Many of us go to great lengths to plan the ‘perfect party’ for our children. Whether you enjoy planning a lavish complicated affair or a small simple one there are a few pointers you can keep in mind to ensure that it’s a huge success.
Firstly remember the party is for the children!!! Don’t go over the top on the food, décor and drinks to impress the adults at the party – its not about them. A Cape Town mom, Debbie Roux recalls how for her daughters 6th birthday party she was so concerned with pleasing the parents from her daughters class at the party that she did not organise nearly enough entertainment for the children and as a result she had bored children wanting to go home. Not a mistake she will make again.
Get creative! You don’t need to stick to themed character plates and napkins or available party décor in the shops. There are many ways in which you can throw a great party for your child without breaking the bank. Chat to your child and find out what type of theme they want.Your son loves Dr Seuss but there is no themed decor available. Work on the decor and food using the colours instead. Plastic or tin buckets, paper plates and napkins come in loads of different plain colours. Look for images and ideas according to your theme on the internet that you can printout and include in your decor.
Make the birthday child feel special. Thinking of my own children, they live for their birthday and start counting down the days till the next one from the time their last birthday finishes. Let them wear a special birthday badge or birthday crown or a special outfit which they have picked out for their day to make them feel that extra bit special.
Keep them entertained. Children will remember a birthday party in which they had fun – not how clean your house was. (Refer to my first point about the party being about the children). The way to ensure this is to make sure there is plenty to do and keep them entertained. Again, no need to break the bank. Sue Evers, a mom from KZN, advises. ‘Bring out the old school party games like pass the parcel, musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey. Children still loves these games and its a great way to keep the kids entertained and an opportunity for them to win their own little gifts as well.’
Snack attack. There is no need to go crazy on the food. Keep it small and simple. It is a much better idea to spend more time and money on the entertainment than the snacks. Offer some healthy snacks such as fruit, small muffins and sandwiches. I would advise a party for children three years and younger, keep the snack table a bit higher so parents can control what their little one eats.
Don’t forget the manners. Your child’s birthday party is a great time to remind them to say their please and thank you’s and waiting their turn. Discuss this with your child before the party starts and they get caught up in the excitement of the day. A good idea is to discuss the matter of gifts with your child before guests start arriving. If you would prefer gifts not to be opened during the party, you and your child should arrange a safe spot where gifts can be kept.
A mom from Sandton described the horror of her son ripping open each gift as he received it. By the end of the day half of the new toys were broken or had pieces missing and when it came time to send thank you notes out, she did not know who to thank for what which is something she felt was important to do.
Another mom described how one of the boys at her son’s 5th birthday party took it upon himself to open all her son’s gifts that were sitting in the corner of the room.
Using the tips above there is no reason why you can’t throw a inexpensive and successful party for your child.