Is there a birthday on the horizon in your household? If one of your little ones is about to get a year older, then you are most probably starting to stress about their birthday celebrations. What sort of party should you throw them? Who should you invite? What type of cake should you serve? There’s plenty that you are most probably worrying about.
The problem is that it’s not just a case of getting a cake and a few balloons, like when we were kids. Today, birthday parties are big business, with a lot of competition to throw the best one. You don’t want to be the parent who throws their kid the rubbish party; you want to ensure that your child and all their friends have the most amazing time.
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Hence why birthday party planning can be so stressful, as you want to ensure that your little one has the most incredible birthday party and is the talk of the class. Although throwing an amazing birthday party that your child will love can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. The truth is that when it comes to planning any event, the better prepared you are, the less stressful the process will be.
With that in mind, below are some tips and ideas to make party planning that little bit less stressful, while still throwing an amazing bash. For everything that you need to know, keep reading.
Pick a theme
The first step when planning any event should be to pick the theme. This is important as the theme will impact every other part of the party, from the food to the venue, so it should always be the first thing that you decide on. Once you have the theme sorted, you can then start properly planning the party - the sooner you can start planning the better, as the less stressful the process should be.
For kids, traditional birthday parties can often work well, or at least, for younger kids, this type of theme tends to work well. However, if your child is old enough to understand what a birthday party is, consider asking them if there is a certain theme that they would like their party to be based on. Of course, if they are mad about a certain topic, such as football, for instance, you may not need to ask them this as you may already know the perfect theme. However, if you’re not sure what type of party they would like, it’s best to ask.
Popular party theme ideas include sports-themed affairs, Disney-themed parties, pirate parties, dress up parties, and animal-themed parties. If you’re unsure what type of party your child would like but want to surprise them, consider what their hobbies are, who their favorite TV characters are, and what their favorite color is, and you should be able to come up with the perfect theme. When picking a theme, remember to think through how you will implement it and how easy to do it will be - the easier it is, the better.
Be choosy about the venue
Once you’ve got the theme sorted, the next step is to select a venue. This will, of course, depend on the theme that you have opted for. Obviously, if your child wants a skiing party, for instance, then it will need to be held at your local skiing center. Or, if your child has asked to have a picnic party, then it will need to be at your local park. However, if they’re having a party that you can hold anywhere, you need to take the time to think about the perfect venue.
A lot of parents choose to rent out village halls and sports centers for their children’s parties, and this can work well. However, it can also be incredibly expensive to hire these types of venues, and stressful to transport everything to and from there. Another option that could be worth considering is using your home or garden to hold the party in, as that way you don’t have to worry about the cost and won’t have to transport anything anywhere. Of course, if your home and garden are small this won’t work, but if you’re lucky enough to have a large home and garden, then it could make the ideal venue.
Be smart about the food
Often, one of the most stressful parts of planning a child’s birthday party is organizing the food. This is because there’s a lot to think about and sort. However, just because organizing the food for your child’s party can be stressful, that’s not to say that it has to be, it’s all down to how you go about organizing it. If you’re smart about how you go about it, you can reduce the amount of stress that you’re under and make sorting the food out for your child’s party easier.
The most important thing is to make sure that you take into account any dietary requirements that any of the guests may have. So make sure to buy invitations that ask all parents to advise you of any allergies or other dietary requirements. If there are any allergies, such as nut allergies, for instance, try to ensure that all the food is nut-free. That way it’s less stressful for you and the child’s parents, as you don’t need to worry about cross-contamination or the child eating something with nuts in.
While you could make the food yourself, another option is to hire a caterer to do it for you. If there’s someone making your child’s birthday cake already, why not ask if they are also able to do the food for you? That way it’s one less thing that you will need to think about. If you can’t afford to use a caterer or don’t want to, another option is to buy food from the supermarket and serve that. Pizza slices, sausage rolls, crisps, iced cupcakes, chocolate biscuits, are all ideal. You could also make up some sandwiches yourself and then serve them alongside some readymade snacks. Think how much easier this would make planning your child’s party.
Plan plenty of activities to keep the kids busy
The worst thing that you can do when it comes to planning your child’s birthday party is fail to organize plenty of activities to keep them and their friends busy. When it comes to activities, you have two options. You can either have a schedule of what will be done when or you can dot different activities around and let everyone do what they want when they want. The option that you opt to use doesn’t matter, just as long as there’s plenty for your child and their friends to do.
As well as planning out lots of party games, it’s also a good idea to consider having some other activities on hand to keep everyone happy. How about hiring a children’s entertainer to come along and occupy the little ones? It could be a magician, a clown, or even an impersonator, depending on the theme of the party. Or, how about hiring a bouncy castle to keep the kids busy? When it comes to finding a jumping castle, make sure to take the theme of the party into account and pick a castle that works with it. For instance, if it’s a sports party, pick an assault course bouncy castle and time the kids as they go around it. Or, if it’s a princess party, hire a princess castle.
Another great entertainment option is to set up a table packed full of different activities, such as coloring books and pencils, glitter glue, board games, and anything else that you can think of that your child and their friends might like. The more activities there are on offer, the less likely that the kids will get bored, and the less stressful the day will be.
Get a helping hand
To take some of the pressure off of you when it comes to party planning, it’s a good idea to get a helping hand. Invite a couple of friends or relatives to help you run the party, to help ensure that it’s not too stressful.
The more children you have attending, the more helpers you will need. It’s important to ensure that you have the right amount of help for the amount of children that are attending, to make the party more manageable. Ideally, you want to have one adult for every five children. So, for instance, if there are 25 children attending your child’s party, it’s best to have five adults on hand helping out.
Believe it or not, planning an amazing birthday party for your child doesn’t have to be stressful, it’s just a case of making sure that you do plenty of planning. Take note of the tips and advice above, and you can ensure that the next birthday party you plan is stress-free and goes without a hitch. Remember, the more planning and preparation you can do, the better.
This is a collaborative post written by a contributing writer.