until everything has been covered.
How many invitees?
You’ll need to factor in the number of adults attending as guests or chaperones as well as the number of children attending, so you don’t run out of food and drink. Not all parents will be happy to leave their child in a school friend’s house unless they know them pretty well, so don’t get offended if parents opt to stay.
Whats in the menu?
You’ll need to think about the kinds of foods will you serve and what ingredients will you need to buy. How much food will you need? Are there any dietary requirements? It’s an idea to do a ring around once you’ve got your invites back to make sure that none of the children are allergic to anything so you can provide some suitable substitutes.
Games and Activities
What activities will you plan to keep the children entertained? Will you hire a disco, clown, bouncy castle? Will the activities work whatever the weather? Have you got suitable activities that both boys and girls will like (if you’re inviting both sexes)?
This will also have an effect on your budget, so work out these costs before you send out your invitations.
Will you send invitations by post, email, or have your child hand them out at school, or simply call and invite them on the phone? This does, of course, depend on how well you know the parents of the children attending, but it’s also ok to ask the class teacher to distribute the invites to the relevant children, especially if you’re I Viking the entire class.
Finally, to pull it all together, you’ll want to develop a party â€˜schedule’. Ink about a good time to start – if it’s on a Saturday, starting at 9am is pretty early and the parents probably won’t thank you for that!
Think about the food you are planning, and if it’s lunch, then decide to have the party just before midday or 1pm, so the children can arrive in time to eat before they start with the party games etc.
Once you have written all these things down, and started thinking about how to plan your child’s birthday party you’re halfway there. The key issue here is preparation and planning, give yourself enough time to execute all your plans, and have a great birthday party! And don’t forget to enjoy yourself, too!