The first thing to write at the top of your list is keep it simple. Each year it seems the competition can be fierce for the title of best party. And rather than being an enjoyable celebration of your child’s special day, it can become fraught with the need to invite every child within a ten mile radius, have entertainment only matched by Cirque du Soleil, professional cake creations that used to only be found at weddings, and each child in attendance presented with a gift bag that would normally be reserved for celebrities at red carpet events! Phew! That is an awful lot of high expectation to live up to and maintain for the next - how many birthdays?
Here’s a few suggestions to help solve the dilemma.
- Keep the numbers small. You only need to invite the few children that your child actually plays with. Inviting too many children can be overwhelming for your child and can lead to a birthday meltdown – not much fun for anyone! Keep it short. Just an hour is plenty of time for a young child’s party.
- Try to have a simple activity for the children to do when they arrive at your home, even something as simple as colouring in a sticker with their name on. Make sure you are clear about where the children are allowed in the house (limiting them to downstairs will make sure you can see what everyone is up to) and be sure to point out where the nearest bathroom is.
- Have a few prizes for the winners of games (try to make sure the birthday child doesn’t win every game!) perhaps a book, small puzzle or play dough.
- A piece of birthday cake is a perfect little treat for the guests to take home.
- Remember to have fun! Don’t worry about getting everything right or planning a perfect party. Your child just wants to enjoy some games with their friends and blow out the candles on their cake. Keep it that simple and you won’t be dreading the next one a year from now!