If your child's birthday is right around the corner, two questions are most likely weighing heavily on your mind:
While you can't slow the passage of time, you can plan a fantastic, memorable celebration for your child. To help you get started, here are a few ideas for kids' birthday parties:
When planning the guest list, an old rule of thumb is limiting the number of invites to one guest for every year of the child's age. While you may certainly choose to invite more, keep in mind that the cost, planning, and likelihood of a meltdown will increase proportionately with every additional child.
For the preschool-age crowd, include the parents on the invitations as well, and be sure to prepare enough food or snacks to accommodate their appetites. Regardless of your child's age, you'll need at least one additional pair of adult hands to help out, so plan on hiring a sitter to assist if another parent or family member isn't available.
An at-home kids birthday party often allows for easier planning and more control, and ensures that the guest of honor feels at ease. Remember to put breakables and valuables in a safe place, and make arrangements to keep pets at bay.
If your home isn't large enough to accommodate the guest list - or if you simply want to minimize cleanup efforts - you might consider hosting the birthday party at a restaurant, hall, or gymnasium, or reserving a pavilion at a local park.
If you don't want to prepare a full meal, host the party in the early afternoon and specify "cake, ice cream, and snacks" on the invitation. For children younger than ten, two hours is an ideal party length. For the five and under crowd, avoid overstimulation and potential tantrums by limiting the party to an hour and a half. Remember to indicate what time the party will end on the invitation.
After the party winds down, reminisce with your child about the day they were born, or spend time together looking through old photo albums. Remember that the goal of the day is to make your child feel special.