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5 Tips for a Successful At-home Birthday Party!

Posted by Karen Magazzinich on

Being an at-home birthday party specialist, I am often asked what is my most valuable tip for the elaboration of a child’s birthday party. My answer is simple: ORGANIZATION! There is no big secret for a successful at-home birthday party, good planning is synonymous with success!

Here are my 5 tips for a successful at-home birthday party!

1. PLAN YOUR THEME

  • Before asking my child what theme he would like for his party, I like to be prepared. I get inspired on the Internet and find ideas we can work with and of course that I know are within his range of interests.  So when we sit down to discuss the options, I offer 2 or 3 different themes and my child can choose the one most attractive to him. Also, don’t hesitate to make the decision yourself! Oftentimes kids don’t even know what they want.

  • When your child has made a decision on the theme, call out a family brainstorm session to find as any ideas as possible for games and decorations all related to the party theme.

  • You can the search the web a little more for inspiration. Pinterest is a great tool at this point!

  • You need to find at least

    • 4 ideas for snacks that are related to the theme

    • 2 fun games

    • 4 decorations ideas

  • Reserve a presentation. Having one hour of professional entertainment is great during a party! It is always better to book an entertainment service at least 3 weeks before the expected date.

2. PLAN YOUR PARTY INVITATIONS

  • I really love the idea of email invites. I often use the site http://www.evite.com/. If you prefer to use paper invitations they can easily be found in a department store or many models are available to print on the web. If you have reserved an entertainment service, they usually also provide invitations.

  • Don’t forget to write down the important information on your party invitations: date, time, length, address of the party, an RSVP number or email and a cutoff date to RSVP.

  • Send your invitations at least 2 weeks before the scheduled date.

  • There is an urban legend that states that you should invite 1 friend per year of life of your child. Personally, I believe that it’s your child’s birthday only once a year so why limit ourselves! Don’t go overboard! I think that a party with 10 kids is ideal! My kids have a lot of friends so I sometimes prefer to hold 2 small parties of about 10 kids rather than having a party with too many guests.

  • It is also better to invite kids that know each other.

3. PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE

Here is the ideal schedules according to the age of the birthday child:

  • For 4 and 5 year olds a 2 hour period is perfect for an at-home party! Here’s a prototype for the schedule:

    • 1 pm: Arrival

    • 1:15 pm: Special entertainment guest

    • 2:15 pm: Cake and gifts

    • 3 pm: End of the party

  • For 6 to 8 year olds a 3 hours long at-home party is the best. Here’s a prototype for the schedule:

    • 1 pm: Arrival

    • 1:30 pm: Special entertainment guest

    • 2:30 pm: Free play

    • 3 pm: Snack

    • 3:30 pm: Cake and gifts

    • 4 pm: End of the party

  • For 8 to 12 year olds you can consult with your child to see what his expectations and wishes are. I propose that you set a limit of around 4 hours but it can very well vary according to your child’s personality.

4. PLAN YOUR FOOD

  • Don’t put too much effort in preparing the food you’ll serve to the kids. Whether it be a snack or a meal, kids eat in record times and never really remember what they ate!

  • Opt for a simple and cold buffet menu.

  • The best is to plan dishes that can be prepared the day before and simply be placed on the table the day of the party (ex: Veggie dip, fruit plate, cold sandwiches, cheese, crackers, hummus, etc.).

  • If you have your heart set on serving a warm meal to the kids, a solution is to prepare a one-pot-meal. This type of dish is easily reheated in the oven the day of your at-home party (ex: sheppard's pie, macaroni, lasagna, etc.).

5. EFFECTIVELY PLAN YOUR TIME THE MORNING OF THE PARTY

  • Don’t hesitate to seek your child’s help the morning of the party to finish off the decorations and last minute preparations.

  • Set the table.

  • Clean your house and leave out only the toys and items you want children to play with. You can hide valuables or breakable home decorations.

  • Take a few moments to review the birthday party schedule with your child.

  • Go through the games one more time.

  • Make sure your camera is fully charged and ready to capture amazing memories!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

NOW ALL THAT’S LEFT TO DO IS SIT BACK, TAKE PICTURES AND HAVE A GREAT TIME WITH YOUR BIRTHDAY CHILD!


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