Parties Vivian | 26 Aug 2010 09:39 am

Birthday Party Planning Tips – Less Stress and More Fun!

Have you ever returned from a kid’s birthday party wondering how some parents can remain calm and appear organized in the midst of a houseful of kids? Learn how to plan and manage a birthday party without incurring the expense of a party planner. Following are birthday party planning tips to help you create a fun, stress-free and memorable kid’s birthday party:

Plan in advance. Begin planning the birthday party 4 weeks in advance. Make a checklist of items needed and allow plenty of time for shopping online, ordering cakes and enlisting friends and family members to help.

Choose a party theme. Birthday party themes don’t need to be extravagant. Consider your child’s favorite movie or television character, a favorite sport, or a favorite color. Whatever the theme, it will help you when planning your party supply purchases, party games and decorations.

Determine the location. Determine if you will host the party at home or off-site, such as at a swimming pool, park, museum, zoo, bouncy house, or other favored outing. If hosting the party at home, think of age-appropriate games and activities for the kids to play. Keeping the children active and engaged will help avoid unmanageable behavior.

Select the party time. For little ones, it works best to host a party in the morning between, say, 10:00am to 11:30am to work around nap time. To avoid the need to serve a meal, try the hours between lunch and dinner such as a party time of 1:00pm to 3:00pm or 2:00pm to 4:00pm. This way, you could plan on serving finger foods as opposed to a full meal.

Determine the size. You may already know your limits when it comes to inviting a few select friends versus your child’s entire class from school. Parties for young children tend to involve family members like grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and siblings. For older children, focus on your child’s closest playmates – they already know each other well which tends to make for an easier-going and fun party. As a benchmark, consider inviting the number of children equal to your child’s age. For example, if your son is turning 7, try inviting 7 kids to the party. This rule seems to apply to those 8 years old and younger. For older kids, it’s often fun for them to invite a few best friends to attend a special event or outing.

Avoid analysis paralysis. Children remember what they did at a party, not the party plates and napkins. Don’t sweat the small details.

Use these birthday party planning tips to prepare a fun and memorable birthday party for your child and a stress-free event for yourself.

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