Birthday parties for kids today are often a lot different than they were when most moms were kids. In many communities, throwing kids birthday parties has almost become an extreme sport. It’s important to understand that your child’s party should be about fun, not competition. The most important aspect to bear in mind is that it’s about your kid – not anyone else’s. Be sure and plan your party around your own child’s interests and what your family is comfortable doing.
Here are some of the most frequently asked birthday party questions about children’s parties:
• When should I start planning the party?
You should start planning the party at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance so you have plenty of time to take care of everything. If you decide to hire a party entertainer or book a birthday party venue, you will want to make your calls about three months in advance, to be sure the date and time you want is available.
• How many kids should I invite?
If the party is for a child who is under the age of 5, and parents are invited to stay, the number of kids will not be a big factor. The parents will supervise their own children, so you will be able to concentrate more on yours. Many experts maintain that kids are old enough to be dropped off at parties once they are about 5 or 6 years old. By that time, most of the kids have been in playgroups, pre-schools, and possibly, kindergarten. That means they will, or at least should, have the social skills they need to play nicely with other kids and have a good time. The general rule of thumb on how many kids to invite: your child’s age plus one.
• What is the best time to have the party?
The best time for the party also depends heavily on the guests’ ages. For babies and toddlers, you may want to consider naptimes. Scheduling the party so that it ends by noon can be a good idea. For slightly older children, parties can begin by 1 or 2 p.m. and end at 3 or 4 p.m.
Party Theme Decorations
• How long the party should last?
An hour for kids under the age of five should be fine with an hour-and-a-half to two hours for older kids being perfect. Be sure that you state a pick-up time on the invitation, so parents know exactly when to get their young partygoers.
• Is there a guideline when choosing party decorations?
Just make everything colorful. You can use your child’s favorite color and carry a single or multi-color scheme through with balloons, plates, napkins, serving bowls, a tablecloth and goodie bags. Decorations should also reflect the theme your child chooses. Once you and your child have decided on a theme, the easiest choice may be to buy a complete partyware kit. If your child is into pirates, dolls, Disney princess, Hannah Montana, or any sport, there are all-in-one packages to suit his or her birthday party fantasy.
• What is the best kind of food to serve at a kid’s birthday party?
The tiniest youngsters are easy to please: Having their moms or dads help them to a bit of cake and ice cream will probably make them very happy. Keep in mind that for young kids, small food portions work well. Think cut-up fruit, pieces of cheese, baby carrots, crackers, miniature muffins or anything else they can handle well. For kids over the age of 7 you can never go wrong with macaroni and cheese, baked ziti or pizza. It’s also important to remember that having a birthday cake or cupcakes is essential. Considering decorating cupcakes since it has a dual-purpose parent-pleasing activity: It keeps the kids busy and takes care of providing a dessert that all the partygoers will love.