BEST Party Planning Advice
Party Planning DO's and DON'Ts
Put a bunch of kids together, get them all excited with games and activities, load ‘em up with candy and Kool-aid and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, right? Not necessarily. To eliminate meltdowns, melees and misbehaviour, here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts
DON’T invite every child you know! Invite only as many children you feel you can handle. The rule of thumb is to invite as many guests as your child is old, and remember once they eat cake, five children can easily feel like 500!
DO Request an RSVP.Giving a deadline to RSVP allows time to invite others should the guest list fall short. Send out written invitations. Verbal invitations are often forgotten. If your child’s birthday is near a holiday or on a typically busy weekend, get invitations out early enough for people to plan to attend. Include all details on the invitation including a start and end time, address and directions, phone number, and what guests need to bring such as a bathing suit and towel.
DO Kid Proof. Protect yourself, your guests, and your sanity by containing the party to a specific area. Then kid-proof it. Store breakables, treasured possessions, and small knick-knacks in another part of the house. If your guest list includes young children, check your outlet covers, and scour the area for small items that can be swallowed. Also, watch out for the balloons. While they are definitely a festive touch, bits and pieces can cause choking. This gives you one less thing to worry about, and it gives the children freedom to PARTY!
DO Start Sensibly. Avoid nap and evening times for toddler and preschool parties. From the first knock at the door, work to make kids comfortable. Have your child greet each guest. For nervous younger kids, position something appealing, like balloons or a craft table, to draw them in from the door. If you want parents to stay ask them in advance. If parents go, ensure they leave a contact number in case of emergency.
DO Plan Enough Activities. Not planning enough party activities for your little guests can spell disaster. While it is difficult to determine how long it will take a rambunctious group of revelers to play pin the tail on the donkey, it is better to be safe than sorry. Have an extra game or two planned lest you run up against the most feared party guest of all, the unoccupied 5-year-old!
DON’T Let the Party Last Too Long. Like the number of guests to invite, the length of children’s birthday parties has a rule of thumb. For school age children, a two- to three-hour party is appropriate. For toddlers and pre-school children, however, a one-hour party is best. Consider concluding the festivities with a wind-down activity or story time.
DO Make Opening Presents Fun for All. Open gifts in private or make a game of it with favorites, such as Duck, Duck, Goose. Guests sit in a circle with their gifts in their laps. Then instead of running around the circle, the goose is given the opportunity to present the birthday child with his or her gift.
DON’T Forget to Send a Thank You. Creative options include giving a hand-written note declaring “thanks for joining in the celebration” to departing guests. Another way to personalize a thank you is to take a picture of your child in front of his birthday cake or amidst an array of gifts holding a sign that reads “thank you.”