Aside from Christmas, a birthday party is the most excited a child can physically get without spontaneously combusting. However, if you’re hosting the party, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should consider before unleashing the group of little angels upon the world… For Abbie's 1st Birthday we wanted to keep it pretty small and not spend too much, but we also wanted it to be memorable (for us and the rest of the family obviously) :). I look forward to Abbie's birthdays the older she gets, because not only will she remember more but she'll probably decided on her own theme etc so I can have lots of fun crafting and buying everything! Below are a few tips for you to think about before jumping in at the deep end and going all out!
The 3 DO's
Have a budget
It’s all too easy to get carried away when organising your child’s party, but it’s important you give yourself a budget. Depending on what you do for the party, it can be more expensive than you think, especially if you invite lots of children, and the last thing you want is to be stung with more costs than you planned for. Also remember that they will probably get spoilt by the rest of the family too so you don't need to buy absolutely everything yourself, ask for help or hand out a wish list if it helps!
Think carefully about who to invite
There are two (perhaps three) real options here. Either you invite just a few of the child’s close friends, or you invite the whole class from school. If you invite most of the class but not all of them, then you run the risk of fallings out and children getting upset. This could be dictated by your budget, as you may not be able to afford to cater for 30 + children.
Think about the location
This is probably one of the most important considerations. Do you hold it at home and risk having to deep clean the house afterwards or hold it somewhere else but probably have to pay for the privilege of not worrying about clearing up afterwards? If you do hold it at home, then you have complete control. You can dress your house up in whatever theme you’d like with decorations and lighting (these indoor fairy lights from lights4fun.co.uk would look great), and at least you know where all the children are at all times. But then you do have to clean your house afterwards, which will put some parents off straight away!
The 3 DON'TS
Be in competition with other kids’ parties
There can be some kind of weird one-upmanship when it comes to children’s parties, with parents constantly looking to go bigger and better than each other. However, don’t let yourself get drawn into this, as you can find yourself way beyond your budget and it can lead to petty grudges in the playground.
Forget about siblings
Of course, your child’s birthday party is a special day for them, but you should be mindful if you have any other children, particularly if they’re around the same age. They may well get jealous and feel left out, so you should try and get them involved as much as possible, perhaps with the setting up of the party. If they’re not in the same age bracket as the birthday child, then see if they want to go and spend time with their friends so they’re not bored.
Get stressed out
Having a group of screaming kids running around isn’t the most relaxing of things, but you need to try and not get stressed out about the whole thing. Obviously you need to be wary of where the children are and what they’re doing to make sure they’re safe, but don’t go running after them every 5 minutes fretting if they’re alright. Check the Yellow Pages for children’s entertainers, as they will end up drawing their attention for much of the party if you’re worried about being overrun. If you’re having the party at home, then move any breakables and just let them enjoy it. You might even enjoy it too!