Think back to birthday parties when you were a kid - draped streamers, pizza and your favorite cake at the roller skating rink or bowling alley, or maybe you had a back yard pool party. Regardless of your party's theme, there was always the excitement and a little bit of anxiety about delivering FUN for each child in attendance. Back then there wasn't so many safety concerns. As an examples, when I was a child we didn't have peanut free zones.
How are today's great kids parties made?
Planning has always been required to make a child's birthday party. You'll want to choose the right date and time, the weekend often being the best time for invited guests to be able to attend. And you'll need to plan for snacks or a meal depending on what time of day you selected. If your child has ever come home from a party hyper from too much sugar you know your menu needs some careful planning all on its own.
Kids have short attention spans so you'll need to plan for lots of great activities to keep them interested. Games are one great way to make sure every child is included in the fun. You'll find lots of articles featuring lists of kids party games online to help you hatch your plan. But you'll probably find a lot of the same ideas on these lists and you might not have everything you need to make each game happen.
A bounce house has become a kids party must - has your children ever come home cranky and exhausted from another child's party? When you ask if they had fun you soon come to realize that all they did was run around and bounce in a bounce house the entire time. Don't get me wrong, bounce houses and water slides are a ton of fun! But too much of it can make for cranky kids after the party. It doesn't take any effort or original thinking to throw a bouncy castle on the lawn and cut a cake.
Variety is the spice of life, and it's the key to a great kids party too. Offer children a chance to change pace often throughout a party. As an example: we plan a mixture of physical challenges (races, bounce house, etc . . .) but also include games with both individual and team participation, plus storytelling. This let's kids get their heart pumping but also work their brains a little bit.
It's worth taking one planning hint from one of my daughter's party memories. When she was 6 she went to a birthday party at her best friend's house. She came home feeling really left out. See, they had a bounce house and didn't schedule any other activities. By the end of the party everyone was tired and the parents were sure everyone had fun. But my daughter was not the only one who went home feeling like the birthday didn't even know she was there. Everyone just ran around screaming the entire time and she never got to personally wish her close friend a happy birthday because they never saw each other in the chaos.
Helpful Party Planning Links:
Incidentally, we check off 6 boxes of the top 20 entertainment ideas simultaneously - animal/zoo, storytelling, bounce house, face painting, balloon artist, puppet sho
Everything you need for a fun at-home kids birthday party - todaysparent.com
20 top kind party entertainment ideas - masandpas.com