1) Avoid overwhelm by keeping the number of guests to a minimum. Consider the wisdom of inviting the same number of guests as your child’s age.
2) Listen to the guest of honor. Children love being involved in picking themes & colors, planning menus and decorating. Siblings too!
3) Ask for help. Enlist other grown ups for specific assistance such as bringing a food dish, straightening up, or sticking around to lead activities.
4) Eschew perfection. Don’t worry if the house is spotless or the banners are hung crooked, or didn’t get hung at all! Focus on making the guest of honor feel special.
5) Avoid the sugar blues. Serve wholesome favorite foods well before chips and cake.
6) If you’ve hired a face painter, I’ve found it’s best to have her arrive late enough to make an entrance, but early enough to paint the guest of honor before the party gets too hectic. Make sure someone takes lots of pictures.
7) Plan more activities than you think you’ll need. Favor cooperative games over competitive ones. Don’t award prizes unless everyone gets one. Alternate frenetic games with story time or craft activities.
8) Have contingency plans for wet, sweltering or arctic weather.
9) Here’s a radical idea. Don’t open the birthday gifts until after all the guests leave. This avoids jealous tears, and makes it a lot easier to keep track for thank you cards.
10) Avoid the sugar blues part II. Send everyone home shortly after the cake is served. This ends the party on a sweet high.
Have fun, be colorful!
© 2020 Auntie Stacey Dennick, all rights reserved