A few months ago I caught my sister panicking about organizing her little daughter’s birthday. My first reaction was: “What’s the big deal? I have thrown a few birthday parties for adults, and I never had problems. Small kid – small hassle”; she looked at me with a mean smile on her face and said: “Sure, I’d like to see you try.” Since I’m not the kind of girl who runs away from a good challenge, the game was on. And boy, was I mistaken. But I’m glad to say, that after some vast fails and unpleasant surprises, I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. I promise the next one will be better. To save you from going through the same, here are a few tips for a hassle-free birthday party.
Be specific on the invitations
The first thing I did was buy invitations, and the only thing on my mind was: “Well, it is a kid’s birthday party, so they must be cute.” However, that is not the most important thing. The first question you should ask is whether to invite the child’s whole class or just their closest friends? It’s followed by whether or not you should call the parents too. You need to be specific about the venue and the time (beginning and end) of the event. If there is a theme, you should emphasize that too. Finally, you need to ask for RSVPs, so that you don’t prepare too much food and end up with lots of leftovers.
Location, location, location
Kid’s birthday party in the living room? My sister’s response to that was “Would you let a bull in a china shop?” She made a pretty good point. Kid’s birthday party should be organized at a place where they are allowed to run around and have fun without the fear of breaking something. The park seems like a good idea, but the thing is that you have to nab the spot before someone else gets there. The backyard is another convenient option, as is a restaurant with a children’s playground available.
Think about everything when it comes to food
My niece is allergic to peanuts, and her friend from class is allergic to strawberries, and fortunately, I didn’t learn that the hard way. It was one of the first things I remembered to ask when I talked to the parents. I also remembered that the food should look interesting and that it shouldn’t be too light or too heavy, but just enough to keep the kids energetic. The cake should be big and fantastic, and cupcakes are an excellent addition. But, as you probably can guess, I did forget something – food for the parents. Fortunately, I thought of good old finger food catering, the quickest possible last-minute solution.
Organize games or call animators
So, my original thought was: “Kids have a lot of imagination, and they can play with anything.” While that is somewhat true, they also get bored quickly and sometimes need a little motivation to have fun. The trick is to find some age-appropriate games (something simple as musical chairs or scavenger hunt will do) or, if you don’t want to bother with that – hire birthday party animators.
Don’t forget the party favors
This is something that just slipped my mind because, at grownups’ birthday parties, we rarely give party favors. After a last-minute panic attack, I managed to pull myself together and dash to the store and buy some pencils, stickers, notebooks and temporary tattoos. I wrapped them all up in a couple of minutes in adorable goodie bags. Still, everything would have been much easier had I just remembered that a couple of days earlier.
Not to brag but my little niece’s birthday party was a big success. Everyone enjoyed it, the kids and the parents. So much so that my sister told me that from now on I will organize her every birthday. It’s a good thing that I’ve learned so much from hosting this one, and I’m sure that the next won’t be as stressful.
About The Author: Georgia Selih is author @highstylife.com. By nature an artist, by profession a journalist. An irreparable print lover who is enjoying this hot digital affair.