When I was growing up I never had a birthday party for my friends. Well, I DID have a party, twice, but both times were a total “fail” so my mom vowed never to throw another birthday party. Both times it rained. When I was very little my mom just moved the kids inside. The second time I had a party I was much older (11 or 12) and my mom ended up taking a dozen kids to the movies to see Grease ($$$). From that point on I never had a birthday party except one with my immediate family.
We’ve had a few birthday parties for our daughter over the years, but nothing at home since we live in a shoe box sized condo. We’ve taken her and her friends to places like Jeepers. Our son has never had a birthday party other then for our family. We’ve offered time and time again to have a party for him but he always says “no”. He doesn’t like to be the center of attention.
I really wish I could have thrown a big birthday bash for my children, especially when they were younger. I love to entertain and decorate for holidays and special events. Hosting a children’s birthday party is something I could really get into. I even have books on party ideas, decorations, cakes and more.
If you have a little one and you are planning on hosting a party for them in the near future I thought you might enjoy these tips from Heather Christo (www.HeatherChristo.com). She is a rising star and an entertainment expert. She is also the mom to two little girls.
1. Find a Theme
It is usually pretty easy to decide on a theme, as most children tend to fixate on one or two things at a time. If you are not sure, just ask! That is the beauty of children- they have wonderful imaginations, but it is our job to make it come to life!
2. Keeping the Kids Busy
It is so important to have activities and games planned! I would generally suggest at least one of each. A clown, a fairy-princess, your husband dressed as a cowboy- whatever it is, a “performer” can keep kids occupied with an act, story telling, arts & crafts, or simply to guide them through the games and activities.
3. Cheap Thrills with Balloons and Bubbles
You can never have too many balloons at a child’s birthday party. I always feel like they are the ultimate symbol of a children’s celebration, and the fact that they are inexpensive, colorful and bring a smile to everyone’s face make them even better. Make a balloon archway, tie to chairs, or hang in mass amounts from the ceiling. Bubbles are a personal favorite, especially if the children will be outside. Bubbles never fail to inspire kids to dance, play, and laugh!
I suggest simple items tied with a bow or letting your child help make an edible gift! I don’t know many kids that wouldn’t be excited to bring home a small bag of chocolate chip or sugar cookies! Also if you do an edible display (think candy bar) you can simply give children cellophane bags to fill and let them take that home as favors.
5. Birthday Cake
Whether you have a cake or cupcakes- there is no denying that this is the focal point of a kid’s party, so have fun with it! There are such incredible ideas out there now:
3-d designs, bakeries that will print a photo in a cake, and phenomenal cupcakes that you can make at home. Play with color, design and flavor to come up with the most exciting combination suited to your kid.
6. Kid Power
Children absolutely love to get into the spirit preparing for a party. They love to feel helpful and see what they can make themselves. Let them help make the food, favors, decorations, whatever you can handle delegating and that makes them feel as though they have contributed.
7. Edible Centerpieces and Decorations
I like to think of unique and fun decorations for the centerpiece at children’s birthday parties. I wouldn’t worry about fussy flower arrangements for kids, I would instead start thinking outside of the box! Use all of the things that you loved when you were a kid to decorate for the party: paper streamers and tissue flowers, paper chains and glitter. The whole point is that it be fun and appealing to children!
8. Nutritious Snacks
You don’t want children feeling sick by the end of the party because they have had too much sugar. The children will feel awful, and irritated parents and temper tantrums are sure to ensue! Make sure to add a few more nutritious snacks to the party. I will make things such as mini grilled cheese sandwiches cut into cute shapes to make them more appealing. I will also serve cut vegetables with dip, but I will use “rainbow carrots” and the purple, orange and bright green varieties of cauliflower to make them more “fun”! Mini fruit smoothies decorated with cute embellished straws are another good way to sneak some fresh fruit into your kids.
9. Noshes for Adults
Adults will often stay for the party, especially if you have really small children. If you know that they are staying, it is nice to set out some adult appropriate snacks too, (otherwise you may find the dads clearing out all of the mini grilled cheeses!)
10. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
A child’s birthday is so special and is always a reason to celebrate. I always remind myself that these are the moments that they will remember when they have grown and gone, so make them wonderful! Don’t stress out over the party, keep the mood light and festive, and try to keep the whole family involved and having fun!
Heather offers some great tips. Do YOU have any great tips for throwing a party for children? If you do please feel free to share your tips here in a comment for other readers to enjoy. I also love to hear from my readers because you have such awesome ideas and I learn so much from everyone.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit and enjoyment of my site readers.