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10Sep 13

How to plan children’s parties for every occasion

Children’s parties are fun to organise, but thoroughly exhausting! I prefer to do the catering myself, so that takes a lot of time and planning.

I always celebrate my son Tom’s and my daughter Mary’s birthdays with a birthday party, but I also like to throw a small impromptu gathering to mark an accomplishment, such as winning a prize at school or being chosen for the football or hockey team. Any excuse for a party!

So what’s my recipe for success? Here are some party planning ideas that work for me.

Planning children's parties for every occasion

How to plan children’s parties for every occasion

Pool parties and tea parties

Tom’s birthday is in August and Mary’s is in January, so I have plenty of time to recoup energy and ideas between parties, as well as to make a note of what party activities were successful. Tom, aged 10, likes to have a small pool party in our garden, weather permitting.  For him, I need to plan some poolside games and prepare no-fuss food that can be eaten outdoorslike hot dogs or pizza.

Paper plates and plastic cups are essential, as is providing a shaded area where party guests can go to stock up on their favourite snacks and drinks. It is also important to tell your children’s friends in advance to wear appropriate casual clothing and bring bathing suits if they want to participate in relay races or other water games!

Mary, aged 8, prefers to invite a small group of friends to tea at home, and I make a selection of sandwiches and cakes for them . I also organise some easy games to play after the tea party, like “Hide and Seek” or “I Spy with My Little Eye.”

We usually wind up with a dvd chosen by Mary and pass round the popcorn.

Checklist for children’s parties

When planning a party for your children, I think it’s a good idea to put yourself into their shoes and imagine the activities you would like to participate in or the food you would enjoy. Here are a few tips for fool-proof party success:

Plan the event with your children and let them choose activities and some of their favourite foods.

• Agree on whom to invite.  If one of the children on the guest list is likely to be a handful, I enlist the help of either Tom or Mary to take responsibility for that friend.

• Send your invitations out with plenty of time so you have a good idea of the number of guests in advance for catering.

• Avoid over-planning activities or games. I like to set aside some time for spontaneity at my children’s parties!

Have you got any tips for successful children’s parties?

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