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Planning a kids’ party is an elaborate process. Parents need to consider the budget, prepare goodie bags, plan activities, order supplies while taking care of the details. Here are eight tips that we’ve collected from Moms who have planned TONS of kids’ parties and want to help yours to succeed. Read more to find out how to make your next party shine.
Tip#1: Throw Parties At Local Parks Or Public Pools
It’s usually time-consuming for parents to decorate the venue. While it’s worth the effort, throwing a kids’ party at a local park will make the planning process easier. Not only the park is already beautiful, and oftentimes you don’t need a lot to decorate it, but you can also make the playground a place for party activity instead of hiring entertainers. If you’re afraid that the kids might get bored, plan a few activities such as pass the parcel, play bingo, do crafts, and DIY face painting. As for food, you can either order pizzas or make snacks yourself have the party between meals.
For a small kids’ party, go to the park early and find a shaded picnic spot. If you’re in NYC, you would need to apply for a Special Events Permit if there are more than 20 guests coming to your party. Though the park gives you a lot of space, you might need to invite a few more parents to watch the kids. Other than that, the only uncertainty is the weather. The best solution here is to move the party to your house if it rains. Remember to write “weather permitting,” or “rain date TBD” on your invitations so that your guests will know that you might reschedule. Check out our tips here for throwing outdoor kids parties.
Other than local parks, other free venues for a kids’ party would be public pools. In NYC, public pools and parks are often combined, which make things convenient for the parents. The adults can set up a grill for barbecue, and the children can go to the pool and come back when they’re hungry. Check out our NYC pool venues blog here for some other options.
Tip#2: Consider Alternatives To Goodie Bags
Goodie bags has gradually become a thing that the host prepares because he or she feels somewhat pressured to do so and had little or no innovation. If you’re planning your next party with us, we can open up a surprise shop for the kids, and then each guest will be able to choose one meaningful gift instead of many small items. If you want to do it yourself, you can organize a table which offers party favors to the children in a buffet style. You might want to ask someone else to help organize the toy buffet and operate it to make sure everyone only take one item. With a surprise shop, you’re sure that the children take home one item they truly like.
Another alternative to goodie bags is prizes. Let the kids play competitive games and win toys. Make sure everyone gets similar prizes so that no one will be disappointed. You can also plan activities such as making bracelets or doing crafts. They will go home with beautiful artworks they’ve created, which would be just as good.
If you’re interested in trying out Partify’s service, we can also prepare goodie bags for the adults at the party. They remind the parents that the hard work they put in for parenting is appreciated. Those goodie bags will be a great addition to make sure everyone enjoys the party.
Tip#3: Thinking Outside Of The Box For Entertainment
If you’d like a professional singer to sing at your kids’ party but don’t want to break the bank, you can find free or inexpensive shows nearby and take the kids to enjoy live music. Invite parents as well so that they can supervise the little ones.
Asking your friends or relatives for help is also an option. Ninety percent of the time you know somebody who plays an instrument or has an amazing voice. You can simply invite that person to the party and ask him or her to perform one song or two for the kids. The performance doesn’t need to be world-class, just fun enough so that the kids will be engaged.
Tip#4: Think About Their Ages Before You Plan
How long the party should last largely depends on the ages of the children at your party. For kids who are less than four years old, the party should last no more than two hours because they get tired quickly. Plan the party in the morning or after nap time (late afternoon) for toddlers so that they would be more energetic and concentrate better. A party doesn’t have to last forever to be memorable. You can structure your party in a way that the kids will be entertained but not exhausted.
Tip#5: Plan Activities Around Your Child’s Interests
The best theme of a kid’s birthday party reflects what the birthday child’s interests are, so should the activities. While the guests make up an important part, you should still think about what your little one enjoys doing the most when you plan activities for your party (except one-year-olds). If your child loves doing crafts, buy some supplies, and let all the guests do crafts with him or her. For kids who are athletic, sports games would be the best idea. Upgrade their hobbies and turn them into group activities.
Tip#6: Make The Party Planning A Shared Experience
Going off of the last tip, not only should you consider your child’s preferences, but also ask for his or her opinions when planning the party. If your child is over four years old, he or she can help you make decisions and get involved. It’s a way to let your kid understand how planning works and appreciate the efforts that you put in for this amazing birthday party. Asking for contributions also make them feel important and to take more ownership. Partify’s co-founder, Dana Mazia, celebrated her son’s birthday and made into a family experience. Read our blog about how she did it.
Tip#7: Don’t Panic If Something Goes Wrong
Some like to write down a timeline for their party and expect everything to pan out accordingly. But that rarely happens at a kids’ party. A child may start crying because he doesn’t like a particular snack. The pizza might not arrive on time. A few might show up really late. Though what will happen is quite unpredictable, thinking about what accident could possibly occur and come up with some solutions might be helpful. The best thing to do is to stay calm so that you will be able to control the situation. Or like the wise once said: let it go.. :)
Be flexible is also the key here. If one activity lasts shorter than you expect, you don’t have to extend it. It’s important that your guests are satisfied, which isn’t related to whether the party ends now or twenty minutes later.
Tip#8: Enjoy The Party
Planning a party often stresses parents out. When anxiety kicks in, they become fixated on making sure everybody enjoys every minute of the party. And as a result, they sometimes forget about having fun themselves.
Take a breath and relax. A party is supposed to be pleasant, but even if one thing goes out of control, the party will not just fall apart. Go with the flow and smile with the children, who usually don’t need much to have a great time.
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Written by: Natalie Wong.