Tips to Pull off a Stress-free Kids’ Birthday Party
The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and your kids have spring fever. Add planning a birthday party to that and you have the recipe for the perfect headache. But a birthday party doesn’t have to be a chore — here are tips to planning a stress-free kids’ birthday party.
Remember to take on only what you can handle. Not every parent is a party planner, but most parents want to be pleasing parents. A good party doesn’t have to be a grand party.
Involve Your Child
Let your child’s personality dictate what kind of party you throw. If he or she is shy, have an intimate party where your child feels comfortable. If he or she is an extrovert, a bigger party with more games might be appropriate. Don’t force your child into something you want, make it about what they want.
Start with a theme. Themes add consistency to the party. When the decorations, food and drinks all coordinate, it’s easier to streamline planning. This is something you can recruit your child to help you with. If he or she chooses the theme, it will likely be a hit. However, stay away from themes that require costumes. It adds stress to the planning and it may be asking too much of other parents.
You don’t have to invite the entire class. Keep it simple and invite just girls or just boys. You can even do the “age plus one” rule and invite one more child than the age your child is turning. 10 nine-year-olds is much more manageable than 25 nine-year-olds and it’ll be a better opportunity for the kids to bond in a way that’s not like being in class.
You don’t have to do paper invitations, but if you want to keep your child part of the fun process, he or she can help with them – just make sure to send a follow-up email so you know it gets in the hands of parents. Otherwise, the Internet has many options for sending out cute invitations through email.
Internet invitations allow you to be very specific. Extend the invitation to allow as many family members you’re comfortable with and they can RSVP with the exact number of attendees. The “drop-off age” is typically five, so assume with caution the child is the only one attending from ages five and up.
Include the start and end time to give you added control around clean up.
For food and decorations, involve the whole family. Don’t take on all of the responsibilities yourself. Have your spouse take care of the grocery shopping. Have your kids help bake and decorate. Everyone can take part in set-up and break-down.
Bookend with Fun
Start the party with your best game and end with cake and ice cream. You want to get them interested at the start of the party and you want to keep them interested until the end.
If you want a no-stress party, skip the goody bags. Kids don’t expect them so they won’t know the difference. What the kids are there for is fun and cake. Save yourself time, money and energy by leaving goody bags out.
You don’t have to go bananas for your child to have a blast and the less stressed you are, the more fun you and the party will be.