There are always a lot of birthdays during the summer, and the weather makes this season the perfect time to throw a party. However, hoping for sunshine is only one small aspect of putting on a fun-filled birthday celebration for your little one. Children’s birthday parties have been more extravagant than ever, but their grandeur can be as extreme or subtle as you want. Whether you’re throwing a carnival-themed party complete with a petting zoo or you’re just inviting a few friends and family members over for a backyard barbecue, there needs to be some level of planning. Follow this guide to throw a stress-free children’s birthday party:
Start planning early
Washington Post contributor Anjali Varma advises planning the party at least eight weeks in advance, even if it’s just for a small-scale celebration. With the busy life of being a parent, this will ensure not only that you have enough time to coordinate a fun birthday party, but it will give your guests an opportunity to rearrange their own schedules to make sure their kids can join in on the fun.
Additionally, you’ll want to choose a theme for the party. Not only will it make the occasion more festive, but it will take a lot of pressure off of planning. By picking an overall concept for the celebration, you’ll have inspiration for what kind of cake to get, decoration ideas and what activities you’ll incorporate into the festivities.
Send out birthday invitations
Make sure your guests know the place, day and time of your party by sending out invitations. Select an invitation style that goes with the theme of your celebration, or showcase a fun photo of your little one. The wide variety of customizable options lets you tailor the invites to fit the motif of your gathering.
Parents.com suggests scheduling the party before 1:00 pm or after 3:00 pm, especially if you’re inviting other kids to the party. This way, you’ll bypass nap time and – hopefully – temper tantrums and tears. Additionally, the end time is just as important as the start. Including a specific hour for the party to be over serves as a polite way to move those lingering guests out your front door so you can begin the dreaded cleanup process. Finally, make sure you give RSVP directions, including a deadline. Knowing how many guests you’ll need to accommodate will make planning a lot easier.
Let kids be kids
Have you ever bought an expensive toy for your child, and he or she ended up just playing with the box it came in instead? Kids can be entertained by the simplest things, so don’t stress out about putting together elaborate party games. While you may want to have some activities set up, the most important thing is to let the kids be kids. Bounce houses are a great option for birthday parties because the birthday boy or girl and the young guests can entertain themselves for hours without your help. This way, you can sit back and enjoy the company of the other parents, and your child will still have a blast.
Speaking of parental company, don’t forget about your older guests during the party planning. You may want to have adult beverages and snacks available for the moms and dads who don’t want to sip on juice boxes all afternoon. Trust me, you’ll appreciate it when they return the favor at their children’s birthday parties.
With some planning and party strategies, you can make your child’s summer birthday celebration one for the books.