Party Planning Perfection
By Susan Rykiss
Planning a children's birthday party takes time and thought. Involve your child in the process to find out what kind of party they would like to have. Set your budget and decide if it will be a home party or an away-from-home party; A large party or a small one? Will you hire an entertainer or rent an inflatable bouncer? There are many choices and booking well in advance will ensure you can book the entertainment on the day you want to hold the party. Make sure you plan the party from beginning to end keeping the children occupied. Bored children will try to find their own ways to make fun and this usually means trouble. Enlist family or friends to supervise the party to keep the children in control at all times.
Party Day Surprises
- Hang a banner and balloons outside your home announcing the big event.
- Sneak into your child's room when they're asleep and decorate it with balloons and streamers and place little presents in the child's slippers, pant pockets or shoes.
- If it's a school day, arrange for pizza to be delivered to your child's room for a birthday lunch for the whole class. Bring along a cake too. This a great surprise!
- Unless you are inviting the whole class, DO NOT hand out invitations at daycare or school.
- Teach your child not to talk about their party at school so that children who aren't invited will not have their feelings hurt.
- Teach your child present opening etiquette. If they get a repeat of a present they should know what to say (Look, now I have twins!) or if they get a present they don't want they should still show excitement and say thank you.
- Guest should be reminded to use their manners too, especially when the presents are opened. Ensure the guests sit back from the birthday child and do not grab and pull at the presents. This is where adult supervision is imperative.
- Children should thank their guest for the presents and for coming to celebrate.
Party Safety Tips
- Look around your party room for anything breakable, sharp or electric and remove them.
- Do not use latex balloons for children under 5. Children have died from aspirating deflated balloons or pieces of popped balloons. Mylar balloons are a great alternative.
- Ribbons attached to balloons or balloon bouquets shouldn't be tied around beds, playpens or cribs due to the risk of strangulation.
- For older kids, PiÒatas are fun, put adult supervision is important to prevent anyone getting hurt by a swinging stick.
- Keep the family pet locked up to for both it's own and the guests safety.
- Don't serve small candies or nuts that can cause a child to choke while running around.
- Be aware of common allergies. Avoid serving nuts, peanut butter or any other product that may cause severe allergic reactions. Even some ice creams have allergy alerts on the package.
- If you are having an outdoor party, make sure you have enough adult help to supervise. Backyard pool parties should have a qualified lifeguard in attendance.
- If your party is being held at a party facility, make sure to ask how many staff will be assisting. Don't be afraid to ask for more staff if you feel it is required. You know your guests.
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Party Planning Perfection
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