When you accompany your child to a birthday party, how much time do you spend thinking about how much time the family spent putting it all together? The answer is probably not much. You want to make sure you child is having fun and you are enjoying yourself as well. But, when you are planning your own child's birthday, you realize how much it takes to put the party together. With so much information available online and from books, it can be overwhelming. Here are just a few ways to make planning a child's birthday a little easier.
Consider your child's age Taking your child's age into consideration may seem like something you wouldn't need to think too hard about. However, avoid the mistake of using what you like as the theme of the party. If your daughter is turning 13 and is not into top forty music, maybe Pop Diva isn't the theme you should go with. However, at 5, she may like a princess themed party.
Don't try to guess what your child likes. If you are unsure if he likes the Chicago Bears or the Chicago Cubs, don't just pick one. You can ask him without letting the cat out of the bag or, if you are not planning to surprise him, just ask the questions.
If all else fails, go with something you know the child likes - a favorite animal or a sport, not just a team. If he is in love with football and you choose baseball, he may be disappointed. Keep the budget in mind When you are on a small budget, you need to make every penny count. If you want helium balloons, consider buying a disposable tank and filling the balloons yourself. Buy food at a warehouse type store as opposed to the super market.
If you are planning a theme that revolves around Elmo, you don't have to get Elmo on everything. Use solid colored party hats, napkins and plates. Use the main character as the centerpiece and on the cake plates. This will save money almost hand over fist. If you get plain hats, buy some stickers for the children to decorate them with that can have the main character or theme on them. This could double as the first activity of the day.
Games The age of the children is going to come into consideration in this category as well. When you are having a party for children that are small, say 3 or 4, you can get away with putting out some coloring books and crayons and letting them 'do their own thing'. However, left to their own devices, older children may get into trouble. It may be a good idea to hold as much of the party outside as you can. However, since you cannot predict the weather weeks or even months in advance, it is wise to have a back up plan.
Do some research and find games and activities that will fit into the space you have and can control. A fenced in yard is preferable to a wooded lot, for instance. Think back to when you were a child.
What types of things did you enjoy doing? Making your party a success Ask friends and family what they have done for their past parties. Also, ask what they would not do again. They can be a very valuable source of information. Summary: The child's age is going to be the number one factor in choosing a theme. The theme will mandate the decorations and activities that are, in turn, mandated by the age of the child.
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