While children’s parties are supposed to exude happiness, from clowns to cupcakes and pinatas to presents, planning one can create quite a task! I say this from experience – my daughter will be turning two in February and I have been planning her party since July 2008.
Every parent wants their child’s party to be memorable and enjoyable for both the children as well as the adults. With so many options today along with the stress of the economy the best thing to do it plan wisely.
Ketty aka The Detail Diva, who is a professional event planner offered some of her tips on how to plan a children’s party without driving yourself insane (leave that up to the clowns). Ketty has been in the industry for a while now and has had to coordinate parties for some of the most competitive parents around, the New York City parents!
Party Planning Tips
- If possible, begin planning your party 4-5 weeks in advance. Allowing plenty of time for on-line shopping, cake orders and enlisting any friends or family you may want to help
- Pick a theme. Whether it’s an elaborate royal kingdom theme, or something easier, like your child’s favorite color, selecting a theme will help you organize your thoughts. You’ll then plan all of your party supply purchases, party games and decorations around that theme
- Children remember what they did at a party, much more than what they ate, what the plates and napkins looked like or whether the house was spotless. Don’t sweat the little details!
- The best party times are……1:00 – 3:00 or 2:00 – 4:00. You won’t need to serve a meal but a few finger foods are advised. For little ones try 10:00am -11:30 to work around nap time.
No one should go home a loser! Competitive games are enjoyable only for the people who win. A party should be fun…Avoid tears by selecting games where everyone gets a chance to succeed. For example, if it’s a game like musical chairs, when a player is called “out”, assign that player the task of playing the music. After one round, that player will rejoin the group. Better yet, plan a few cooperative games, in which the whole gang faces a challenge, such as following a treasure map, then they each receive a prize or split the treasure evenly.
Try setting up your party in activity stations to lead the children in the direction of the party focus. The stations need not be fancy or expensive. The birthday child can pick what they want to do i.e. blocks at one station, dollhouse at another, play dough at another etc.
You should not need more than four stations. Prepare ALL of the activities, games etc. before the party. This enables you to focus on the kids when the party begins.
Ask a friend , family member or neighbor to help with the party. It’s likely you have a neighborhood teenager who would love to help, when offered a few dollars for their time.
In choosing party favors, it’s better to spend more creativity than money. Give a wonderful thank you item/items that reflects the party theme; a flower pot and seeds for a garden party, modeling clay for an art party. You can even send the kids home with a treasure they’ve made during the party. The birthday child should hand out the favors. This will remind her to say “thank you”.
For the Parents
Many times parents drop off the children and then pick them up about half an hour before it ends or if they are like my friends and family they stay the entire time. Which I’m perfectly okay with because to us is more of a culture thing so we are used to it. Anyway, either way I always suggest some coffee & tea with maybe some cookies & donuts or finger foods with some sort of non-alcoholic beverage for the parents. You can set a table away from the area where the children will be and offer these goodies to the parents while they socialize amongst each other. Don’t worry too much about catering to them, after all, it is a kids party. Just set the table and that should be good enough.
Remember to have fun and enjoy the celebration of your child’s birth!
About Ketty – The Detail Diva
My name is Ketty and I am a Certified Wedding & Event Specialist which really means, I am a wedding and event planner. My business is located in New York City and we also service Northern and Central New Jersey. I decided to become a planner and actually go through all the motions of opening my own business because I believe everyone needs assistance during these celebrations so that they can be present in the moment not worrying about what they need to do or where they need to be. Able to just relax and enjoy the celebration at hand. Keeping in mind your idea of a perfect day, realizing a budget and using all of our resources to make your event one to remember is our goal.
I take the approach of good listening, careful and thorough planning, creative ideas coming to life and follow up on every detail very seriously. The planning experience for all involved can be fun and fulfilling when you stay in the right frame of mind and always remember that the event is a celebration of life. With life’s busy schedule, it’s nice to have at least one day where it’s all about you. — Ketty
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.