How to host a stress free birthday party for kids

Even though your child may still be very young, it seems like the pressure to throw the perfect kids birthday party is so much higher than the pressure we put on ourselves when we host an adult birthday party. The idea of throwing a party for 10 six year olds that will keep everyone engaged and happy is a daunting task, but here are a few tips that will help you plan the perfect kids party that will make you look like super mom.

  • Control your guest list. If you are having a party with limited adult supervision (the kind of party where the parents will drop off their kids and then pick them up at the end of the party) then you want to keep in mind how many little ones you will be capable of looking after at one time. When the party is for a younger child, it helps to enlist the help of one or two parents that will stay with you throughout the duration of the party.
  • Take nap time into account. If you are hosting a kids birthday party for a younger crowd, then you will want to plan the time that they party takes place so that it does not conflict with nap time. Tired four year olds plus sugary birthday cake will make a recipe for tantrum disaster.  Try for a time that is either before or after your child’s typical nap time and that will hopefully not conflict with the other children’s’ as well.
  • Clearly state an ending time for the party. You know the saying “leave them wanting more”? Well, keeping your party down to a specified time limit is a great way to make sure that you will actually want to host another party at your home in the future.  Many parents find that they are exhausted after a two or three hour party, so do yourself a favor and make sure all of the other parents are aware of the time that they should pick up their kid from your home.
  • Enlist the help of an activity group. There are many businesses that host activities that are specifically for birthday parties for kids. The price points and the type of activity will vary from company to company: some of them are more performance based, like magicians or clowns, while others are more interactive. The interactive businesses might bring a simple craft activity for kids, or might have a music and movement section that encourages kids to get up and dance and sing along with them.  This takes the pressure of entertaining a child sized crowd off of the parents and as an added bonus might even tired out the kiddos by the time mom and dad come to pick them up.
  • Have a backup plan. If it turns out that one of the party guests is lactose intolerant and you ordered pizza for everyone to eat, or the party is supposed to be outside and it unexpectedly rains, always make sure to have a backup plan in place. Even if its just a pack of hotdogs in the fridge and a movie in the living room.
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