As a birthday party manager for a local kid’s gym, I have hosted over 300 children’s birthday parties! It doesn’t matter if you are holding your child’s birthday party in your backyard or at a local business—these five tips are helpful when planning a seamless birthday party for your little one.
Kids never want to eat. There are too many distractions. Eating two slices of pizza is not happening when your best friends, family, and a bounce house are near. Little kids are much more likely to snack on something and hold out for the sweets. Let’s be honest—the food is for the adults.
Gifts don’t have to be a taboo topic. In my experience, gift opening is when the meltdowns and tantrums occur. I do believe little kids should learn how to celebrate other people and understand the act of giving. This idea does not make sense with kids until age five. Here is what I would suggest. If it is a friends’ birthday party, ask the friends to draw or color the child a picture or request no gifts. This allows for more time to play together.
If it is a family party, go ahead and open gifts. If it is a mixed invite list of friends and family members, take a moment before or after the party with the family only. This way, family members can witness the birthday child’s authentic reaction.
Capturing should not be stressful. My top two pointers are to one, put someone in charge of taking pictures throughout the party. This is a good aunt or uncle’s responsibility. Parents should spend their time enjoying the day and celebrating their child.
Two, family and group pictures MUST happen before the party starts. Again, with all those distractions, a temper tantrum is bound to occur as you try to pull your child away from the fun. If you want your best chance of everyone looking and faces free of frosting, snap that picture before the party starts.
Less is more. I would suggest one quality item as opposed to cheap trinkets and toys. Think about giving each child a book or small stuffed animal. Those types of party favors will not only last much longer but will also hold a special memory for the party guest.
Ninety minutes is the sweet spot. I know what you are thinking; there is no way we can play, eat, open gifts, and take pictures all in 90 minutes. Let me remind you: pictures before, snacks instead of a meal, and gift-opening optional.