So, it is that time of the year. Already!
If you are like me, you might be wondering how you got here. Time seems to have passed so fast. I still remember having my first child over three years ago, and it is amazing how in less than three months, she will be 4!
She is so unique. She is beautifully stubborn (like me), naughty, playful, kind (loves to share her food) and loves, princess dresses, to the point that she wants to wear them every single day.
Haaa!! Trying to get her to wear regular clothes in this cold weather for pre-school is a nightmare.
Anyway, enough rambling about my daughter!
LET'S DIVE INTO WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE.
PARTIES BY AGE!
When planning a party for your child, you must keep in mind their age. Planning a celebration for a toddler/ pre-schooler will be different from planning for a schooler.
Let's talk about toddlers, for instance, or, as you might prefer to call these little devils, pre-schoolers!
When planning a party for this age group, I advise you to take extra care with the entertainment. The party should be focused on the child, but of course, keeping in mind the different age group that might attend. The theme should be one that can easily integrate a diverse age group.
For infants and toddlers, a planned celebration is a better choice than a surprising celebration, and this is because little kids have short attention spans. Activities that do not require a lot of concentration will keep them entertained for longer.
A good option is to try activities that include every guest at once. Little kids are not patient (mine isn't), and if your is like mine, which probably is, it is best to avoid games or activities that they would have to wait in line for their turn. Although patience is a virtue, and at some point, we have to teach them that it is okay to wait in line, and in real life is a must to wait for their turn. During a birthday party or any celebration, regardless of your child's understanding of what is happening, you do not want to ruin the day by starting to put rules and regulations during the party. This day should be a day of enjoyment, for you, for the guest and especially for your child. They should be free to enjoy the occasion!
You could set up the following activities:
Freeze and dance
Passing the pillow
Jumping castle (outdoors party)
Bearing in mind that all the kid's entertainment activities should be completed preferably before cutting the cake.
Depending on your tradition, cutting the cake means different things for different people, some religions don't even cut a cake on their birthday, some don't even celebrate birthdays. But for the families that do celebrate, this might indicate that the party is ending and for others might mean that there will be a while until all party activities can restart.
Planning a party for kids already in school is easier. Let me tell you!
Why? Because they can tell you what they want and what they like. In fact, they don't even have to say, "mum, I want this". You will know before the party what your child would like. A surprised birthday party works well for this age group.
I am sure you already have in mind a theme, or your child may already have mentioned a favourite movie or show that he likes. So, go ahead, yes that is exactly what I was going to say, you are thinking right, do a costume theme party!
Heroes (Choose the hero he/she likes, my brother loves spiderman and black panther)
Princesses (My daughter's theme party will be frozen. She loves Elsa and Anna)
Kids of this age group tend to enjoy costume parties the most. You could set up a theme, decorate it accordingly, and have everyone, the kids and the parents (why not) dressed accordingly. You could even set up a prize for the best costume. Let your child be the judge.
For this age group, entertainment is endless. You could:
Rent a bouncing castle
Splash a pool
Hire a magician/clown
Or Coordinate games such as:
Treasure hunt and so much more.
You shouldn't forget about food and cake (that would be catastrophic, can you imagine). Decide on the cake décor to match the theme, and every other sweet around the table, make it in a way that integrates with your chosen theme.
Do not forget to have a wide variety of drinks, as the party goes. Kids will have so much fun and physically tire themselves with the activities that it is crucial to keep a wide variety of drinks to keep them hydrated and energized, especially during summer. You could get cute paper glasses that match the theme and come up with creative names for the drinks.
So, you have a theme, know more or less what activities to plan for the day. Know more or less the décor you want for the cake and sweets table, not forgetting the drinks. Now what is left is to invite your guests.
Invitations go as old as time, way before kings and queens. Before you were invited to an occasion, you have to show your invitation at the door, before allowed entrance. Now, nothing has changed, only the way invitations are sent. Now, you can choose to send a text message, email, tweet, postage, and you can also deliver it personally. So many ways, I'm sure I have not listed all.
Anyway, invitations are a big piece of your celebration planning. Your invitations must be eye-catching. You should include the expected information such as time, date, venue, occasion, guest of honour. But you definitely should include other details, such as the menu of the day. This is important because it allows the parents to notify you of any dietary requirements, such as allergies or vegetarian options. You could also add entertainment information and any required clothing for the activities during the party.
Last but not least, goody bags!
At the end of every children party, kids are eager and waiting impatiently for their goody bags. They are excited and cannot wait to find out what is inside the bag. Kids will want to discuss between themselves to share what they have got and to see if their friend got the same things or not. It's an exciting moment for them!
It's a significant aspect of a birthday party that marks the end. For this reason, you should make this process of giving the goody bags as smoothly as possible. I recommend giving it at the end of the celebration, as the kids leave to avoid confusion about who has not yet received theirs. This will ensure that everyone receives one goody bag. You could also separate the goody bags for girls and boys even by age if you can, this would be more beneficial for the kids. Check out another post for Tips for goody bag on a budget!
Remember, use this time to bond with your child, he will remember this party, but it will make it more memorable if you give the love and the attention your child wants and deserves during and after the party. It’s how special you make them feel that sticks in their memory.
Love your child and let him be a child. Time goes fast. Not long from now, they will become an adult, and the time will fly.