I was talking to another mom this morning and she was a bit “upset” about a  birthday  party she had attended over the weekend. She felt it was just over the top in every way imaginable. And the party was for a five year old. We began talking about the different options available for parents today.

When my kids were young we almost always had two separate parties, or often two parties in the same day. During the afternoon hours, my children’s friends would come over. Then toward dinner time, the adults would start arriving. This might be family members or close family friends. In the evening there would be a mixture of both kids and adults.

The two parties were very different. During the afternoon I was likely to serve cake and pizza. In the evening I was much more likely to serve hors d’oeuvres, a full meal and a choice of desserts. During the day I might have a few games or a jumper. In the evening I might find some type of entertainment. Each year was a bit different but it was just very common to have the two parties in order to celebrate with everyone.

I’d like to offer some suggestions on planning your children’s  birthday  celebrations:

1. Decide on a guest list. Will you have just children or a combination of children and adults? Will you have family members, friends or a combination? Will you be able to invite everyone to one party or will you need two parties?

2. Decide on a theme. Themes come into play when you order a cake, buy party favors and decorate the house.

3. Will you have any type of entertainment? This might be a jumper, a clown, or even ponies the kids can ride. We had one party that was a dance party and we had a dance instructor to teach the girls all of the dance moves.

4. Decide on a menu. Take into consideration any food allergies or food restrictions. With the kids, we often opted for cupcakes instead of a sheet cake which often went to waste.

5. Choose invitations. Some years I made invitations on the computer and some years I bought invitations. These days many people use evite online to send out their invitations.

6. Will you need any help with the kids? Depending on age, sometimes it’s nice to have another mom or two present. We did a few parties where driving was necessary so I asked a few moms to take three kids each in their cars. Make sure you have food for the moms that stay also.

7. Choose a date and time for the party. Young children are often bored after two hours. Older children might do a scavenger hunt that takes an hour all by itself. Choose a time frame that is age appropriate for your children’s age group.

I’m not opposed to over the top  birthday  parties nor am I opposed to very simple and frugal  birthday  parties. I’ve done both and both came out just fine. Planning is essential in having a successful party for your children. Have fun. Your children will grow quickly Enjoy the parties while they are young.

Source by Audrey Okaneko

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