Planning a child’s birthday party can be tricky. You need to decide how long the party will last, how many children to invite and what you will do with them once they arrive. Unless you have one large activity that spans the entire length of the party, such as bowling or roller skating, choose several activities that match the birthday child’s interest and that will take about 45 minutes to an hour each.
Sit down with the birthday child before sending out the invitations and discuss what you both want from the party. Come up with a guest list and pick activities based on its size. If the guest list is small, you may be able to spring for a professionally baked cake or an entertainer to visit the party. Planning a party with the birthday child is a great way to teach her how to budget and make decisions.
If your budget allows and the child really wants it, you may consider hiring a magician, clown or small petting zoo to come to the birthday party and be the primary activity. Keep in mind that some small children may be afraid of clowns, and some children may have allergies or a fear of animals. If your child likes music, you could hire a local band or children’s musician to play at the party as well.
You have a wide range of birthday party games to choose from. If part or all of the party is outdoors, the guests can play tag, run races or hit a pinata. You can also have a pinata indoors, if you are not worried about vases or other fragile items being broken. Put a fun spin on classic games by playing Pin the Cherry on the Sundae, or by playing a new version of Bingo, where you spell out the child’s name or the word “birthday.”
Set up a table so that guests can make a small craft to take home with them. Instruct guests to bring an old T-shirt to decorate with a Bedazzler or fabric paint. Other great birthday craft ideas include making simple key chains, beaded necklaces or bracelets or doorknob signs made out of glued together Popsicle sticks or pieces of felt. At a party for small children, set up an area so they can color in coloring books or paint with water color.
Turn eating into an activity at a birthday party. Set up an ice cream sundae station and help children build their own sundaes. You can also roll out small circles of pizza dough and help children assemble their own pizzas. Fill jars with small candies, such as M&Ms, and have guests guess the amount in the jar. The closest guesser can take the jar home.
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