Your child loves everything about their birthday—the presents, the friends, the cake, the decorations and the fun! So how can you make sure you give your child a party that makes them feel as special as they are? With a few tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible, you’ll be well on your way to throwing a party that will be a blast for everyone.
Choose a Theme
Every great party starts with a fun theme for the day. Your little one will probably already have an idea of what character or theme they want for the party. From superheroes to princesses to rainbows or fish, having a theme can help you streamline your day. Once you’ve chosen the theme, you can then download an app in your play or app store to help you plan decorations to match your party.
Time It Right
If your child is born around a holiday like Halloween or Christmas, conflicts can be a big problem for your guest list. Instead, think about moving your date a few weeks before or after the holiday. That way, more friends will be able to attend. Just don’t forget to do a special birthday breakfast or dinner on the actual big day.
The coolest new way to invite your friends and loved ones to your child’s birthday bash is to do so electronically. There’s nothing wrong with mailed invites but the new electronic ones that you can create via a smart phone app are so cute and an easy way to remind your guests of your upcoming party date. Some invites even come directly as text messages. The ease of storing and handling your RSVP’s is really super convenient and fun.
Make Your Food Memorable
Don’t underestimate the power of good food at your birthday party. Divide the menu into two parts—one for the adults and one for the kids. You’ll want to serve kid-friendly finger foods that are good for munching. Think bagel bites, chicken nuggets, carrots, goldfish and a sweet treat. For parents, you can serve finger sandwiches, barbecue, or a grown-up chicken platter. Pizza is less memorable but a quick way to feed both adults and children. Just don’t forget to feed the parents. They’re just as hungry if not hungrier than the kids themselves. To make the party food that much more memorable, include little name tags that match the theme. For instance, if you’re throwing a “Star Wars” party, put a little tag in the barbecue that says Chewy-Q with a picture of the beloved Chewbacca. To make sure your food is as safe as possible, you’ll want to ensure you don’t serve any peanut butter to children that may be allergic and check with parents about allergies before serving.
Keep Them Busy
The worst thing that you can do is to have a party and not have any activities or toys there for the children to play with. Think about having a dance floor with music, a rotation of centers related to the party’s theme or some good, old-fashioned games like “Pin The Tail On The Donkey” or “Duck, Duck, Goose.” Having a plan of activities can help your party flow well, keep the children occupied and give the parents something to help with.
Let Them Eat Cake
Cakes are a special and fun way to tie in the theme of the day and also keep your guests fed and happy. A great themed cake is cheaper than you might think if you get it made by your local grocery store or deli. Though some people want to celebrate with cupcakes and cookies, pictures of cakes throughout the years can be a great keepsake for years to come.
Handle the Gift Giving
Your child will love opening their gifts and your guests will love to see your little’s face light up when they open what they’ve brought. But handling the gift opening process can be a bit chaotic if you’re not prepared. Make sure to have someone (not you) write down everything that is received and who it is from. You need to be in place to handle handing out the presents, referring small helpers and picking up the wrapping paper.
Special Party Favors
Giving out a “thank you” party favor is a sweet idea. As your guests leave, you can have a basket near the door filled with departure goodies. Try to make them match the theme as much as possible and avoid giving out junk that will just clutter homes. If you’re having a “Paw Patrol” party, then think about giving out a stuffed puppy for adoption as your guests leave. For a “Star Wars” party, think about a light saber as a good-bye gift. That way everyone is happy without the added clutter. Giving out a book is always a great idea as well.
The best advice for the big day is not to make things so complicated. Don’t spend the entire night before making homemade decorations or you may be too tired to enjoy the day. Keeping it simple really will make you have more fun and recover more easily. As long as your kiddo is happy and having fun with his friends, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, your little one will remember how special you made them feel just by throwing them a wonderful birthday party.