Are you planning for your kid’s birthday party? Have you ever wondered what the general rules are when hosting Birthday Parties for Kids? Perhaps this is your first party and you are unsure how many to invite, how long should the party be? To give light to our readers, we have come up with a compilation of the do’s and don’ts in birthday parties for kids.
This year, celebrate your kid’s big day with a party that all of their friends will enjoy. Remember, planning a party should not be stressful, so do not be hesitant to explore ways to heighten the excitement while having enough help to keep every guest happy. Then, get ready to enjoy the party with everyone else while snapping those adorable pictures and capture every bit of expressions and emotions. Priceless expression of happiness on your kid’s face while sweating out in various activities at children’s birthday parties.
Since kids look forward to their birthdays all year long, which means the pressure is on for planning a celebration that they will always remember. While planning your child’s birthday party can be lots of fun, it is also overwhelming to put together an event that includes food, activities and a venue that all ages can enjoy. Fortunately, you have come to the right place since this guide will show you exactly what to do and what not to do on birthday parties for kids. As you navigate along, you may pick up some ideas as you make plans for your kid to enjoy their very own “party of the year”.
The Do’s and Don’ts in Birthday Parties for Kids
The DO’s in Birthday Parties for Kids
DO Involve Your Child. Unless you are planning a surprise party, getting your child involved in the process will make sure they have the party of their dreams. Before you get the party plans started, ask your child and make sure if he really wants a party or not. You can offer him options that are within your budget and then decide together what his preferences are for that big day.
Ask him whom he wants to invite so that no one important is left off the guest list, and let him have some input on where he would like the party to be held. This way, you will not be second-guessing whether each decision is what your child would want or would not want.
DO Provide Special Instructions. Give your guests a heads-up about any special activities you have planned so that they can plan accordingly. Knowing that they will be rock climbing will not just get them excited, but it will also let them know to wear appropriate shoes and clothing. Suggest clothing based on the venue and activities planned to let parents know what to expect and it will avoid any awkward moments such as a child showing up without a swimsuit at a pool party.
And finally, be really clear about whether siblings are welcome. Doing so avoids that awkward conversation where parents ask if they can bring their other children—or worse, just show up with them in tow. Include your special instructions on the invitation, or give each parent the information when they contact you to RSVP.
DO be specific. Are you serving lunch or dinner? Make sure the parents of guests understand the full plan for the party. Put a line on your invite specifying brunch, lunch, late afternoon snacks or early dinner, especially if your party falls between 11 am and 1 pm or 5 and 7 pm when most minis expect a meal. Can parents drop their children off or are they required to stay for the party? Include pertinent information on the invite including the drop-off and pick up time, whether food will be served, if they are welcome to stay. (You’d be surprised at the number of people who think of parties as free babysitting.)
DO include an RSVP date. Responding to an event in a timely manner is a lost art, like sending a handwritten thank you note, but giving people a specific date by which to RSVP—and a method for contacting you (email, text, smoke signals…whatever)—will hopefully encourage them to actually do so. Bonus: if you send an online invitation, most sites are equipped with a reminder option, saving you from having to hound those you haven’t heard from.
DO Time Your Party Carefully. It may seem as though a party held late in the evening will make it possible for more guests to attend. However, younger children may be cranky by the evening, or it may be too dark for outdoor games and activities. Instead, plan your party for a weekend, and strive to start it during the mid-morning and afternoon hours.
To avoid having the party go long, include an ending time on the invitation so that everyone is clear about the timing of your event. Do have a plan as to how the party will go with timings etc. – amazing how fast the time can go, and before you know it, parents knocking on the door, and you haven’t even done the cake!
DO make it palatable for the parents. Let’s be honest here: unless they are family or really close friends, most moms and dads are not dying to spend precious weekend hours at your kid’s party. So the least you can do is make it enjoyable for them, too. If it is a morning event, put out bagels and coffee.
If the party is at one of those bounce house/trampoline/rock climbing venues, let the kids eat the sub-par pizza that is included and bring in real food for the adults. And if you are hosting the party at your house and it starts the afternoon, tea, coffee or wine is a welcome addition. No to alcohol… please remember that alcohol is not included in birthday parties for kids.
DO be sensitive to food allergies. If you know that one of your guests has a food allergy (and if you are inviting the kids from your child’s class, chances are you already have this info) have an alternative on hand for that child to eat. This goes double if the party revolves around making food, like pizza or cupcakes. Parents of kids with allergies are used to bringing along “safe” foods, but they will be super appreciative if their child can partake in the party treats, too.
DO send thank you notes. While I am not a fan of generic, pre-printed notes (if someone took the time to come to your party the least you can do is write them a note thanking them for doing so), it is better than nothing at all. Get your kids in the habit of thanking their family and friends for their kindness and generosity. It is a skill that will stay with them long after the party is over. The bottom line is…Be Polite to express Gratitude.
The DON’Ts in Birthday Parties for Kids
DON’T Just Wing It. Planning the entertainment for birthday parties for kids is one area where many parents make mistakes. While you want to give the guests room for open-ended play, you also want to avoid having them stand around with nothing to do. Ideally, your activities should encourage just enough excitement to keep the party humming merrily along, so check into entertainment options such as laser tag or a crafts table that allow for some flexibility with your timing. Don’t just wing it because the party will go bragging if you improvise something on the spot.
DON’T Try to Do It All Yourself. It is best to have an assistant, be it a family member or a close friend. You might be willing to do anything to make your child smile, but remember that your child also looks forward to seeing you enjoy their birthday. Hosting an event with young kids is really difficult if you do it alone, and it helps to have other people ready to transition them through each activity while keeping an eye on their safety.
Summer camp is an option that provides party hosts that know how to keep the fun going, and choosing from their planned activities frees up your time while giving you enough space to accommodate everyone on your guest list.
DON’T exclude kids. It is fine if your child does not want to invite the entire class, but you also do not want to include 20 out of 22 kids either—especially if you are distributing the invitations via their teacher. This also goes for classmates who have special needs.
These kids often get left out of parties because parents think their limitations will make it hard for them to attend. Let their parents make that decision. If you are keeping your party into a small group only, be discreet and remind your child not to talk about it in front of their classmates who have not been invited.
DON’T do the “no gifts, please” thing. It is a decent idea in theory—your kid has way too much stuff and ponying up presents for all of these parties are not cheap—but it rarely goes over well. People feel compelled to bring something and those who don’t then feel awkward for coming empty-handed.
If you really feel strongly about your child being over spoiled, ask each guest to bring a wrapped book related to the party’s theme, as one mom did for her child’s robot party. Each guest then got to take one of the books home as their favor. (Two birds, one stone.)
DON’T give out goodie bags filled with crap. Speaking of favors, can we all please agree to boycott those ridiculous, cheaply made gadgets that every party store carries? (Especially whistles, which should never be given to large groups of children.) Honestly, those will just land in the trash bin as soon as the kids get home. Instead of spending money on a bunch of garbage, hand out one item that represents the party’s theme, like a box of colorful Band-Aids for a doctor party or a lightsaber for a Star Wars soiree.
You will spend roughly the same amount and the kids might actually use it. Educational toys, arts and crafts materials will do best! Something to enhance the kids’ skills will most likely be appreciated by parents as you do would want your child to receive in other birthday parties for kids that he goes to.
DON’T open presents at the party. Most party places don’t even give you the option—guests drop their gifts in a bin at the start of the show and it’s whisked to the birthday kid’s car at the end—and for good reason. It’s time-consuming and chaotic, and way too much stimulation for everyone involved. Wait until the guests go home before tackling the gifts with your child.
Finally, with this backgrounder on the Do’s and Don’ts birthday parties for kids just do what feels right for you and your child…There are no specific rules for the perfect birthday parties for kids. Most kids are so easy to please. They just love to play, jump and ran around, have fun and eat some cake!