Monday, December 8, 2008

Planning my daughter's first birthday party

Well time is flying by so fast I don't know what to think of it! Yesterday my daughter turned 11 months old which means I only have 4 weeks to plan her first birthday. As I was sitting making my to-do list I said to myself, "Why not blog about it?" So here I am, once again in front of the computer. We have chosen the Hugs and Stitches theme for her and we are running wild with it! Here are some of my tips... I usually suggest to everyone planning a kids party to start planning 6 weeks ahead. Unfortunately many of us are very busy and before we know it we only have (like me) 4 weeks to plan. DON'T PANIC IT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED!
  • 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.

Be Prepared!!!
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.

Party Favors
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!

I hope you have found these tips helpful... until next time....


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