So, your little one’s birthday is coming up. How wonderful! You get to spend time with them, spoil them, get to engage anyone who’ll listen to the epic tale of their birth and treat your birthday prince/princess with cake, ice cream and anything else that their heart desires, within reason of course – if you’re looking for gift inspiration then check out this selection of toys for a 5 year old girl – but then, when they reach a certain age they no longer want to spend their birthdays with just you. They want a party.
A party with all their school friends, nursery friends, kids they’ve met in the park, distant relatives, next door’s dog and anyone else they’ve encountered or can remember. Ok, well you knew it would happen eventually. But aren’t kids parties incredibly stressful? Can you afford it? Do you really want 30 kids tearing through your house while you frantically scrub chocolate cake out of the carpet?
First of all, don’t panic. There are ways you can plan the perfect birthday celebration for your child, whilst keeping your stress levels down to a minimum. Read on to find out what they are.
Decide on a (realistic) number of guests
Your child might want to invite their entire class, but if your home simply won’t accommodate that amount of people at once (let alone if they’re running around) then you need to be realistic. If you want to keep the numbers up then consider hiring a village hall or a community centre for the venue. Alternatively, consider soft play areas and trampoline parks that will happily accommodate larger numbers. Try to limit the guest list as much as possible!
Simplify the invites
Writing out 30 names on paper invitations only for them to get lost in school bags or never make it home is a waste of time, money and energy. Instead, consider creating a WhatsApp group or creating an event on Facebook and inviting the parents to it. You’ll be able to gauge numbers very quickly and get it done.
Be firm about an end time
Most parents enjoy a couple of hours “child free” when their little one is a guest at a party. But don’t be taken advantage of. Make it clear on your invites/social media group etc that there is a specific end time to the party and take phone numbers of parents so you can always get in touch if they’re “running late”.
Parents hanging around at parties is uncomfortable and irritating. You have a million and one things to do so the last thing you want is to be making small talk. Instead of relying on parents to help, enlist your own family and friends!
Don’t be a victim of party bag pressure!
Everyone loves a party bag – but when you’re filling 30 bags up with plastic toys and sweets it gets expensive and expectations are too high. Instead, include a party activity that involves making something for them to take home, like a picture or something edible. Or a book each!