Mystery Party Tips and Ideas
Ten Kid's Party
By Patricia Jensen
Avoid the most
common and obvious pitfalls many parents
when planning their first kids party. Tap into the knowledge of
experienced party planners who've learned to steer clear of the "Ten
Kids Party Planning No-Nos".
MORE CHILDREN THAN YOU CAN HANDLE
intentions were good when you invited everyone in little Tommy's
classroom to celebrate his birthday, but you didn't realize what it's
like when twenty active 6 year olds get together all in one place! Add
excitement and sugary food and you've got a real problem! Do yourself a
favor and match the number of party guests to the birthday child's age
- a tried and true formula from countless Moms and Dads experienced in
hosting successful kids parties.
invitation should state clearly the Who, What, When, and Where of your
party, as well as an RSVP date, phone number, and name to call. Add any
special instructions such as what to wear, and whether a meal will be
served or just cake and ice cream. Writing the name of the invited
guest clearly will, in most cases, avoid siblings crashing your party.
TO KID-PROOF YOUR PARTY AREA
yourself and your party guests by doing a pre-party sweep of the party
area for potential hazards. Stowe your precious possessions and
breakables in a safe place for the duration of the party. If very small
children will be in attendance, make sure you have outlet covers in
that loose change and other items that can be swallowed are out of
sight. During the party, be vigilant about letting balloons, or pieces
of them, get into the hands of little ones. Avoid serving any food that
could trigger nut allergies in children.
IT - TOO MUCH TO DO, TOO LITTLE TIME
goes for both the party host/hostess and the guests. As the party
planner, be sure you have adequate adult help to supervise all the
party guests, play games, serve food, and clean up. Usually other
parents are happy to assist, with the promise of reciprocation at their
child's event. Putting on your child's party shouldn't mean you can't
enjoy the proceedings too!
Guests should not
either. Make sure you have allowed ample time and that the age group
has the attention span and ability to tolerate all the elements of your
party plan. In general, a one hour celebration is optimal for toddlers
and pre-K kids, while older school age children can handle 2-3 hours
easily. Plan a winding-down activity or story time for younger kids.
PLANNING ENOUGH GAMES & ACTIVITIES
brings to mind the dreaded scenario of a bunch of overstimulated kids
running amok because you've run out of games and activities with which
to engage them. Don't let it happen to you! Always have extra games and
prizes in your bag of tricks to tame the little monsters! You don't
have to use them, but at least you'll be prepared.
NOT SUITED TO AGES/ABILITIES OF GUESTS
year olds will love playing "Duck Duck Goose", but charades or a
scavenger hunt are way beyond them. Do a trial run of all your planned
party games with the birthday child prior to party time to avoid any
difficulties that might arise.
happens! That's why you should always have a back-up plan for your
party. Have an indoor alternative for outdoor parties in case of
inclement weather. Confirm your entertainment a week in advance, but
plan a few extra games or a party-themed video in case the
entertainment falls through. Above all, resolve to keep your cool and
handle whatever comes up with grace.
nothing worse than party guests grabbing gifts and opening them for the
party child. Or, the birthday child tearing open wrappings and casting
gifts aside without a proper thank-you. You might consider opening
gifts privately after the party's over to avoid any unkind comments
from the birthday child, or jealousy on the part of the guests.
you're determined to navigate these dangerous waters, here's a
lifesaver for you: Have guests sit in a circle holding their gifts. The
party child sits in the middle and spins a bottle to determine whose
gift s/he will open. This keeps the insanity to a minimum and allows
you time to record the names of gifts and gift-givers for thank-you
RECORDING GIFTS GIVEN/ NOT SENDING THANK-YOU NOTES
so convenient to fall into this trap, but remember... a gift worth
receiving is a gift worth giving thanks for....Thank you notes are
always in style, and if you follow the instructions above for avoiding
the gift-opening free-for-all, you'll be in good shape to write
Children will view
this as a fun project if you
provide them with colorful notes and markers or help them design an
original on the computer. My kids always like to write out the
addresses on the envelopes, too - it makes them feel grown up.
Copyright 2004 Kids
Party Paradise All Rights Reserved
Patricia B. Jensen
is a mother of three and kids party
enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of Kids-Party-Paradise.com
- a complete resource for kids party ideas including invitations,
cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food.
For all the latest
party news, read her Kids
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