Party Bags and Supplies can help with the party bags and decorations that put a cherry on the top of your children’s party. However, we know that getting to this endpoint can be a bit of a trial. The children’s party may be a rite of passage in a child’s life, but some would say the parent’s life too. It can be something to fear if you are the responsible adult. The party doesn’t have to be one of those things you dread up to the day, hate as it is happening and only smile afterwards. There are ways to help parents experience the children’s party without stress too.
Speak to the classroom teacher
The politics of invites to a children’s birthday party can be mind-blowing. One option is to invite all the children in your son or daughter’s class. This could mean a minimum of 30 young people at your party. Are your stress levels already rising? Add in the cousins and the next-door neighbour, and you could find yourself catering for a small village.
Another option is to chat with the classroom teacher and ask who your child plays with at school. You can set a public cap, of say 10 friends, and then these are selected with the help of someone who sees them together all the time. By telling the teacher, you also give them the chance to explain to anyone who feels left out how the choice was made. Children’s parties are all about allies, the primary school teacher could be top of the list.
Let the children help
Building up to the excitement of the day should be a joint experience. It is, therefore, a great idea to get the kids to help with the arrangements. You could send them off with another adult to be responsible for the decorations, or you could enlist their help writing out the invitations. Maybe they can help in the kitchen making some nibbles, or they can find the party games they would like to play on their tablet.
Invite the parents too
We know that you delight in dropping your child off at a party and smiling as you get to leave. It also feels polite to give the other parents the same blissful relief. Nah, forget that! Encourage the parents to stay and provide them with food and refreshments too. They can then act as a moderator of the children’s behaviour along with you – and it means you don’t need eyes in your bum – as you attempt to herd 30 kids while making juice while organising pass the parcel, and so on.
We know that children’s parties can become competitive. Everything about the primary school playground parents gathering can be competitive. Try not to get sucked into providing an extensive and expensive menu of goodies. Finger foods and dips work well and calling in pizza works even better! You are looking for minimum preparation and minimal clean-up. Choosing finger foods or pizzas also makes it easy to cope with faddy children.
If you choose finger foods like carrots dips, etc. you also reduce the amount of sugar and preservatives you are pouring into the children. A guaranteed way to induce absolute mayhem is to add a lot of E numbers to a pack of little people. Save up the sugar time for the party bags at the end and for the beautiful piece of birthday cake.
Let them play
Children are used to being left to goof around and play together. You do not have to organise every moment of the party into a game or become a weird child’s entertainer. You can send them off and let them socialise and enjoy each other’s company. Too much excitement too soon may cause burn out. Try to judge the mood and slowly build up to presents and games and more.
Pick a photographer
A fact of life: you cannot be everywhere. You cannot be responsible for the games, the food, the crying child, the organisation of presents – oh and then remember to take photographs. You want memories from the day, and you will be sad if the day passes without a record of facial expressions. Invite family or friends to come around and be your official photographer, briefing them in the sort of photos you would really like to see.
Basically, to avoid stress don’t try to be your child’s superhero. You can’t do everything and survive the event. So, enlist help and allocate roles. This might, just might give you room to enjoy the party too!