- Keep it simple. Your child won't care if there are elaborate decorations, or a meticulously thought out menu. He just wants to have fun.
- Get some help. Many parents get overwhelmed trying to do it all themselves. If your father-in-law is artistic, ask him to make the invitations. If your sister is a great baker, put her in charge of the cake. Consider hiring someone to entertain the kids, run the games or clean your house pre- and post-party.
- Ask for your child's input. Before you start planning, get your child's opinion. Even young children enjoy a trip to the party store to choose between Elmo and Thomas the Train plates. My kids love to browse through party catalogs to choose a few special things for their party.
- Keep it manageable. Instead of inviting your son's entire first grade class (27 kids - can you imagine?), suggest that he invite his two or three favorite friends to do something special, like going bowling and out for pizza. Likewise, don't feel like you have to invite all of his school friends, neighborhood friends, cousins and so forth. Chances are, it will be overwhelming for him - and for you!
- Don't plan too much. It's great to have a few ideas for games, crafts or other activities, but there's no need to schedule a ton of different activities.
- But do have a "back up plan". It's smart to have a few extra crafts or games in mind, just in case the kids seem bored. Musical chairs is fun for all ages, a dance party is an easy, enjoyable activity, and younger kids would probably love a few stories.
- Have a set "end time" and a friendly way of ushering people out the door.
- Remember, the birthday party should be a celebration of your child, not an elaborate affair. Keep it simple and you'll all have a great time.
I appreciate Candi's tips and they ALL made Charlotte's party go more smoothly. I tend to over plan and these 8 birthday party tips reminded me to relax and have fun. One more tip of my own though is to appoint someone to take the party pictures for you. Just enjoy watching your child have fun with their friends and don't get caught up in taking the perfect shot.
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