Kid party checklists and ideas: Child birthday party planning guide
This is a concise guide to planning a party for young children. It includes step by step planning guide, and a checklist to help you organize your event so that it is worry-free and fun for everyone.
There are a lot of things to think about when planning a child’s birthday party. Some things you need to consider beforehand are:
-Where should I have the party? A party can be held in your home or the home of a relative. Other choices might be at a local fast food restaurant, bowling alley or recreation center. If you choose to hold it somewhere other than your home, remember that price and availability will certainly be a consideration. Calling several weeks in advance for details is a good idea. Another idea is an outdoor party. These can be held I your yard or a local park. A word of caution, though, be prepared with an alternate location in case of bad weather.
-When should I have the party? For young children, a morning or early afternoon party is better. The party should last no more than two hours at the most for children of this age. For older children, late afternoon will also work, such as after school. Your next choice is: weekday or weekend? This is purely a personal decision; however, remember that getting a child to a party on a weekday may be hard for working parents. Sunday is also not the best choice, as some people have religious obligations on that day.
-Who should we invite? The best way to decide this is to talk with your child about who they want to attend their party. For children under six, eight to twelve children would be recommended. For older children, between twelve and fifteen is okay if you think you can handle that many! Younger children are comfortable with children of both sexes at their party; however, older ones may prefer all one sex at their party. Sometimes parents wonder if they should invite a child’s whole class. It would probably be better to invite the kids your child is closest to instead of everyone!
-How can my child help? Children, no matter what age, really enjoy helping with the party preparations. Let them help decide whom to invite, plan the activities, choosing prizes or goodie bag loot, and putting up the decorations.
-What about decorations? A few simple decorations will add a lot to your party. Don’t feel that you have to go overboard and buy those expensive themed decoration kits unless you want to. Most young children are happy with balloons and streamers. If you can, buy some inexpensive plates, cups and napkins with a birthday theme. If you are having games, make sure that everyone will win a prize or choose not to have a prize. What often works instead of prizes is to have the winner of the previous game go first for the next one. Most child’s parties nowadays give each child a goodie bag. This can be filled with small favors, candy etc. Give these out at the end of the party as the guests are leaving.
-What should we serve to eat? Ice cream and cake are standard for most parties. If you want to do something else, such as serve a meal or make ice cream sundaes, you can. Unless you are having a theme party, try to stay away from exotic foods. Most young children are not very adventurous at trying new foods. Stick to the old favorites such hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, etc. Order the cake in advance and try to have most of the food preparations done before the party.
-What should we do? A good schedule is to have the games or activities first, eating cake and ice cream next, and opening the presents last. That way, the gifts will not be taken out of the boxes and played with. That is an easy way to have something broken or have children fighting over toys. Plan for the children to be picked up by their parents shortly after unwrapping gifts. If you do have extra time, plan for an additional easy game, such as Duck, duck goose, etc. until their parents arrive.
Here is a quick checklist to help you plan the party:
Before the party:
-Decide on the date, time, guests, theme, activities, refreshments, etc.
-Send out invitations at least a week in advance
-Enlist some (adult) help for the party such as grandma, dad or an aunt
-Discuss party manners with your child! (accepting gifts they don’t like graciously, saying thank you, etc)
-Purchase game materials, prizes, decorations, plates, cups napkins, forks, beverages, ice cream and any other refreshments you are having
-Order the cake several days in advance
-Prepare games and goodie bags
-Clean and clear space in your house or yard for the party or call for details and prices at another location
On the day of the party
-Put up the decorations
-Pick up the cake and any other items
-Set out supplies for games, goodie bags and refreshments
-Find another home for your pets for the duration of the party to prevent problems
-Designate a spot for gifts
-Have supplies handy for spills and trash
Above all, have a good time, even if everything does not go as planned. Your child will have a good time even if everything isn’t perfect