Friday, October 5, 2007

Make Your Child's Birthday Party Fun!

Planning a birthday party for a child can be as fun, or as daunting, as you like. From the invites, to the gifts and games, to the goodie bags and thank-you cards, there are many details that need to be taken care of. Here are a few tips to keep things in perspective:

1) The birthday party is about your child and his or her friends having fun, not the work that goes into the party. The major objective of a birthday party is to make your child feel special. After all, it is their special day. When the kids leave happy and excited, do you really think they're going to go home to their parents and rave about how tidy your house was, or how perfectly-executed the game of 'pin the tail on the donkey' was?

Sit down with your child well before the birthday party and work out what kind of party they want. Do they want a pirate party? A princess party? A tea party? You may be pleasantly surprised at how simple your child's request may be. Regardless, a simple theme can make all the difference.

2) Never work alone. Managing cake, presents, activities, potty breaks, and more at a child's birthday party can leave you stressed and can open the door to accidents. Chances are there's at least one parent who's nervous about their child being alone at a birthday party. Invite that parent over and let them help. Ask them to assist with games, pouring drink and take care of any unforeseen boo-boos. Be sure to send a nice thank you after the party to show how much you appreciate the help and even offer to do the reciprocate at the helpful parent's party as well.

3) Mind you manners. If you aren't going to invite your child's entire class, NEVER have your child hand out invites at school. In fact, many schools and preschools have rules to this effect. If you are inviting an entire class, always be sure to get an accurate class list to ensure everyone gets invited to the party.

As soon as the invites are handed out, start talking to your child about the party and how they should and should not act in certain circumstances. For example, if you child receives a gift that they already have, they can tell their friends how excited they are to have two! Try to keep a list of all presents and have your child assist in writing personal thank-yous to all who were at the party. Even if you don't keep a gift list, thank-yous are a must to ensure goodwill.

4) Have plenty of activities on-hand. One of the single most effective ways to ruin a birthday party is with bored children. You have to keep all children occupied from the moment they arrive at the party. When kids start trickling in, have some toys, such as blocks, cars, etc., at the ready. Once all the children have arrived at the birthday party, then you can bring out the birthday party themes and games. Always be sure to have enough to keep every kid participating and happy. If things start to get rowdy or out-of-hand, take a step back from the game and announce a story time where kids can be the characters. For younger kids, a simple craft will often scale back the wildness and give a much-needed breather to parents.

Keeping these four simple tips in mind can make the difference between an average birthday party and one that kids will talk about for a long time.

About the Author
Born in Brooklyn and raised in the tough projects of East New York, the sister-team Staci Douglas and Kim Mack watched their own families grow and began raising their six children together. Always a very close family, birthdays are big celebrations. In an effort to celebrate these birthday milestones affordably was born.

For gift ideas you can: go to my website Bright Gift Ideas, go to Gift Guides USA for a comprehensive collection of gift guides, or go to Great Online Deals for coupon codes, discounts and free shipping offers.

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